Under the Srinagar smart city project, students of the School of Architecture of the University of Kashmir (KU) and the Department of Architecture of Islamic University of School and Technology (IUST) on Friday took part in the placemaking marathon.
The paint marathon was organised by the Srinagar Smart City Limited (SSCL) outside the Sher-e-Kashmir (SK) Park by the students of architecture, engineers, planners and other dignitaries.
Srinagar Smart City Limited (SSCL) under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has planned numerous events across Srinagar City as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
This Mahotsav is dedicated to the people of India who have not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hole within them the power and potential to enable the vision of new India, fuelled by the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
The placemaking at Sheri-Kashmir Park will transform the space and add to the city beautification plans of Srinagar Smart City.
Students showcased how visual art can be displayed in public spaces rather than confining it to art galleries. They also highlighted how visual art can become a tool in place making and addressing various urban issues.
The students in this beautification use several graphics in theparticular patch that connects with the river Jehlum.
"We have organised a placemaking marathon as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. This is a placemaking event. Under the Smart City Project, this area has been designated as a public place and we students are making this place attractive by making graffiti. They are also making games for children. The students will also plant sampling and will use other decorative items. By modifying this place, we are planning to make this place a plaza or something of the same nature," said Kakroo.
He further said that a Smart city is a program of the Central Government in which we are upgrading infrastructure in the city. "We are planning to make Srinagar a smart city not only in terms of aesthetics but also in terms of facilities. We are developing riverfront here in Jehlum and this placemaking is also a part of it," he added.
Anuj Malhotra General Manager of Planning and Urban Development, Srinagar said by decorating this place we are we are trying to make a good and vibrant public place for the people of Srinagar and other tourists. The endeavour is part of the Smart City Project aimed to improve the public space in the city.
Joya Khan, ISUT faculty said that the young students are taking part in this place making a marathon to decorate the city.
"It is not just a visual decorative thing but we are also trying to highlight our rich cultural heritage. These students also get exposure to make art on roads. The students of fine art in large take part in this initiative to become Srinagar city smart and attractive for tourists. It is our duty to clean and beautify the public place. From this art piece these students also get some field experience also," said Khan.
Speaking on the occasion, the Saahid, an architecture student said the program is being held under the Smart City Project. "We have made abstract art here and we are also making chess board, snake and ladders. This will increase tourism in a positive way and as an artist, we are also getting exposure to work in the field," he said.
Another student, Saamin said that they are just activating the public place by not only making it beautiful but also creating awareness in public for participation. She said these public places need people's attention to make them clean, decorated and beautiful.
"There are very few public places in Kashmir. So we are making a plaza here outside the Sher-e-Kashmir (SK) Park. This is the project by the public and for the public," added Saamin.