G5A at a glance

Soaib Grewal who has been associated with G5A foundation for past one and a half year, shares with us the objective, functioning and aims of the organization.

“The G5A foundation is an organisation that I have been involved with for the last year and half or so. It has a mixed function- on one side it is a center for contemporary culture concentrating on urbanism, new media and film (on similar lines as KHOJ). The routes of G5A lie in the Mohile Parikh Center.

On the other, they have a program called City Lab, with the mandate of creating a more liveable city. So this ranges from interventions in waste management, transportation efficiency, to stimulating micro economies. I was involved in the initial conceptualisation of CityLab and developing its strategic plan, alongside the G5A team and others such as Kalpana Sharma and Neera Adarkar. It is now run by a full time team of ex-planners, social workers and innovation folk, guided by an executive committee of which I too am a member. We are taking an urban design + innovation + community approach.

G5A is situated in Mahalakshmi, Mumbai, it falls in G (South) Ward. CityLab has adopted the ward as it’s space for experimentation, learning and interventions. We began a process of community relationship building about 1 year ago. This has been followed by a process of urban mapping using open GIS and key informant interviews to develop a basis and understand opportunities for interventions. This is currently happening across the ward, slums to high rises, mandi’s to the palladium mall, small shop owners to Mahindra & Mahindra- all part of our ward.

The work the team has conducted has already led to Waste management being chosen as the first area of intervention. Now further data related to WM (including data sets) will created and collected. We are looking at an interesting mix of ethnographic, GIS and quantitative. After which we will collaborate with other organisations to conduct interventions and move towards a reduced waste neighbourhood (they say zero waste).
The overarching idea is to create scalable and replicable solutions, and to create framework to apply in other wards.

Thankfully we have gotten some good support from local representatives and the BMC. I see a lot of room for collaboration moving forward if you decide to create a Civic Innovation Lab in Delhi as well. Website is under development but here is the FB page .”


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