Gunraagh, from the team, won the C40 Students Reinventing Cities Competition for Bhalswa in Delhi with his thesis project, 'Dignifying Margins - a case for affordable housing at Bhalswa.' The competition invites multidisciplinary teams of students from around the world to imagine a pathway to decarbonize urban areas and improve the quality of life for local communities.
Gunraagh's winning proposal focuses on creating affordable and sustainable housing for the urban poor in Bhalswa, a village in Delhi where many of the city's low-income residents reside. They chose an undeveloped location west of Bhalswa, adjacent to Bhalswa Lake, to deliver affordable and sustainable housing to the area.
The proposal developed by Gunraagh and his team involves creating a compact and efficient development at Bhalswa that is human-scale, mid-rise, and has open spaces and amenities for the people. They reimagined the classic housing block as several smaller buildings, independent yet interconnected. The proposal also promotes the local economy by creating opportunities to develop skills through employment. Community facilities such as clinics, fair-price shops, and child care centers are also included in the proposal.
The team considered ten design principles defined by the competition when developing their project. These principles include creating complete neighborhoods, people-centered streets and green mobility, smart and connected places, a place for everyone, clean construction, green energy and buildings, circular resources, green spaces, urban nature and climate resilience, sustainable living, and green economy. The team focused on the principles that were most appropriate for the site.
The proposal developed by Gunraagh addresses the sustainable development goal of creating safe, resilient, and inclusive settlements and cities. It creates affordable and sustainable housing that meets the needs of the urban poor in Bhalswa and includes community facilities that will enhance the quality of life for local communities.
The proposal for the C40 Students Reinventing Cities Competition is an excellent example of how to develop innovative and sustainable housing solutions for the urban poor. The project shows how affordable and sustainable housing can be created by considering the specific needs of local communities and by harnessing new models for green and thriving neighborhoods. We hope that Gunraagh's project will inspire other cities to develop similar innovative solutions for their local communities.