University of Edinburgh: Community Participation Scoping Project

at the AJC Bose Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah, and environs

Plan of the Botanic Garden, September 1816. Settlements can be seen around the north and west boundaries.  Credit: Botanical Survey of India

The University of Edinburgh, Scotland has undertaken a study titled ‘Community Participation Scoping Project’ (CPSP) in partnership with the Asia Scotland Trust (AST), and Neeta Shubhrajit Das Associates (NSDA), Kolkata. The Architecture and Urban Design Academy (AUDA) is also involved with the project as a key collaborator. The CPSP is seen as one compilation of a series of academic, documentation, and sensitization exercises that will lead to a greater understanding of what might constitute a vision to be framed as a Regeneration and Ecological Framework Plan (REFP) for the AJC Bose Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah.


The briefing document for AUDA has been prepared as part of the collaboration on the CPSP study and a first scoping exercise undertaken by students from Jadavpur all as part of the sensitisation work of the CPSP.  The Urban Design course, run by AUDA but which will involve the partners of the CPSP, is now filled with 23 students from India, Germany, Mexico, Indonesia, USA, Philippines, Peru, Malaysia and Ecuador.  They will be sub-divided into groups each studying one of the 5 x edges to the Botanical Gardens.

In parallel with these ongoing academic investigations there are two further important strands of the CPSP which are also currently progressing:

  • an intensive study of the many and varied aspects of the Botanical Gardens has begun following the recent appointment of 11 Interns from varying professional disciplines including Architecture, Landscape, Biology, History, Management, Social Science and Urban Design. Working under the direction of NSDA, the BSI and UoE, a detailed summary of all findings will be prepared and presented by the relevant individuals in the Botanical Gardens in Howrah on completion of the project in June 2021.
  • to explore and better develop an understanding of the Khidderpore and Garden Reach areas directly across the River Hooghly from the Botanical Gardens, a heritage walk has been organised entitled the 'Garden Reach Tour' which is being led by CPSP project collaborator and Kolkata based ‘FunonStreets’ (This is currently suspended due to Covid).


The CPSP is a purely academic research exercise that will result in the preparation of a Report. The Report will be available to all parties who have an interest in the revitalisation of the AJC Bose Botanical Gardens Environment.

"Arrangements in Progress for the completion of improvements in the Hon. Company's Botanic Garden according to William Griffith, 15th November 1846." Credit: Botanical Survey of India

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