An article written by Mishkat Ahmed-Raja, urban designer in Mumbai. “Chaotic” is according to her the best term to describe Indian cities, and the chaos is generated by the many activities defining the streetscape. The classic Indian street is inherently a place where people meet each other, congregate, do business and celebrate. The street today is multi-layered – the (shrinking) pedestrian realm, the vehicular lanes, the bridges, metro, and monorail above. A lively streetscape with multiple activities that change over time and season, provides a great human experience and the essential “eyes on the street”, ensuring safety and security of all users.
“Barricades create one oversized pedestrian-only street from 6.30am to 11am on Sundays, emphasizing the idea of ‘shared streets’. It was overwhelming to see the immense amount of people taking their morning walk, along with mothers strolling with their babies, children skateboarding and cycling, a group of musicians humming in the background. For those few hours, people walked carelessly along the street, and the air was a little less polluted.”