Waste used to create positive urban spaces

From a dumping ground, the space under the Anand Rao Circle flyover has transformed into a bright and colourful space from where citizens can watch the world go by, at least for a short while.

This change is part of a demonstration on how unused spaces below and around flyovers can be used to create positive urban spaces. The BBMP initiative called ‘Transforming waste to public space: designing for sustainability under Bangalore’s flyovers’ is supported by SUI Lab, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, New York, in collaboration with the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. According to a release here, the city has several nondescript, underutilised and unfriendly “wasted” spaces beneath the flyovers, bridges and elevated motorways. Jyoti Hosagrahar from Columbia University proposed using waste materials to transform these spaces into vibrant public spaces.

BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayana conceded that there is immense potential to improve open spaces in the city. “While BBMP is keen on developing these spaces, the participation of individuals, institutions and the public is critical to such efforts at beautification,” he said.

In just two-and-half weeks, scrap from billboards was used to fabricate a series of metal frames and benches, while discarded pavers and gravel were reused to create seating areas. The concrete pillars were cleaned and painted in bright colours. Creepers and plants that grow in the shade have been planted around the pillars.

“This is just a demonstration, and hopefully, the BBMP will now be able to put the space below flyovers to better use,” said Rebecca Riss, student of Columbia University.

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