top of page

Impacts of micro infrastructure on sustainable urban regeneration

in the context of India based on the coexistence between human and local animals


The globe has been promoting sustainable development. India, as a super developing country, its sustainable urban development in local metropolitans and cities that could serve as a useful model or pioneer for worldwide sustainable development. There have been several debates based on various viewpoints concerning the core objective of sustainable urban construction: carbon-neutral architecture, green regeneration, brownfield rehabilitation, urban ecological reconstruction, etc. Humans are the present major users of urban areas, while our harmonious coexistence and symbiosis with local species are largely undervalued, whereas urban micro-renewal is closely connected to this issue. This article relies on India, a massive emerging country with unique humanistic traits and a significant position in the global strategic development process. Discuss and investigate the impact of the micro-infrastructure intervention on animal-human interactions and symbiosis in urban street public space, as well as the improvements it brings to sustainable human habitation. In addition, this research intends to use India as an example to discuss the design methodology and expand the outcome to broader regions of the globe. The research enhances public interactions and services through micro-infrastructure design, enhancing local inhabitants' quality of life, fostering the bond between people and animals, and having a larger influence. Cities may optimize resource utilization with the aid of urban bio-symbiosis.

Keywords: Micro infrastructure; Street Quality; co-existence; Machine Learning; Street View Image; urban micro-regeneration.

1. Introduction

Recent human history has been characterized by rapid urbanization, with 56% of the world's population anticipated to reside in cities by 2021, and 70% by 2050. Concepts of sustainable urban development and its significance in preserving the quality of the urban environment are increasingly recognized in contemporary urban approaches. (Carter, 2018).

Contemporary urban approaches are concerned and concepts such as sustainable urban development and its value in maintaining the quality of the urban environment are increasingly recognized. (Lak, 2021) Thus, different approaches such as urban regeneration, renaissance, redevelopment, renewal, and rejuvenation have been proposed to revive and restore the urban environment.(Jabareen, 2006; Jenks, 2000; Lee, 2011) Which, the definition of Sustainable Urban Regeneration (SUR) is to build up a sustainable built environment by means of utilizing greenways, park systems, and ecological networks in micro and mesoscale. (Ahern, 1995; Fábos, 2004; R.L. Ryan, 2006; Turner, 2006)

This paper examines how micro-infrastructure can be locally adapted into the fabric of urban public space, influencing the behavioral habits and ecologically sustainable way of thinking of the target users, and thereby actively contributing to urban quality enhancement from the bottom up. It uses the example of micro-infrastructure (intervention) design adapted to the current situation and characteristics of urban streets in India, incorporating the use of recyclable materials. The project offers a reference that is meant to encourage the development of low-energy, eco-friendly and sustainable buildings.

The project presented in this paper is created as a research output of the aforementioned concept, with the following goals in mind: offering a fresh viewpoint on eco-infrastructure investment in the context of Indian urban life; advocating a humanistic perspective on site-specific design, and through this, guiding human behavior and autonomous sustainable thinking in a way that is integrated into the local city, and emphasizing micro-infrastructure interventions in urban nuances to broaden our understanding of urban life.

2. Methodology

This study used a hybrid approach combining bibliometric and visual analysis (Wang, 2021). For the bibliometric analysis, data were extracted in CSV and plain text file formats from the Web of Science (WoS) database from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2019. WoS, produced by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and maintained for analysis by Clarivate, is also known for being a comprehensive and high-quality source of data for bibliometric analysis in science and technology. For the purpose of this study, a network of scientific core collection databases was selected. The search strategy used to retrieve sustainable urban renewal; habitat ecology data is shown in Table 2. The search strings were chosen so that they would cover every title that contained, in whole or in part, terms related to sustainable urban renewal. Search fields were set to article titles, keywords, or abstracts only when searching from the WoS database.

Table 1:

This paper provides insights into ecologically sustainable topics and the field of urban regeneration using bibliometric analysis and content analysis with Indian cities as the geographical context. This was done by evaluating 352 relevant documents identified from the Web of Science database. CiteSpace was used to analyze the data and visualize the results. The study is holistic and explores the diversity of existing research related to the study area on the basis of several parameters. The study identifies prolific authors, documents, sources, institutions, and countries, as well as influential keywords. The study provides valuable information on the focus of previous research in the field and on the topics of interest by identifying research clusters. Results and analysis can be found in figure 1 and 2. The two analysis charts present multiple conclusions, and the authors extracted some of the most relevant terms and summarized their main conclusions associated with the charts. Additionally, from the burst chart (figure 1), three more phenomenon can be observed: 1) The dominant keyword shifted from "top-down" macro supervision to a micro perspective centered on human experience and community organization; 2) The humanistic perspective continues to be an important influencing factor, which supports the perspective of this paper; 3) Urban ecology and sustainability are fragile, and the active participation of residents will be a powerful driver to change this situation.

