Urban Ecological Planning: Project course
place. Kochi, Kerala, India
description. Executive summary of student fieldwork
team. Course coordinator: Gilbert Siame
Supervision team: Gilbert Siame, Rolee Aranya, Mrudhula Koshy, Riny Sharma, Vija Viese
Students: Ami Joshi, Stine Kronsted Pedersen, Aditi Patil, Karl Schulz, Mohammadreza Movahedi, Eloise Redon, Maria Magdalena Mühleisen, Yeasmin Tonni, Afif Muhammad Fatchurrahman, Atena Asadi Lamouki, Mohammad Mahdi Mahdi Zadeh Naeini, Sharanya Hoskote Bhavani Shankar, My An Dinh, Miguel Angel Rosas Jimenez, Chowdhury Ferdoushi Hossain Suhi
(NTNU) | Moreblessing Chipangura, Eric Hubbard, Aidan Africa, Seth Kriger, Latheefah Joseph, Macdonald Galimoto, Kezia Ros Fortuin (UCT).
After facing pandemic-related restrictions for two years, the Urban Ecological Planning Programme (UEP) successfully conducted its 2022 fieldwork in Kochi, India. The project involved students from India, South Africa, and Norway, emphasizing international mobility and knowledge exchange. This initiative aimed to contribute to the localisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a planning studio project. Students spent eight weeks working in Kochi, focusing on challenges and opportunities faced by cities in the Global South. The project report represents the collaborative efforts of students from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) in New Delhi, the All India Institute of Local Self Government (AIILSG), and the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa.
The project report showcases the experiences, learning, and context-informed recommendations of the NTNU students. It highlights the importance of experiential learning, which allows students to explore unfamiliar contexts and tackle complex urban problems. The report emphasizes inclusive urban planning and development, ecological integrity, and sustainable urban livelihoods and accessibility. Through area-based and participatory planning approaches, students worked closely with local communities and stakeholders to analyze and address the specific challenges faced by study sites in Kochi. The report reflects the students' dedication to understanding urban everyday life experiences and proposing realistic solutions.
The students were divided into four groups, with two focusing on Fort Kochi and the others on Ernakulam areas of Kochi. Fort Kochi is a historical seaside area known for its colonial architecture, heritage, and fishing, while Ernakulam is a bustling residential and commercial hub. The reports delve into the nuances of urban informality, guided by the overarching themes of ecological vulnerability, urban markets, and urban mobility. By employing a participatory process, the students conducted situational analyses, reflected on their methods and methodology, and developed strategic proposals to address the identified problems. The report acknowledges the support of the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) India in providing insights, connecting students with relevant stakeholders, and facilitating their understanding of the local context and thematic areas.