Pune / Ahmednagar / Mumbai (July 28, 2023) – The Community Design Agency (CDA), in collaboration with local organizations, is making significant strides in transforming the lives of residents in Sanjaynagar, a slum in Ahmednagar, through its innovative slum redevelopment project. With Phase 1 already providing safe and dignified housing for several families who have been residing in their new homes for over a year, CDA is now calling for support to ensure the successful construction of Phase 2.
Sanjaynagar, a community of 298 families who were living in challenging slum conditions, has witnessed a significant change, with 33 families already moving into comfortable and utilitarian homes. This accomplishment was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the residents themselves, Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation, Snehalaya (a local non-profit organization), and CDA, an initiative of Curry Stone Design Collaborative. Construction on the remaining 265 homes under Phase 2 is set to be completed over a 2-year period.
The redevelopment plan for Sanjaynagar extends beyond housing and encompasses the development of essential amenities such as water and drainage systems, roads, street lighting, childcare and community centers, courtyards for healthy recreation, edible gardens, and retail shops. The wide corridors in the design facilitate the utilization of common spaces for social interactions, fostering a strong sense of community. The involvement of the residents in decision-making processes and social issue resolution has been a key element of this transformative project.
With India firmly dedicated to achieving a 45% reduction in the emissions intensity of its GDP by 2030, the construction and real estate sectors need to prioritize the decarbonization of the industry and undergo a transformation of their practices. Given the disproportionate impact of climate change on marginalized communities, the Sanjaynagar Redevelopment Project has focused on issues of sustainability and resilience right from the start, with an emphasis on passive cooling mechanisms, building rainwater harvesting and solar lighting systems, as well as using locally sourced fly-ash bricks for construction. CDA-designed houses are engineered to remain several degrees cooler, a feature that is often lacking in slum projects.
The redevelopment of Sanjaynagar showcases the transformative power of collaborative design and emphasises the impact of the built environment on the flourishing of marginalised communities. CDA embraces an inclusive approach and aims to share its expertise with other underserved communities, extending its innovative design principles beyond Sanjaynagar to benefit other slums and informal settlements.
The successful Phase I of the Sanjaynagar slum redevelopment project has been made possible through financial support from both central and state governments under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. For Phase 2, donors, including corporate entities with a strong commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, as well as philanthropists, have a unique opportunity to support the construction and furnishing of such spaces, which will significantly enhance the quality of life for the residents, building upon the government’s assistance. In order to help the homeowners make their contribution towards the redevelopment, CDA has collaborated with the peer-to-peer lending platform Rang De to provide loans to the families. Contributions from like-minded and visionary individuals, organizations, and businesses will play a pivotal role in the construction of Phase 2 and in empowering the residents of Sanjaynagar.
Sandhya Naidu Janardhan, Managing Director, Community Design Agency, expressed gratitude to the supporters of Phase 1 construction and emphasised the significance of continued collaboration for Phase 2’s success. She said, “Community Design Agency has always made efforts to address climate change and support vulnerable communities. The positive impact of Phase 1 has been immense, and we are determined to continue this journey by creating even more sustainable housing solutions. We invite everyone who believes in our cause to join us in this endeavour by contributing towards the building of Phase 2. Whether through financial or in-kind support, including building materials, you can become a part of setting a new benchmark in affordable housing. Together, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of these communities.”