Looking at the unplanned and ancient part of Ahmedabad, through the lens of Sector 17, we began to see how a pivotal place in a city can begin define its entire character. Over the weeks we have inquired and investigated how Chandigarh locals would define the character of Sector 17. People’s reactions vary from the frame control, to “The pedestrian movement against the backdrop of the rigid building types.” For us, the character of Sector 17 remains elusive. Traveling to another S & M city in India, it was invaluable to see how Ahmedabad has been able to assert its character since day. To see how it lives and functions.
The Character of Ahmedabad is derived from the chaos of advertisements, building types, vendors and people on the streets. Chandigarh’s Sector 17 differs in its rigid built environment, plaza feel and segregation of informal and formal vendors. Somehow through the jumble of program, people and built environment Ahmedabad has a distinct and attracting feel. Chandigarh’s sector 17 is likewise a magnet of activity, but its allure comes from its planned modernist nature. The pedestrian is given free reign, whereas in Ahmedabad, one must navigate between dense traffic, vendors and pandemonium.
The mixing of the formal and informal in Ahmedabad is key to its identity as an organic Indian city. Chandigarh, as the city beautiful, has separated these two necessary programs in Sector 17 as well as structured its commercial heart. As we approach Sector 17 further we will seek to invigorate Sector 17 with the energy of Ahmedabad while retaining the functionality that a Modernist city brings.
– Calvin Tandi & Alexander Thomson