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Trichy Commons Network

Developing the commons in the city to nurture citizen-led urban transformation.

The commons in the city is a disappearing phenomenon, largely due to the apathy of its citizens and their lack of awareness and means to take part in effective change.

In Trichy, the Citizens For Uyyakondan (CFU) emerged as a citizen-organized platform that brings together common people and organizations, including the city corporation on restoring and reviving the Uyyakondan canal that runs through the city. The current project aims to extend the reach of the CFU from a grassroots organisation to testing out models that can actively transform the city through participatory urban transformation.

Activities initiated by CFU along the canal

Intervention area

The site for the pilot project is a piece of land acquired from the corporation cleared of debris to test the pilot project. The pilot is part of the initiative to restore the canal bank. The planned Miyawaki forest plantations along the banks aim to protect the bank from further misuse. Owing to the lack of access, the canal forms a physical barrier between the two banks – the west bank bordering the highly-dense neighbourhood and the east bank, relatively unused.

The proposed development aims to become a catalyst and improve the use and appropriation of the east bank of the canal by the neighbourhood. Additionally, local institutions – educational and religious – are engaged in educating and coalescing the community to collective action and have already agreed on initiatives to collect rainwater and recharge the canal and on mobilizing the local population in helping out in the various initiatives. 

Intervention area - engaging multiple stakeholders

The current project tests a setup on a piece of the city-corporation land. The setup includes collective waste management, community spaces for co-learning and co-production, and appropriating unused spaces as open spaces for leisure. The setup can be repeated in certain spots in the denser neighborhoods along the canal to cultivate and encourage civic engagement, social and economic progress, and sharing culture while tackling the issues that affect the canal – solid waste and sewage dumping and the apathy of the citizens towards the canal.

The Commons as a catalyst for sustainable urban transformation

Project Details

Trichy Commons Network
Trichy, India
December 2020 – ongoing
Urban transformation
Project Type
(more information and the proposals can be found here)
Charles Correa Foundation (click here for competition brief)
Kapilan Chandranesan, Vijaykumar Sengottuvelan
Awards and Mentions
Winner | Commons and the City
Finalist | Architecture in Development, Global Challenge 2021 (project webpage)
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