Laka2020 074 DesignAuthors’ description:

Connaught place (CP) is the most iconic public space of New Delhi. Accommodating trade, commerce, recreation, leisure and daily living, this Gregorian edifice forms a comfortable yet vibrant habitat.

Over the years CP has experienced huge influx of food, shopping brands and offices with an ever-increasing inflow of pedestrians and vehicles alike. CP has a whopping 300 restaurants and food joints producing 13 tons of waste per day, majority being recyclable organic waste. (In whole of Delhi, 9,500 TPD of waste is collected and transported to three landfills around the city, following a flawed centralized waste management system. The system requires prompt redressal reinforced by a holistic solution.)

Activity dense urban centers, such as CP, are energy and material intensive and lend tremendous pressure on service delivery in terms of cost and efficiency. The proposed scheme environs a decentralized system to manage material and energy demand by employing in-situ sustainable cycles complimented by urban robotics – an autonomous and futuristic system of resource management aimed at reducing potentially reclaimable energy from going into landfills.

Based on the principles of circular economy, the solution strategy includes:
-Decentralized solutions to cut logistical costs
-Segregation of waste at source
-Waste to energy at source – A mix of technologies such as bio-methanation and conversion to refuse-derived fuel and solar energy
-Propelling in-situ urban agriculture
-A swarm of autonomous bots for waste collection and social care.

Intelligent bots will be equipped with an interactive holographic display, speakers, projector and use LIDAR to create a 360-degree spatial map. Mobile app connectivity would channelize direct user interaction and bot logistics.

Dark hours will be spent collecting, disposing waste and the public hours for the bots to delve into public dynamics and be available as smart assistants, guiding people around CP, carrying their bags and delivering orders. A swarm of Bots would occasion dynamic light and sound show thus elevating public spirit and response.

CP’s Tuscan colonnades encapsulate activities, define and exalt the sense of place. In response to the existing architectural heritage the columns are conspicuously conceived as active sites for bots to charge, snooze and dump the collected garbage into integrated shafts.

Majority of the waste produced by restaurants and food joints is organic along with a smaller recyclable content. Segregated at source, the recyclable waste will be send to offsite recycling facility. The organic waste will be dropped into the underground bio-reactor through columnar shafts. Methane from the bio-reactor will be supplied as clean fuel to the restaurants and the residual sludge used as manure for urban agriculture in a designated part of the central park, the fresh produce will then be sent back to the restaurants. Thus, offsetting raw material and energy demand and, potentially, sending no waste to the landfill. Complimented by a re-organization of spatial program, the system will be powered by rooftop solar array.

Eventually, a sustainable cycle will be set into motion, invigorating and redefining the urban ecosystem.

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