Eatsup- Food and the City

Hailing from a small town in Kerala, being  a  passionate foodie , my first fond memories of a city are the huge malls, pizzas and sizzlers which were once (until about 10 years ago) exclusive to only the metropolitan Indian cities. In fact I would always look forward to visiting my cousins who lived in …

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7 Steps for Urban Connect at Madurai

Cities EVOLVE. A place which had a specific moral yesterday can mean something else today and a different one tomorrow. No context stays static. It seeks manifestations that appropriate to its time and place. Having said that, are we acting conscious to those transformations? Has the progress our communities made created sensible reflections in our …

Women in Urban Space

Poverty is experienced differently according to gender, age, caste, class and ethnicity and within households. Poverty pushes you across geographical boundaries and the societal frames set by the same factors in order to survive. More often than others women tend to fall victim to the Burden from these discriminatory power relations in the society. The …

…joy of being lost #3/6

Throughout college, I had to travel from one end of the city to another. Avadi to Adayar every day. Peak time traffic was so bad that I used to get nightmares about being stuck for hours on a crowded bus with hardly room to breathe. That being said, sometimes I took the auto to reach …

The Romance in Abandonment

Melancholic tales from a system in despair Chennai has the distinction of having the first elevated Rapid transit system in the country, the MRTS (Mass Rapid Transit System). Born out of a transport study by the Metropolitan Transport Project in the 1980s, the MRTS was proposed as a 20 km elevated and on-grade railway corridor with …

Art and Urban Public Spaces #2/6

When I was in school, we were taken to the Egmore Museum for one-day picnics four times in as many years. Four times! I absolutely hated it. Even as a kid, I didn't quite get the idea of piling all art under one roof and deliberately spending a whole day to see them. Naturally our …

Open Streets, Bangalore

Last Sunday saw MG Road in Bangalore transform from a noisy thoroughfare to a lively, bustling public space, free from cars and traffic. 'Open Streets' , orgranised by Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT) and Bangalore coalition for Open Streets, was a landmark event in Bangalore's struggle for pedestrian friendly streets. Parking lots were replaced …

When was the last time you played on the streets?

When was the last time you played on the streets in front of your home with your neighbours?  Many of us don’t have an answer – because we have never gotten a chance to do so. We say it’s because of the shifting culture and society where congregations, meetings, gatherings are happening in a virtual world. But …

… Charm of Timeless Spaces #1/6

A couple of years ago, a friend and I were part of a competition that questioned the notion of a "public space" in a city in the year 2099. What made it interesting was the fact that we had to understand how a city would change in the future, plot our predictions and design a …

Amanda Burden: TED Talk

So, this semester in college, we did an interesting study on Placemaking and Public Spaces, as part of our design of a Civic Centre in Kanchipuram, a temple town in South India. And the highlight of that particular study was this TED Talk by Amanda Burden, New York’s Chief city planner. She begins by emphasizing how a …