RuUrban Model for Development in Goa

Beginning in January 2011, the students of M.Arch Environmental Architecture, BNCA, Pune will embark on their Planning Studio in Goa. For this purpose, I visited Goa last week to understand the environmental pressures confronting Goa and meet with the various stakeholders who are directly and indirectly participating in the Goa Regional Plan.
At this time of the year, Goa was lush and vibrantly green, the raindrops making a continuous patter on the river Mandovi. Panjim was sleepy, with very few tourists and the beaches were serene while the sea was stormy. Once again, after 13 years, I experienced a laid back Goa that I had encountered when I had interned with Ar Dean D'Cruz in 1997. But this time the urban pressures were evident and threatning. The urban forces and the rural borders seemed intermingled and I felt a pang of regret that the charming, sleepy villages of Goa may soon be gone, replaced by the urbane tourist infrastructure demanded by the Urban Global Tourist.
The Goan houses surrounded by paddy fields and the idyllic landscape that talks of satisfaction and contentment is threatened by the same urban forces that are evident in India. While roaming Goa and talking with stakeholders, it emerged that there are people in Goa who are seriously propogating the RuUrban model of development. The idea attracted me and the Planning Studio is being evolved to do a study of such a model where the urban and the rural coexist. The villages retain their character, their identity, not fully merging with the urban development, but existing in simple harmony adjacent to each other. Can this resolve the crisis of the rural urban divide in India? Can environmental pressures be better handled in this model? How will the governance manage this coexistence? Will the model move us towards sustainable urban-rural linkages?
Well, right now I have more questions that answers and I hope some of them will be answered through our explorations and studies. Will keep you all updated on this front. Till then, I have already started dreaming about Goa in February 2011 when I will get a chance to work in vacation mode or vice versa :-)

Comments

  1. Hi Anagha ! It is a good thought. We all want to take cities to villages and change them to cities. Thats a big problem.

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  2. Hi Anagha. Your subject of study is very interesting and also very important and necessary. In Brazil we face the same dificultties in the small cities at the Amazon border, the conflict between urban x rural.
    Im very curious to see the results of your work. Ive been to Goa and found it a wonderful place, really hope it doesnt turn into a global touristic place, losing the local traditions.
    By the way, if you need some help with portuguese in Goa, just contact me, it will be a pleasure to help you and your students.
    All the best!
    Paula

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