The ‘Fluid Commons’ is a network of speculative interventions designed around water in the productive landscapes of the disputed Kashmir valley in the northern Himalayas. The project uses the idea of creating the commons as a counter narrative to institutional approaches to natural resource management, and the ensuing disruption of centuries-old practices of living in this fluvial ecosystem. Situated against the ideas of “environmental care” and “conservation” proposed in the recently drafted masterplan for the city of Srinagar, (capital of Jammu and Kashmir) to make it part of a growing tourist economy, the project builds on historical accounts of tacit knowledge practices and self-organising production systems that underpin the region’s socio-economic and cultural landscape. These local knowledge and productive practices serve as anchors for a network of interventions that act as potential catalysts for recalibrating and re-establishing links between people and landscape, culminating in the formation of a new autonomous productive network based on ideas of stewardship, maintenance, and care. This project aims to add to current research on issues of urbanisation and climate change in the understudied ecological context of the Himalayas by looking at the water systems and productive landscapes they support.
Architecture; Commons; Himalayas; Jammu and Kashmir; Water Urbanism
Chi, Lily H.
Kudva, Neema; Weber, Anne Loftin
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis