“JDA circle took lives of two”
“2 Days, 2 deaths on JDA circle”
(Subtext: Hindustan Times, 22nd July, 2019)
How do you feel when you read these headlines early morning in the paper? We are sure you must have received those accident footages on your family WhatsApp group, with relatives warning you to wear seat belts from now on. Certainly the reckless driving, zero civic sense and failed administration is to be blamed. But here, we would like you to go through the first headline again and understand why JDA circle has been personified here. How can a mere piece of land, apparently called a “circle” be responsible for these deaths??
Well it is called JDA circle firstly, because a year ago, there actually existed one. Post-Independence, development of Jaipur city derived many urban and settlement planning ideas from its European counterparts meanwhile ignoring the necessary lessons of sustainability from our home ground itself. For example- if we can look back in time, we could have learnt from the walled city about its public spaces or detail of breathing buffers in the form of Chaupars, which also acted as heat sinks. Instead, we introduced round-about on various junctions, which were working fine enough to slow down the traffic and manage its flow. Now, with rapid urbanization and to counter traffic congestion, development authorities had removed quite a few major ones, which were “occupying a lot of space” on the streets. The green buffer spaces are missing too from the city voids and are filled with concrete hardscape, thereby suffocating the citizens and city life.
These accidents portray the lack of our conscience, how seriously we take the safety guidelines and how we value our lives! But most importantly, they raise an alarming need of better street designs in a growing metro city like ours. The current scenario shows how we have downgraded ourselves from the previously existing system, only to add more traffic lights that lead to wastage of energy and human resources in terms of traffic policemen. Not only these major crossings make large racing grounds in themselves, but also create heat islands, apart from being the usual foci of noise and air pollution.
How as a designer, planner or architect do you feel about it? Responsible? Embarrassed? Or maybe, even guilty?
CAN we and SHOULD we do something about it? Yes. We also think the same.
What should be our approach?
Reach out to us.
We are more than happy to work on this together as a close knit community of designers, who really feel this change is needed on our part to create a healthier environment.