Entekochi, which translates to “My Kochi” from Malayalam, was a participatory planning workshop by the Kochi Municipal Corporation (KMC), jointly designed and implemented by GIZ, under the Sustainable Urban Development – Smart Cities (SUD-SC) project and supported by international and national urban planning companies, urbanista and urbz.
Interactive model of Kochi
Group picture of participants to the Entekochi Symposium
CityScope applications on display at the event
Participants bonding with an introductory song
Collective Brainstorming session to identify critical locations in the neighbourhood
The project was implemented as an urban-lab to foster the process of thinking and discussing the city together. In this context, it is allowed to make mistakes and to think and develop ideas “out of the box”. It is possible for everyone to address topics, explore alternative futures and challenge current boundaries in order to make Kochi the best place possible.
It encouraged the joint engagement of officials, professionals, civil society, private sector, academia and citizens in thinking creatively and freely about the future of Kochi. The participatory urban development processes used, aimed to:
Discuss divergent interests and develop a joint responsibility
Highlight existing initiatives and promote new ones
Build a sense of community and unitedness
Spread awareness amongst the public
Foster the idea and understanding of cross-sectoral Integrated Urban Development (IUD)
Promote and ensure long term sustainability and enhanced quality of life for people living and visiting Kochi
Mobilize resources for successful implementation of envisioned projects
Pre-workshop field work in Kochi to introduce and disseminate the information about the Urban Typhoon Workshops
The above objectives were targeted by applying physical, as well as online data and experience crowd-sourcing techniques through co-creating working methods. The main focus however, was set on an exhibition on-site in a studio space located in the Folklore Theatre in Fort-Kochi. This studio was open from March 8th to June 14th, 2019, for everyone regardless of age, gender and professional background. Its online counterpart, www.entekochi.net was implemented to enhance the range of the urban lab and was also developed to be smartphone oriented.
An integral part of the process was the outreach into six different neighbourhoods, to work together and get in touch with people from these communities. During the Design Sprint, the Entekochi team produced maps, illustrations and collages to illustrate and communicate the results of the neighbourhood workshop series, the specialised stakeholder workshops and the Entekochi exhibition. The public as well as local, national and international, experts and stakeholders enriched the process and actively participated in the design tasks.
Walking with local participants through Edakochi Neighborhood
EnteKochi functioned as the essential spark that is now generating a powerful momentum in the form of participatory planning in Kochi. It has shown, as an exemplary process, how inputs from different sources and user-groups can be integrated and lay the foundation for a better future city. Key outcomes of the workshop were:
A platform for various stakeholders to build trust, discuss diverging interests and recognise available potential and existing resources
Having established citizens as experts and as change agents for their own neighbourhood and city, based on the unique participatory legacy of Kerala and Kochi
Encouragement of graduate students and school children to be part of and understand their valuable role as experts in city development and decision-making processes
An engagement of a diverse set of stakeholders like differently-abled people, who tend to be left out in traditional urban planning processes
Discussions on the local, national and worldwide need for Integrated Urban Development and its enabling tools i.e. participation in the context of Kochi
A formulation of impulses for urban development strategies as outcomes of the process.
Participant group of schoolchildren displaying their work
This groundwork has paved a path for the next joint project by SUD-SC; the Entekochi Urban Design Competition 2020, which will pilot an integrated urban development approach in Kochi. More details of the same, can be found on the homepage of this website.