Decoding Urbanity – Learning from and for Old Delhi | Preserving Cultural Urban Codes

Decoding Urbanity – Learning from and for Old Delhi | Preserving Cultural Urban Codes

Student Author: 
Kanika Kaushal
Date: 
May 2015
Supervisor(s): 
Mona El Khafif
Committee: 
Ila Berman
Mona El Khafif
Matthew Spremulli

The walled city of Old Delhi, India is a complex amalgamation of Mughal, Colonial and post Colonial architecture. This overlap has resulted in a rich urban fabric and networked cultural urbanism that provides the personality traits to the city, which can be defined as it’s urbanity. The thesis aims to decode the microcosm of this urbanity, which can be understood as the result of a morphogenesis that is generated by boundary conditions, a densely packed fabric and urban attractors and connectors. It is an investigation to extract the cultural urban codes using Parametric Urbanism that is defined by relationships, as a method of analysis. These codes serve as the parameters that together shape the city. They function either as attractors or inhibitors thus bearing the capacity to generate and manipulate the city’s Urbanity thereby facilitating its preservation.

THESIS ARGUMENT:

This thesis argues that the walled city of Old Delhi is a morphological output of a complex and dynamic process of urban morphogenesis that can be decoded through the lens of parametric urbanism which simulates the city’s generating principles at any given point of time.These will ultimately serve as the basis for preservation strategies allowing regneration and adaptation without losing the embedded urban qualities of Old Delhi fabric.