Urban Regeneration using GIS-based methodology as an approach for the redevelopment of historic commercial city cores: Case study of Kolkata, India

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Submission Summary
In 1772, Kolkata (Calcutta) was announced as the first capital of British India, having a major port and a rich cultural and built heritage in its core. As a result, Kolkata became the British's commercial center, and the city developed in terms of urban planning. Later on, Kolkata became the melting pot of a diverse complex amalgamation of communities with multiple claims, occupancies, conflicts, harmony, and unified entities from a wide range of ethnic and geographic origins like different states of India and also from the neighboring countries. In 1960, the satellite towns of Kolkata started growing towards the periphery of the city with the IT-driven economy. Due to that shift towards satellite towns, this polycentric, linear, unplanned city core is facing multiple problems like losing value of culture and heritage; economical degradation, trading practice failure, insufficient infrastructure, major traffic congestion, safety issues due to poor urban environmental infrastructure. It is an urgent need to develop the high value land without losing the heritage and cultural identity of these historic markets. From the point of view of economic efficiency, the neglected historic urban center of Kolkata has cultural potential and represents a foregone opportunity for growth in State income as a state capital. An attempt to understand the urban narratives and everyday urbanism of this historic urban core of Kolkata has been undertaken to obligate urban regeneration strategies based on planning and harnessing of local economy by fostering social, physical and cultural attributes of the area. The aim of the research is to develop a holistic conceptual framework to identify areas required for urban regeneration, using geographic information systems (GIS) as a tool to decipher the urban narratives in the old historic commercial centers of the city. These historic markets in this city have a rich historic value, heritage potentials and influence in eastern India, but are on the verge of losing their significance due to lack of interventions, initiatives and awareness. The investigations are based on quantitative and qualitative data analysis which are collected from the historic core areas and market places through field surveys. In this discourse, GIS as a tool has been used for developing databases for the urban fabric and correlating those data for earmarking of each affected region. In the successive stages, the graphical and non-graphical data has been converted into graphical data in the form of algorithm structure and scoring system has been developed for each parameter. The paper focuses on cluster-based intelligent regeneration strategies, where these territories can set in motion innovative mechanisms of economic regeneration and enhance substantially. Within these environments, new knowledge functions and business models can appear and thrive relying on collective intelligence, technology transfer and collaborative agglomeration of economies. Based on the findings, the sub-regions for urban regeneration have been determined. The strategies for urban regeneration focus on qualitative improvements to existing conditions, and also anticipating future needs. The study concludes with planning decisions to develop policies for historic core development based on its potential and cultural values.
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3: Smartness and development. Al-Souq: innovating for performance and management
Young Professional
National Institute of Disaster Management, Govt. of India

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