Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Legacy Department

Landscape Architecture

Advisor

Powers, Matthew

Committee Member

Nassar , Hala

Committee Member

Schurch , Thomas

Abstract

The Yamuna River has religious significance in India. Its landscape evolved based on the cultural philosophies of Hindus and Islam. The current rapid urbanization in India affects the river, resulting in utilitarian drain. This study recognizes that extensive contamination is harmful for the physical and the cultural values along the river. Therefore, a new plan for the design and management of the river is needed. To create new sustainable model, qualitative and quantitative methods were used in the conservation of both the intangible and the tangible values in the region. The 105 surveys responses and interviews from the residents of Agra illustrate that the contamination is causing social behavioral changes which are detrimental to the religious practices along the river. Moreover, this study highlights a lack of public participation during the design process through the analysis of three representative proposals developed by decision makers. Furthermore, their recommendations partially conflict with the residents' desires.
The proposed guidelines focus on three areas, the spiritual importance of the river, its architectural character, and the residents' concerns. The findings of this study have been applied to a site along the heritage district in Agra between Itmad-ud-Daula and Ram Bagh. This proposal is based on the urban conservation model inspired from design precedent studies. Overall, the results of this study are intended to resolve issues in the selected area as well as being replicable to all affected areas along the Yamuna River.

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