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The GGIF-Urban Innovation Challenge 2015 witnessed a great response from various planning, architecture and engineering institutions, students and professionals who were keen to demonstrate their unique ideas with the aim of contributing to an improved built environment.

The Good Governance India Foundation (GGIF) Municipalika 2015 Urban Innovation Challenge (UIC) looked to identify the next generation of innovative solutions to systemic challenges in the urban areas, by under-graduate and post-graduate students, and young professionals from different disciplines.

The theme of this year’s Urban Innovation Challenge was ‘Safe, Sustainable Habitat and Smart Cities’. The entries were selected based on the following criteria: identification of a problem or key issues; clarity of the expression of the idea addressing a system-level problem and its solution; solution reflects the needs and matches the resources of Urban India; commitment to serving vulnerable urban population and improving their outcomes; focus and depth in the idea and solution rather than a range of issues.

Winners were selected under four categories that included Undergraduates Micro, Undergraduates Macro, Professionals Micro, and Professionals Macro.

The jury consisting of esteemed judges – Ar Sandeep Shikre, LEED AP, President & CEO, SSA Architects; Ar Aditi Salway, Manager – Projects, Green Building Consultancy Services, Godrej Electricals & Electronics, Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co Ltd; Mala Singh, Founder and Chairperson, PEC Greening India; Santosh Deodhar, Adjust Faculty, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research; V Suresh, Advisor, Good Governance India Foundation and Former CMD HUDCO, met and officially announced the winners for 2015.

In the Undergraduates Micro category, Aamer Akhtar Shaikh from MCE Society’s Allana College of Architecture, Pune was the first prize winner. The entry talks about a hybrid mixed use settlement, envisioning a safe and sustainable habitat. In the proposal, a vertical zoning system is devised to accommodate the increasing population.

The second prize winner under the same section was received by Rajorshi Chatterjee and Sayantani Saha from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Their entry talks about recycle reduce and reuse to get the taste of zero waste. The solution looks at ways of optimising waste disposal, collection and sorting and then finally treatment. The area of intervention is in South Dum Dum Municipality, Kolkata.

In the Undergraduates Macro category, the first prize winner was Nityam Chourasiya and Akshan Bhide from Madhav Institute of Technology and Science, Gwalior and the second prize winner was Sana Ahrar and Maria Seby from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

The first prize winner’s entry focused on the solution which proposes a safe and inclusive non-motorised transit system in Maharaj Bada after doing a detailed study of the area’s urban growth over the years, and the latter showcased the design solution/ intervention which is proposed for the Tibetan refugee colony of Majnu-ka-tila in New Aruna Nagar, Delhi. Areas like the Yamuna, park, housing community centre etc. have been addressed.

The joint third under the same category was Anchal Saxena, and Kapil Patidar and Akshay Revekar from Madhav Institute of Technology and Science, Gwalior. While the former winner’s entry titled ‘Green river in concrete jungle’ looks at the urban issues of New Delhi and proposes a step towards sustainability, the latter group’s entry titled ‘Grey to Green’ focused on the design of a metro station understanding the lack of space in them and creating a self-sustainable module.

Under the Professionals Micro category, Shruti B Gokhale and Nikhil R Bharadwaj were the first prize winners whose entry was titled ‘Compendium – for sustainable housing’, a design created for a low cost Housing for EWS category considering the DCR of the Navi Mumbai region.

Mukhar Singh and Jaisila Walia were the second prize winners, whose entry titled ‘Potter’s Habitat’ addresses a form of sustainable was housing for the potters’ community at Uttamnagar, New Delhi.

The third prize winner was Shantanu Subramanium, whose entry titled ‘Housing for Equality’, intervened into slum rehabilitation housing for a sustainable future.

There were several special mentions under the Professionals Micro category that included Kannan Gopalakrishnan, Nishanth Kathula, and Prof Imran I Pathan.

Under the Professionals Macro category, the first prize winner was Mahavir Singh and his entry titled ‘Migrant Welfare centre’ is a Transit Residential skill enhancement centre for the smart city’s economically deprived.

The second prize winner Rohan Chavan and Pankaj Bhagwatkar showcased in their entry titled ‘Framed’ how our rooms in the homes are under-utilised and look at a modular construction to be the solution.

The third prize winner Pritam Dey and Dibya Sen presented ‘The ritualistic and performative edge’ a design intervention on one of the ghats on the Ganges in Benaras. Through proper zoning and effective designs, the solution looks at creating comfort for its users.

Animesh Behera, the fourth prize winner produced in his design the solution which looks at a housing in the smart city of Bhubaneshwar. Safety, energy, green spaces, water, social equality and mixed land use form a part of the design solution.

Special mention under the Professionals Macro included Rajlaxmi Sanjay Khatu, Aditya Vinod, Mohit Basuk and Prajakta Sawalkar, and Atanu Das.

On Day 3 of Municipalika, a session was held where the UIC awardees presented their presentations in front of Dr Manjit Singh, IAS, Principal Secretary, LSG Government of Rajasthan and Ashutosh A T Pednekar, Commissioner, Jaipur Municipal Corporation. A few of the most innovative and practical ideas will be short-listed from among all entries so that some of these may be transformed into reality through idea incubation and actual investments.

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