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Enriching Urban Planning, Design and Architecture Education in India to Meet Urban Resilience Challenges

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 25/10/2021
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

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“Enriching Urban Planning, Design and Architecture Education in India to Meet Urban Resilience Challenges” was a virtual roundtable organised by the Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), Building Resilience in Urban Communities (BREUCOM) and School and Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi.

Dr. Tandon stated that there is a need for an inclusive approach in Urban Planning, Design and Architecture Education in India. Cities can be restrictive of opportunities for those who are part pf informal economy arrangements. He asked: how can we deal with imperative of inclusion?

Within the round table discussion, the panelists shared how one integral element is the planning and architecture curriculum in HEIs. A substantive shift needs to come from invisibly making its presence within the curriculum to making terminology of informality visible.

The dominant model of planning and architecture education that is catering to a middle class, elite section of society. The same goes to relation of planning as well; within that we think of the informals, but the reality is opposite.  Informality is in fact dominant in our urban centres, yet formality manipulates and dominates its way through. Formal planning is more informal that informality itself. We need to reverse this paradigm and clearly acknowledge that our cities are informal; in architecture, can there be spaces where resilience is practiced as a life project as building habitats, houses. We need to create cities which are at peace with themselves.

What is the theoretical understanding of what planning or architecture can do? We have to enlarge range of expertise or understandings of knowledge nearing citizens- both socially and environmentally. Can we build our curriculum around what is really in our cities looking at content and pedagogy. We also need to think of how professional needs can be integrated- the issue of clients. How to enable professionals to work as professionals and creating demand. Is there a consciousness of the kind of client we need?

We need to build trust and ownership among students. In addition, we dont use traditional knowledge enough. We also need to inculcate collaborative efforts and see it as service of society. Finally we need to do a historical analysis of why our planning went wrong.

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