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Swati Sahasrabudhe , Peeyush Sekhsaria
In India, practice of ecological restoration is an emerging field and primarily involves ecological experts. Landscape Architecture as a profession in India is relatively well established and mainly focuses on creating preferable outdoor spaces for human beings. Increasingly, Landscape Architects in India are exploring the practice of ecological restoration either as significant typology of projects or as a dove-tailed design approach in the human-centric space design in the profession. A multidisciplinary interaction comprising of ecologists, landscape architects, horticulturists, real estate developers, architects, planners, land owners, etc. in the domain of ecological restoration is comparatively less explored in India. Till 2015, there was no such formal platform. The present paper/presentation elaborates ‘Towards an Ecological Landscape’ (TEL) in India, an academic initiative at Center for Ecological Landscapes (CEL) at Dr. Bhanuben Nanawati College of Architecture for Women, Pune, India (BNCA). Started in 2015, with an objective to encourage the propagation of landscape restoration practices amongst landscape architects, it involves sharing of experiences by various stakeholders through their implemented projects, and published research. TEL addresses the need to connect multidisciplinary domains, people and professionals as stakeholders of in an ecological approach in landscape design well-being. The geographical focus has been Pune and the region of Western Maharashtra with the belief that for actual collaboration and cross fertilization between people physical proximity is an important factor. Additionally a facebook page, whatsapp groups and a youtube channel encourage continued interaction and learning. The present study elaborates on how these events and the use of social media has enabled a wider outreach and greater collaboration amongst multi-disciplinary professionals, educators, and the student community. The paper emphasizes that the process of linking people, practices and projects as a significant step towards inspiring more in ecological restoration projects to happen in India in real time. The intended outcomes of this continuous and consistent dialogue between various fields sharing common concerns about ecology centric approaches and its relation with people and their everyday life were documented through interviews, feedbacks and surveys. The multidisciplinary collaborations between the participants as an outcome were also analyzed in the present study. This paper presentation intends to share the modular, scalable and multipliable idea of propagating the practice of ecological restoration in India with a specific focus on Landscape Architects, its inception, the structuring of themes and activities and, its tangible and intangible outcomes.
Conference Presentation, SER2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program