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Building back better: A Deep Dive into the Chandni Chowk Redevelopment Project

Chandni Chowk was one of the important streets in the walled city of Shahjahanabad. It was so named because the moonlight (chandni, in Hindi) would reflect on the waters of a canal that ran through it. Throughout the Mughal, Colonial, and post-independence India, Chandni Chowk remained a bustling marketplace and the beating heart of Purani Dilli (Old Delhi). But over time, this historic thoroughfare turned into a highly chaotic and complex street, where two-wheelers, cars, cycle rickshaws and hand carts competed for right of way with pedestrians.

The Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) started the Chandni Chowk Redevelopment Project with a vision to bring back the lost glory this street and the pedestrians enjoyed in the past. It intends to make it a “great street” by facilitating:

  • Pedestrian-oriented street design,
  • Equipped underground utilities, and
  • Enhanced user experience while showcasing the rich heritage and culture of Chandni Chowk.

This is a dream come true for the authorities and the local residents and traders, who have been waiting for 15 years for the project to complete.

Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) will share insights about the inception of the project and how it transformed the big ideas into a tangible reality.

The Streets For All team of World Resources Institute India will talk about their role of working on improving mobility in Shahjahanabad and guiding the SRDC team to conduct stakeholder engagement and design reviews over the last four years.

Designers from Pradeep Sachdeva Design Associates (PSDA) will walk us through their ongoing urban design work at Chandni Chowk and the complex processes involved in transforming designs into reality.


  • Nitin Panigrahi, Deputy General Manager, Project and Administration, SRDC, Govt of NCT of Delhi
  • Vidya Tongbram, Associate Architect, PSDA
  • Gautam Sachdeva, Associate Architect, PSDA
  • Priyanka Sulkhlan, Manager, Streets for All, WRI India
  • Moderated by: Rohit Tak, Manager, Urban Transport and Road Safety, WRI India

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