“At fifteen”: A New Public Realm in a Networked City – A case of mobility infrastructure development in Bangalore

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Submission Summary
The paper is about the city-scape of Bangalore and it is also about the power of mobility infrastructure development to determine corresponding changes in urban morphology and the eyes through which it is seen. In the recent past, the superimposing of the Monorail system on to the existing constructed street has altered the figure unique to the city- image that the city reveals. This is characterized as an Anomie (Durkheim, 1893) in the urban environment, an alienation from the urban elements that have been a part of this changing landscape. The monorail system not only is it infrastructural that deals with ease in commuting people to their destination, but it also goes further down articulating the urban-scape that shapes the city. The interface between the established constructed streets, imposed the monorail system and the built has the potential to create a new public realm along the vertical plane. We term this new public realm as “At fifteen”. At Fifteen defines the level at which the new public realm will be established i.e., at 15m above the existing constructed street. The cites that have always been rendered under two perspectives, Arial / Bird's eye View and Street or Human eye view, now has a new perspective “At fifteen” eye level that renders our city image. The non-integration of mobility and existing built space has reproduced differentials in the social order in public space and this visual transition currently has rendered the abstract expression of built, nature and human. The paper argues that if one were to anticipate the shaping of this city as an act of mobility, a new simulating Public realm at fifteen will be established- having commerce, socio-economic and cultural activities and the existing public realm at the street level would be the new neighbourhood realm- having residential activities. While the paper arrives at this important layer of the public realm to be added to the existing constructed street, the study also focuses on contextual relationship and interaction between people and the new public realm, emphasizing the significance of legibility, identity, aesthetics, ambience, and meaning of the place. In addition, the study also emphasizes the consequences of the changing transit infrastructure on the regulations, policy and governance of the city. The shift in the perception of our city seems to be something worth working towards, from abstract expression to a concrete expression redefining this figure unique to Bangalore city. Keywords: At Fifteen, Mobility, Place Making, Public realm, infrastructure
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ISO170
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5: Uniqueness and connectivity. Al-Baraha: unlocking urban futures
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