Recreating ‘Old’ Delhi's Historic Square – The Place Making of Chandni Chowk

Authors: Soma Sengupta*, Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi, Anjan Sen, Department of Geography, University of Delhi
Topics: Economic Geography, Tourism Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: Recreating Economic Spaces, Place Making, Place Positioning, Marketing Mix
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: 8210, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Chandni Chowk is a historic street of Shahjahanabad, the ‘Old’ walled city of Delhi, which was built in the 17th century by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. With the rise of Lutyen’s Delhi as the new capital of colonial British India in 1912, Shahjahanabad lost its pre-eminence, and Chandni Chowk lost its charm. Though, Chandni Chowk continues to fascinate the tourists for its product-specific streets and mouth-watering delicacies, the place has become a recipe of urban chaos. It combines an eternally congested streets round the day, lined with petty shops, hawkers, and houseless people, with solid waste strewn all around. The super-structure is poor and crumbling, and municipal services are virtually absent. The Town Hall remains a silent spectator of the bygone era. The present study utilizes the “place-making” approach to recreate the ‘old-world’ grandeur of Chandni Chowk that appeals to all. Place-making is a multi-faceted approach to planning, design and management of public spaces. It capitalizes on local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promotes people's health, happiness, and well-being. In the contemporary period, India has a long list of success stories, where historic centers were recreated, like Hazratganj in Lucknow, and Golden Temple Complex in Amritsar. The present study explores the possibilities of re-positioning “Chandni Chowk” in the minds of the visitors as a tourist-friendly, clean and organized, historic destination, a must visit place of Delhi. In this direction, a strategy was drawn by blending the elements of Marketing-Mix and Place Positioning.

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