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Urban Design
 
Thesis, ghost town
I am a final year student and have located a site called lakhpat on the western front of gujarat, Located between Kori creek and Rann of Kuchch. It is now an abandoned town with around 100-200 residents scattered and on the edge of survival. The place is of historical and religious significance. I propose to revitalize a part of the area in the folowing manner. Could someone please give me some ideas?

Why I chose Lakhpat: Lakhpat is a beautiful old town that is now a ghost city in a way. It has a landscape unique to itself which could not be recreated in any other part of India. It has a fort wall and historical buildings within its premises. The site was good to propose revitalization of such places and also rural development.

Important facts about Lakhpat:

1. It is was once a famous port town very rich from its trade and thus derived its name from there. It was abandoned in the 18th century because of the shift of Indus river and the trade was lost and as well as its history.
2. As legend says the fort wall was built by Rao Lakha.
3. The interesting structures at Lakhpat are teh tomb of Gosh Muhammad and Sikh Gurudwara. This is an important pilgrimage sight for Sikhs, and others as well, since it was first visited by Guru Nanak on his way to Mecca.
4. There are still 400 residents staying there. Most of them are Muslims and a few Sikhs.
5. There is also a military checkpoint beyond the fort wall.
6. It is not a super famous tourist stop, but whoever does travel Kuchch does not miss Lakhpat.
7. It is situated near the junction of Kori creek and rann of Kuchch and thus has a unique biota and ecological zone.

Program for lakhpat

1. Housing unit with traditional concept for the people already living there. These houses would provide the living residents better conditions to live in and also add to the character of Lakhpat.
2. A few meditation huts and a small tourist lodge, or shacks.
3. To create a central place with a small square, chowk with commercial scope, as a place of importance for the people within Lakhpat to have a sense of landmark. This could also extend to include scope for rain-water harvesting to be used by the community.
4. Make a small exhibition area of the History of lakhpat, the Gurudwara, temples and the Tomb, and also to educate people about the Gurudwara restoration project.
5. A small research facility for people who are interested in the ecological aspect of the Kori creek and the geological factors of Kachch.

Concerns about this project: To understand the issues of the community of Lakhpat and making the project more of a beneficial outcome rather than an invasion.
Apoorva Singal
Responses
 
Thesis, ghost town
Apoorva, what about establishing an artist and artisan colony? And given that most people will be visitors, you will need some type of accommodation.
Frank John Snelling
Thesis, ghost town
Yea that is a nice idea. But the thing is the town is too far away and to propose an artist and writers village i would have to come with a great many excuses and infra structural ideas. I thought maybe the point about its ecological and bio-diversity uniqueness could be the best point.
Apoorva Singal
Thesis, ghost town
Apoorva, As you want only a very low-level intervention, your own ideas are best. I notice water may be scarce. Are there no wells?
Frank John Snelling
Thesis, ghost town
Why not development from a 'rural tourism' point of view? As in your proposal you could revitalize the residential quarter. Provide some tourist stay, or rather 'home stay'.

You can check out if the area has any unique arts n crafts - ex: embroidery. You could propose a museum - a folk museum or a living heritage museum exhibiting unique artifacts and daily ware articles of the local population. This could even be adaptive re-use of any old buildings there.

Check out if they have some local self help groups. You could even propose some work space cum exhibition areas for the traditonal crafts or these self help groups (if they work on something the tourist would be keen to watch). If the area has any unique performing arts & local people with skills in suc hareas, you could even propose a small open air theatre for performing arts.

A tourist amenity centre could be provided. Does the area have any good eateries/restaurants? Maybe you could propose a food court and some landscaped areas. Make sure you use local plant varieties so that you enhance the rural ambience.

hope this helps.

Ar. Sherin Joseph
Sherin Joseph
Thesis, ghost town
Yes there is water scarcity. Also no real infra- structure. The people staying there are only staying there for nostalgic reasons, but on the edge of survival. But I don't know if my main issue it to revitalize the town or create a platform for people to visit it and the towns still retains its "edge of the world" feeling.
Apoorva Singal
Thesis, ghost town
Apoorva, Can wells be dug down to the bottom of the original river? It is possible that the water table is still there and can provide water, which is the first objective to sustain life.
Frank John Snelling
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