A cartful of ideas and solutions

A cartful of ideas and solutions

While Bengaluru had the grand title of 'Garden City', it no longer holds such honours. Now, as the streets pile up with rotting garbage and the air fills with fumes of the innumerable vehicles, the City has transformed into something different.  As residents attempt to speak up, their voices are muffled by a hierarchical chain.

However, with exhibitions like ‘Welstadt’, a joint initiative by NextBangalore, MOD Institute and Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, citizens have been given a chance to voice their opinions on the development of the City.

 The aim of the exhibition, which is being held at NextBangalore Gatishil Space, is to provide an opportunity for people to speak up against the top-down system of development.

Per Brandt of Goethe-Institut said, “We are going to walk around Shantinagar with carts and ask people about their vision for the City. This is a way for us to crowdsource new ideas for Bengaluru.”

“This is an alternative to the top-down model of development and a way for people to get together,” he informed.

Explaining why the top-down system doesn’t work, Tile von Damm, of MOD Institute, said, “This initiative is about participation and a way for the people to help plan Bengaluru.”
“In a bottom-up model of development, people can be a definite part of the decision making process in the urban development. And they will have the possibility to start things on their own,” he said.

“We believe, when we talk about a city,  we should talk with the people. The city is meant for the people. If no one is living there, there is no point to the city. We need to rethink some urban development strategies and open them up to everyone,” he added.
According to Tile, it is the people who know best. “There are so many ideas around and not just experts, but the people can provide them. They have a better understanding of what the city looked like 20 years ago and what is missing now.”

“Knowledge is not a problem...we just need to let the people be a part of the decision making process,” Tile added. Three artists, Ralf Homann, of Maara, Max Erbacher, of MOD Institute and Uwe Jonas, of 1 Shanti Road, spoke about art in public spaces during the exhibition.

Arzo Mistry, an artist and faculty at Sristi School of Art and Design, said, “In the context of India and art in public spaces, there is a lot to we can learn. This is a good way to exchange knowledge.”  For those interested, the exhibition will go on till December 19 at NextBangalore Gatishil Space, Rhenius Street (opposite the Hockey Club), Shantinagar, and at the Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, from 2 pm to 6 pm.

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