Manek Chowk is a central place in Old Ahmedabad, Gujarat (India). As a public square at the heart of the city, it hosts each day a vast variety of visitors; from vegetable vendors, cattle herders, shop owners, to citizens and tourists. The result of their long-lasting exchanges has woven a unique social milieu, made of well-grounded informal practices predicated upon interdependency, communication, protection, and trade.
As a tactical urbanism proposal, ours relies predominantly on an in-depth understanding of the intervened context. Thus, it is framed as a participatory effort that can lead to an articulated framework of collective development within the community that intends to serve.
The board game is a platform where the inhabitants (players) can make use of intuitive processes of resource management and object placement to devise strategies for the intervention of their own dwelling places, though methods of gamification to develop an adaptable and ceaseless toolkit for tactical place-making. The game takes into account how the chowk’s activities evolve over the course of the day and offers a set of pre-designed alternatives based on safe outdoor practices, welfare, and placemaking; prioritizing the visitors’ daily rituals and their own input over the intervention.
This Tactical Toolkit -directly mapped on Manek Chowk’s unique DNA- is however intended to be adaptable for other cities and neighborhoods, allowing other locations to be strategized and intervened; thus, giving their own inhabitants, users, and/or players the necessary agency that brings to life any tactical-urbanistic experience.
*IN COLLABORATION WITH PABLO SILVA AND HUGO PILATE. ASSISTED BY ANUSHKA PRIYEDARHSI AND PRACHI VYAS*