Place-making: An urban lifestyle complex

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Pon, Surya
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Wagner, Cesar
Budgett, Jeanette
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Ranganathan Street and Mambalam Station (Chennai, India)
Theyagaraya Nagar (Chennai, India)
Chennai (India)
market places
public spaces
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Pon, S. (2020). Place-making: An urban lifestyle complex. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand. Retrieved from
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can urban design theories revitalize Mambalam Station and Ranganathan Street to make it a better place for people to experience a safer, cleaner, and more prosperous lifestyle? ABSTRACT: The form of a city can impact its residents, and thus, the present proposal focuses on how a place can be designed to create an image of a city that is lively, safe, and healthy, enhancing the user experience. The project seeks to respond to these questions in order to create a sense of liveliness in the people who occupy the busy urban space of Theyagaraya Nagar, also known as T. Nagar, a central marketplace in Chennai, India. The project focuses on redesigning a marketplace and plaza in Central Chennai, which is currently highly congested. Its primary idea is to create a relationship between the physical fabric and the social realm of this area, which will improve the occupants’ lifestyle as well as that of its frequenters (residents, shoppers, etc.). Chennai is known as the Port city as it is located near the Bay of Bengal, and the city’s major occupation is fishing and trading like that of Hong Kong and Singapore. It is the second-largest port city in India after Mumbai. Chennai is one of the most rapidly developing cities in South India, and T. Nagar is one of the important commercial hubs that is located in central Chennai. India is known for its unity in diversity with all of its people belonging to different areas and eras. As a whole, the city is complete with the diverse people living in it. India is clogged with a huge number of people and becomes increasingly congested day after day, especially in places where daily activities take place such as the markets, shopping complexes, grocery shops, fast food centres, etc. In some cases, the crowds in these places tend to increase and are so severely populated that they become highly unhygienic and cramped for buyers and shopkeepers alike. This research aims to analyse one of India’s busiest and most congested commercial hubs: Ranganathan Street and Mambalam Station, located in the western part of T. Nagar. Using various theories related to place-making and urban planning proposed by various researchers, the precedent studies are analysed. The ultimate goal is to design a marketplace and plaza that deals with the congestion problem in Ranganathan Street and Mambalam Station, creating a better place for people and allowing them to experience a safer and cleaner environment and an improved lifestyle. For examining precedents and undertaking a literature review, a systematic review of the literature and its importance to people’s experience through urban forms is carried out. The studies show how public-private space can contribute to city planning in order to fulfil the user experience goal by taking Snohetta’s Oslo Opera House in Norway and Wynyard Quarters in New Zealand as precedents. It also involves resolving the problem of congestion in the context of urban sprawl. It assists in the creation of an image and well-organized spaces to be experienced and enjoyed by users using place-making theories in urban design. Place-making regards the benefits derived from the social cohesion and social capital associated with effective public spaces in which people witness improved health conditions, lower incidence of crime and conflict and possess a great sense of place (Wood and Corti 2008). The relationship between people and the built environment is essential, especially how it can be manipulated by design, specifically with the implementation of user experience principles in order to enrich a space, which will be analysed to create a more functional and successful urban form for the T. Nagar marketplace. Some of these ideas of place-making are implemented mainly across Ranganathan Street for people to experience a sense of belonging to the place, believing that the design will help people live in a safe and healthy community
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