Authors: Nayana R. Singh, Gaurav Singh
Traditional knowledge system embedded in the built heritage have very deep relationship of the built form with its setting, the scale of settlement and individual building as well as that of the building elements and their component. The natural diverse environment, climatic conditions, sociocultural and economic aspects enabled the inhabitants to modify and adapt the same in their built environments. The built environment of the hill regions of Uttarakhand is sustaining itself for centuries with the harsh natural conditions and responded well during the various disasters which hit the region and also developed disaster resilient buildings. This paper is an attempt to understand the built environment with the help of pilot studies of the rural areas of the Uttarakhand region. It is based on exhaustive studies from regional level to a habitable space. Various surveys were conducted which included socio-cultural and economic survey to understand community profile, spatial survey to assess the historic built fabric. Community feedback was taken to know their view on the built heritage constructed by their ancestors’ experiences and skills. The Data was collected through both formal and informal interviews and group discussions held with the elderly in Uttarkashi region of Uttarakhand, hence qualitative research approach was used. The various data collected helped in formulating the framework of guidelines for reducing disaster risk using traditional knowledge system by amalgamating it with today’s societal needs to produce disaster safe and comfortable habitats.
Keywords: Built environment, Hill settlement, Traditional knowledge system, Disaster risk reduction