Figure 1: top 14 keywords with the strongest citation bursts
Figure 2: Citation co-relation and frequency

Table 2: conclusion from the result in figure 2

In the previous studies of the author, three-dimensional fragmental green interventions in sidewalks were introduced to a European town to analyze the ecological reconstruction and green intervention capacity in the context of the city Pécs. The results corroborate the potential of micro-interventions targeting ecological reconstruction and greening interventions in one type of urban public space, which is the street. In this paper, the research also attempts to explore harmonious ecological reconstruction and sustainable lifestyle guidance from the perspective of human-animal urban symbiosis in the Indian urban context from the perspective of micro-interventions. It is an attempt to explore small but easily integrated infrastructural interventions into the established street organization, extending the interventions to achieve broad applicability and civic acceptance without conflicting with local habitat characteristics.

This study considers and analyzes the specific problems of Indian streets in the context of worldwide initiatives that address multidimensional sustainability issues and the local human characteristics of India. Based on the findings of the analysis, the research responds to the question of sustainable urban space development from the perspective of human-animal urban interaction and symbiosis in India in the form of design outcomes.

A large number of high-traffic streets in Indian cities are characterized by the simultaneous use or occupation of streets by pedestrians, non-motor vehicles, motor vehicles, vendors, and animals. One of the keys that set Indian cities apart from many other countries is the common presence of stray animals. Indian streets are home to a large number of mammals that share the public space of urban streets with people, including, most notably, stray dogs and cats, herds of monkeys, and tumultuous cows, which have a high religious status in the region. In the urban street space, these animals share the use of the road with humans, but their unregulated nature, which is significantly higher than human activity, poses a major challenge for further sustainable street management.

The results of the design of a human-animal urban symbiosis micro-infrastructure adapted to Indian characteristics. The analysis responds to the conclusions drawn in the previous chapter, describing the various points and considerations in the design.

3. adaptive micro-infrastructure intervention design results

3.1. General Description

The design is oriented as an interventional micro-infrastructure that is highly adaptive for less developed neighborhoods in urban India. In terms of application, its first purpose is to play an active role in the ecological sustainability of the neighborhoods concerned in the Indian urban context, by encouraging active human participation in the interaction and symbiosis with urban animals. And as discussed earlier, it further aims to explore the wide range of applications of both micro-infrastructure interventions in cities and urban symbiosis between humans and animals. Its strong adaptability and sustainability can be categorized into humanitarian, functional, and environmental aspects.

3.2. Characteristics in the humanity perspective

India, according to the background studies, is a very diverse country in every sense of the word. This includes differences in lifestyles and mindsets due to fundamental factors such as ethnicity, nationality, religion, and general culture. In the concept of the symbiosis of human-animal interaction in the city, which is the focus of this paper, the older and less developed neighborhoods of India's large cities keep greater importance, as these sites have so far inevitably fallen victim to the planning of developed neighborhoods rather than being areas of potential. The research focused on the street composition (figure 3) of such neighborhoods, the forms of street vendors, and the types of animals commonly found on the streets. The main three types of animals are cows, monkeys, and dogs, for which the design was made to be compatible in terms of sheltering and feeding stray animals. The integration of street vendors, in addition to sheltering and feeding, is one of the ways in which the design intervenes in the urban street, thereby involving individual facilities in the human activities of the area.

