India Journal: Critical Conservation Reports, Day 5

Noor Boushehri, Maria Letizia Garzoli, Elad Horn, Yunjie Li, Marcus Goodwin and Jane Philbrick, all first-year Masters of Design Studies Critical Conservation students, joined the Loeb Fellows and GSD colleagues in Agra, India, for Rahul Mehrotra's Extreme Urbanism: Planning for Conservation option studio. The LOEBlog is featuring their impressions from the trip. 

The garden of Mahtab Bagh–Moon Garden–completes the grand plan of the Taj Mahal Mausoleum. According to legend, Mahtab Bagh was to be the site of a Black Taj, where Shah Jahan would be buried opposite his beloved wife Mumtaz.  The Black Taj was never built but a beautiful octagonal fountain sits in its place, providing the opportunity to enjoy the Taj from the riverside, as originally accessed by Emperor Shah Jahan.

Kachpura’s Mughal Heritage Walk highlights one of numerous adjacent communities that reside within the 100-meter protected zone of Agra’s Mughal-era monuments and riverfront gardens.  Infrastructure investment underway addresses the subsistence-and-below levels of chronic poverty suffered by adjacent communities. Improvements include pilot implementation of the cost-efficient Dewat bio-remedial waste water treatment system to upgrade open effluence channels without displacing community residents.

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