The green man
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Landscape architect Mohammad Shaheer develops green spaces around the city's memorials to 'give them better lungs'.
Having seen the rise and fall of seven cities, Delhi has been endowed with a curious mix of Mughal gardens and English parks. It sports different ideologies of landscape architecture. As Delhi vies for the World Heritage City status, landscape architect Mohammad Shaheer points out that though the city has been gifted with vast natural and built heritage, there needs to be comprehensive planning to integrate landscape with growing urban spaces.
In his ongoing project at the row of samadhis along Ring Road, Shaheer aims to create a link between the memorials drawing out a distinctive visitor flow plan and at the same time redevelop the green spaces so that the heart of the city gets better lungs. "The samadhis draw a large number of tourists and need to be integrated internally so that walking from one samadhi to another becomes easier. We are in the process of interconnecting them and will put up proper signages to ensure smooth flow of visitors. The project was initiated by the CPWD in 2005 and is expected to be complete by the end of this year," Shaheer says. "The row of samadhis with green spaces around it are the lungs of this part of the city. We are fortunate to have such zones especially in Central and South Delhi. For example, the area connecting the Zoo to Pragati Maidan, Humayun's Tomb, Sunder Nursery, Khan-e-Khana tomb, Millennium Park, is a complete integrated green zone intertwined with the city. The Lodhi Gardens right next to the India Habitat Centre and India International Centre is another example of integration. This can be replicated in other parts of the city. Dwarka, which is developing, can also be planned on similar lines with well charted-out green open areas integrating the upcoming sub-city and the airport next to it."
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