Figure 3: typology study of Indian urban street compositions
Figure 4: Axonometry of the design in use

3.3. Answers in the functional aspect

As a micro-infrastructure that serves the ecological sustainability of the city, the design tries to maximize the cycle of its use based on the enrichment of its functions. The basic functions of a single micro-infrastructure include a feeding trough at the top, a waste collection area in the middle, and an animal holding section at the bottom. The height of the feeding trough is consistent with the general height of interaction between cattle and monkeys, and the animal holding area is differentiated in size to accommodate the size of different species of animals while being aesthetically pleasant. The garbage collection area is in the form of a grid, which makes it easy to insert waste packages and avoid hidden dirt at the same time. Such a functional setting is convenient for pedestrians to collect a large amount of recyclable packaging waste directly when feeding or passing by. At the same time, a more fixed feeding place is also easy for people and animals to find and use. In addition, based on the above exploration of human customs perspective, the top feeding chute can be replaced with a flat surface suitable for stalls, which is the rectangular version, as a way to further integrate into the local street environment(figure 4).

3.4. Adaptability of intervention locations

As in many cities around the world, economic and urban development has led to a diverse quality of street environments in cities. The difference is that India's multi-ethnic and multi-religious character and the accompanying disparity between rich and poor and the heterogeneity of neighborhood development have resulted in some of India's major cities, such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, having areas of extreme wealth and poverty in the city, as well as areas where the two types of areas meet. The design achieves the universality of this micro-facility intervention by extracting the fixed elements common to the street - namely trees and stalls. Based on the three basic functions of feeding, packaging waste collection, and animal shelter, the design extends two forms to fit into the various environments of the street. The angled version is suitable for the trees on both sides of the road, while the rectangular version is suitable for the sidewalk and can be combined with stalls as part of the street's economic and cultural ecology.

4. Conclusion

This study explores the adaptive capacity of micro-infrastructures in response to human characteristics and their responsibility in ecological sustainability through practical design from the perspective of micro-infrastructure interventions in urban streets in India. The adaptive capacity is achieved through human-sensitive and built environment-sensitive design, while the ecologically sustainable responsibility is achieved by guiding the active interaction and orderly symbiosis between people and various animals in the street.

The micro-infrastructure designed in this study intends to develop a design model in the context of India where the human environment and the ecology of urban streets are very distinctive. This model will facilitate the analysis of design ideas and elements within the three concepts of micro-infrastructure, urban intervention, and ecological sustainability, and will be applied to other cities and regions around the world. It is expected that the results will provide detailed insights into the future of research in this particular field and provide new directions for further research in this evolving field.




ZHAO Tianyu is an accomplished architect and a DLA (doctor in liberal art) degree holder in Architecture. She is now a lecturer at the Hubei University of Technology in China, teaching environmental design and architectural design. She had a 9-year professional and systematic architectural education background at the University of Pécs, Hungary. The major scopes of her research are public space planning, neighborhood design, resilient urban spaces, and corresponding architectural and infrastructure design.

Dr. ZHAO joins a Hungary-based carbon-neutral brownfield rehabilitation project, which plays a leading role in public space design and master planning. She is also an accomplished writer and has published several articles in international academic journals and conferences on her major scopes. Her research and design concept stands with the well-being of inhabitants and looks at the future resilience of urban life.

LI Xiaonan is a Junior Consultant and assists ABUD in the company’s research endeavors. She studied architecture in BME 7 years ago and she is doing PhD study on urban regeneration at Marcell Breuer Doctoral School. Xiaonan’s creativity is visible in all her work and her diverse interests led her to become a teaching tutor at her alma mater.



Ahern, J. (1995). Greenways as a planning strategy. Landscape and Urban Planning, pp. 131-155.

Carter, L. (2018). Ethical engagement for research partnerships and collaboration. pp. 49-53.

Fábos, J. (2004). Greenway planning in the United States: its origins and recent case studies. Landsc. Urban Plan.,, pp. pp. 321-342.

Jabareen, Y. (2006). Sustainable urban forms. pp. 38-52.

Jenks, M. (2000). Acceptability of Urban Intensification. 2Achieving Sustainable Urban Form, pp. 242–250.

Lak, A. (2021). Towards a framework for driving sustainable urban regeneration with ecosystem services. p. 105736.

Lee, T. (2011). The Role of Green Infrastructure in Urban Regeneration: A Case Study from Taipei.

R.L. Ryan, J. F. (2006). Understanding opportunities and challenges for collaborative greenway planning in New England. Landsc. Urban Plan, pp. pp. 172-191,.

Turner, T. (2006). Greenway planning in Britain: recent work and future plans. Landsc. Urban Plan, pp. 240-251.

Wang, H. (2021). Collaborative decision-making for urban regeneration: A literature review and bibliometric analysis. Land Use Policy, p. 105479.

bottom of page