• Editorial Team


Updated: Jul 2, 2019

Students research work on the rejuvenating the urban voids of Delhi

Jamia Millia Islamia, students of architecture have proposed transformation of Traffic Island to Civic Plaza, to serve the need of the homeless people, migrants and economically weaker class people of the city.

Team Members:

Anirudh Khanna

Nida Haque

Samridhi Nalwa


DELHI, a dynamic city is on move day and night. There is a relentless increase of number of less-catered communities in Delhi. This is due to increase in number of the migrant from the small town and villages to the city. Delhi divides itself into bright and dark faces. Bright face includes economically stronger class and dark face contains economically weaker class or less-catered people. It is like a two side of a coin which never fills the gap of ideal mentality but also can’t stand without each other. These two communities have somewhere fragmented into small parts all over the city. Illiteracy and loss of identity of economically weaker class people is the major cause of concern.



If migrants to the city, even if any of them has financial support to setup a small startup or search a job to earn for living, they don’t have any basic hygiene education, opportunities, identity proofs, sense of security and approach to national campaigning awareness programs which reduces the rate of progress in their life. Here, the concern is for mobile hawker who sells their goods at traffic signal area. This informal sector of the society which has no safety for their goods, has no sitting space, has no personal identity. They hardly earn anything for living. The various NGO’s has been working for the sake of their rights, but these people barely know about their rights and policies about them.

So the question arises, how to contribute to make their life progressive? How to make their life easier? As they travel approximately 20km to 30km from the outskirts of the city with goods and travel back to their place after selling them.

If any of the migrant couldn’t get any job in fast moving city, then she/he ended up with nothing, except the negligence from the society. They lose their hope and aspiration in life to get basic facilities worthy of living. These circumstances might give rise to commit any false deed against the law. The problem is to get the ideal mindset of the economically weaker class people.

So the question arises, how will clean a nation without changing the mentality of these people? What is the point of cleaning the spaces again and again? If there education about hygiene is negligible. What is the point of their existence? If they don’t know about the opportunities and facilities given by the government for their progress. How will we resist them to become a criminal?


The city is slowly progressing ahead towards becoming a cleaner city, but can’t neglect the consequence if some section of society progress rapidly and some stuck at one place only.

In addition to all of these odds, there is one more problem that needs to be catered is break down of the DTC buses in Delhi. DTC buses are not operated by the general mechanics of road side. They are handled by the specialized engineers, which are confined at one place of Delhi, which is DIMITS. One an average there is 50-60 buses break down daily on roads of Delhi while driving. It took lot of time to reach an engineer at the place where bus has breakdown. Hence, it causes utter traffic jam on roads.


Delhi has accommodated the minimum 17,000 homeless people and only 7,000 of people are provided to live in 256 Raain Basera. Rest sleep under the flyover, on the footpath or at the barren public place at night. This makes 20-30 people live under every flyover of Delhi.

There are 6 to 12 mobile hawkers present on almost every working traffic signal of time duration of 140 seconds.


Traffic islands are the raised platform in the road that helps channelizing the traffic. Traffic island can be used to reduce the speed of car driving, they can be relaxing situate for the pedestrian and passer-by. According to the culture of Delhi, Traffic islands also serve as the pigeon feeding arena by the commuters. Traffic Islands, being a crucial area, can provide the expanse for the public interaction enumerating to the aesthetic elements to the overall surroundings.

What if traffic island becomes interaction spaces of NGOs to the less-catered society of the city? What if traffic island becomes a multi-purpose and multi-functional area for the welfare of the homeless people? (Without violating the traffic rules).what if traffic island becomes the recreational area for the mobile hawkers of traffic signals. What if traffic island hold BRT booth for an engineer who will take charge during the breakdown of DTC buses.

Traffic Islands which can serve the above necessity are identified in few parameters. Parameters for selection of traffic islands are based on the users and potential of site. Other common parameters of these traffic islands are classified as:

  1. Traffic islands adjacent to the flyover. (under which homeless people live)

  2. Traffic island adjacent to the traffic signal. (where mobile hawker sells their good)



The Nizamuddin Basti sits on 700 years of such significant and captivating history and includes the largest collection of valuable Islamic buildings in India. Continuing the legacy of this area, this island needs an urban renewal initiative, which goes beyond architecture.


This urban void of society has so much potential to serve the nation, but used as spare piece of disused land. Detail study after understand the need of society is presented and thoughtful solutions are provided after making inferences.



As the sun rises, the site unfolds a very unlikely image of full of garbage dump. As Nizamuddin Dargah is sacred place and adjacent to this traffic island, therefore became one of the main tourist attraction place of Delhi. The underage activities which takes place on this land, is a cause for concern and is often linked to vandalism, litter, chaos etc.

Around the day, it witnesses various different activities of diverse nature. Sometimes, the island is being used as a parking space for tourist buses. These pilgrims from different cities of India sit and relax on the island, leading to a chaotic situation on the road. Not only island, the entire footpath is blocked by them. To cater such crowd, there are mobile hawkers who constantly sell their goods at the island. These hawkers also trade their goods under scorch sun to the vehicles at the traffic signal. Neither, they have any particular storage place for their bulky goods nor any sitting place. They tend to spend their whole day standing, waiting for the moving traffic to pause. There is no provision of drinking water provided at the site.

As the day passes, the site is again occupied by these anti-social people. Pilgrims spend day and night on this site, forcing it to lose its essence.




To rejuvenate the disused traffic island to the civic plaza through the innovative solutions, to utilize the best potential of this urban void of the society by making it 24X7 active and make it inspiration for the other traffic island of metropolitan cities.


  1. To give sitting and resting spaces to the mobile hawkers.

  2. To provide locker for the safety of the good of mobile hawkers.

  3. To give proper recreational for resting arena of the pilgrims.

  4. To provide adaptable plaza according to the need of the user of this traffic Island.

  5. To establish police booth on the traffic island for the safety of the goods, temporary modules and controlling the traffic from the island. Taking the negative aspect of the site into consideration, the overall security is a necessity.

  6. To establish BRT booth to serves dual purposes. It accommodates an engineer to take over charge during breakdown of DTC buses throughout area within 10 km radius. This booth also serves as a resting space for the BRT workers who look after the site.

  7. To establish information center at the traffic island to caters dual purposes. Firstly, it links the under-privileged people to the concerned NGO’s, raising awareness levels amongst them. Secondly, it includes basic information regarding the surrounding areas to facilitate tourists.

  8. To provide privately owned water filling station for the MCD licensed water vendors tend to travel long distances to fill up their tanks everyday. Incorporating a water tank system in our site would not only facilitate these vendors but also help generate revenue at traffic island. This may also serve the purpose of non-availability of water on site.

  9. To serve as multi-functional space at different point of time.

To make it the icon of “NOBLE DEED” where Collaboration with a National NGO, like NASVI(national association of street vendors of india), helps increasing the awareness levels amongst the local people regarding general issues. These awareness camps will regularly motivate less catered society regarding employment and livelihood.









#transforming #civicplaza #trafficisland #rejuvenation #delhi

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