How Citizens Transformed Gurugram, the City Without a Green Cover
‘IamGurgaon’ has spent close to a decade restoring green spaces lost to urbanisation in Gurugram.
Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Aravalli Biodiversity Park, Chakkarpur Wazirabad Bundh, and soon, the Badshahpur Forest Corridor – as part of citizens’ group ‘IamGurgaon’, we have spent close to a decade transforming city spaces in Gurugram.
As equal participants of a city, we feel that citizens can transform the places that they inhabit in partnership with local administration, corporates and the State. We have made similar efforts to restore the ecology of this concrete jungle that was being rapidly lost to urbanisation.
There is barely any green cover left around us. There are more office spaces and residential complexes. This has brought about its own challenges of excessive air and water pollution.
Our idea was of minimal intervention into these areas that have lost their flora and fauna. All these sites were major garbage sites and dumping sites. Everything you can think of was being dumped there. Whether it was material of broken houses or broken roads, plastics, thermocol, et al.
“We need green spaces in Gurugram. There was no ecological planning in the city. Wilderness is lost. So, what we need to do is bring back the wild flora and make it conducive for biodiversity to exist in the city.”Vijay Dhasmana, Volunteer, IamGurgaon
For example, in the case of Aravalli Park, volunteers, with the help of corporate aide and support of the local administration, helped develop the ecology of the park. A nursery of native plants set up in 2011 had over 205 species of trees and shrubs added by 2019. We were also able to revive water bodies in the area.
We have also tried to rejuvenate the city’s bundhs ie embankments that control the flow of water, thereby reviving the water channel.
Through all these projects, we have tried to heal the degraded landscape to create a public space by integrating biodiversity with the people. We try to create recreational spaces for people so there there are walkways around for the bird life, plant life, and animal life to be appreciated.
We have tried to get the city involved in these projects as well.
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