Cities on Rails: A User-Centric Exploration role of the Railways in the Indian Urban System
Commissioned by the Forum of Mobile Lives, SNCF, Paris
February – October 2012
This study seeks to understand the interface of railway networks and urban forms in regions outside the metropolis. The first phase focuses on the Konkan railway, a line connecting Mumbai to its coastal region along Maharashtra and Karnataka, passing through Goa. Just twenty years in operation, this railway provides us with a unique opportunity to actually see urban systems forming as stations take root, connect with others along the coast and the hinterland. We see urban systems as networks of villages and towns, with the movement of people and goods providing the needed economic lifeline. The study includes a theoretical examination of the idea of urban systems being the organizing logic of vast territories otherwise classified as ‘rural’. The output will come in the form of a report and an exhibition.
Mahila Housing Trust And The Lambha Project, Ahmedabad: Partnering with the Private Sector: Experience, Learning and Recommendations
Commission by Lafarge Affordable Housing Initiative, Mumbai
Mahila Housing Trust (MHT) is a sister organization of the Self Employed Woman Association (SEWA), a trade union with 1 million members in India. MHT has been involved in slum upgrading projects and pro-poor advocacy since 1994. Recently, MHT decided to build affordable housing for SEWA members. In order to do so it partnered with a private developer. This study documents that project and propose ways in which such partnerships between private players and non-profit organizations can be strengthened. Bottom of the pyramid market, affordable housing, social enterprise, collaborative development and philanthropy are some of the key themes investigated in the study.
microHomeSolutions: Context, practice and perspectives
Commissioned by microHomeSolutions, New Delhi
February – April 2011
This study looks at the workings of an innovative social enterprise to intervene in the field of urban development by working directly with clients building or re-building homes in re-settlement colonies in Delhi. mHS, in partnership with a micro-finance company, combined a market-driven approach with social concern to evolve a sustainable way to improve structures, build afresh using sound principles and provide architectural input. This difficult task required much thinking and strategizing. This study is part of this process. It includes a close examination of client relations, context of neighbourhoods and building processes in a few Delhi neighbourhoods. It also includes suggestions for new intervention strategies for increasing the impact of the project.
The Public Beach of Eaux-Vives in the urban context of Geneva
Under the direction of Dr. Luca Pattaroni of the Laboratory of Urban Sociology (LASUR) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne. Commissioned by the State Government of Geneva.
This study looks at one of the major urban projects in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. The government, which is planning to create a 3.5 hectares public beachfront along the lake, has asked the Laboratory of Urban Sociology (LASUR) to analyze the relevance of the project in the context of the urban development of Geneva, a city which is the economic and cultural heart of one of the most dynamic region in Europe. This study looks at the role of public space in a social context where the time for leisure has vastly increased, and where new forms of interactions are redefining both work and play time and space. It ends with recommendations on the design and program of the new beach as well as the participation of the public in the definition of the project.
Arts Education: The Kali Kalisu Project in Karnataka
Commissioned by India Foundation for the Arts
January – July 2010
This study looks at arts-education practices in villages and towns in the state of Karnataka. The idea was to review the specific initiative that the foundation had commissioned and envisaged in collaboration with the state government. The initiative included the organizing of workshops inviting artists and arts personnel to interact with teachers in school and thus act as a catalyst for enhancing arts activities in those schools. For us the study provided an opportunity to enter into the landscape of urban systems in Karnataka, understand its pedagogic issues as understood by its teachers, look at creativity as an essential ingredient in learning, examine why it is faced by resistance and what can we do to make it integral to institutional practices.