Flyovers as public spaces
Bengaluru has numerous flyovers. The spaces beneath the flyovers are derelict, prone to garbage dumping and other nefarious activities.
The spaces beneath flyovers and other elevated transport routes around North Bangalore have great potential to set an example in urban landscape.
One such space that was beautified was under the flyover in Veeranapalya near Manyata Tech Park, with the launch of Wild Arena – a wildlife-themed public space. It was recreated to celebrate the rich biodiversity and wildlife of Karnataka.
Another flyover that can be a good candidate for urban experimentation is the Hebbal flyover.
With a bunch of conceptual thoughts, these residual spaces can be transformed into beautiful arenas by planning for open plazas and biophilic designs to create visibly greener spaces.
“Urban landscaping today will not only inspire younger designers and architects, but also will reshape the future generation’s thinking. One should not just go about by merely painting the blank spaces, but should try to bring about a meaning to the place by bringing in a design aspect to it. Urban planning should also emphasise on the ideas of young architects”, says Kavana Reddy, an architecture student.
Contrasting the scenes of an urban jungle, these spaces can be utilised for building cycle pods, allocating space for rental bike parking, pit stops for electric cars’ charging, kiosks, drinking water booths and more.
Once these spaces are revived, it connects with the physical surroundings, encouraging people to walk and utilize these public spaces.
These spaces can also be used to build citizen-friendly public toilets, as there are only around 600 public toilets in Bengaluru.
“There is a lot of unused space beneath the flyovers near Hebbal and Silk Board bus stops. These spaces can be used for building rest areas with toilets, as it would be useful for BMTC bus drivers. Usually, I drive in a busy and hectic stretch between Silk Board and Hebbal, and with a tiring journey of almost two hours per trip, it is difficult for us to find a spot to relieve or even to sit and rest a while. We don’t want to urinate in vacant lots”, says Mahadevaiah.
Urban planning administrators, the city development authority and the civic department’s consolidated efforts can derive better neighbourhood development strategies, than just routine modification.