With Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and planning (GSAPP), Columbia University, New York City, USA for conducting two successive workshops on a) the Creative economy and ecosystem of Kolkata Wetlands, west Bengal and b) ‘Water Urbanism project in the historic City of Varanasi.

1.Interview with the organizers of the Rethinking Water Urbanism in Varanasi


Internship, Workshop and Outreach

The internship involved participating in a semester-long Urban Design studio of M.S. in Architecture & Urban Design Program (MSAUD) at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) titled ‘Water Urbanism in Varanasi’. It was held over the Spring Semester of 2018, i.e. from January till May.

The overarching theme for the studio was as follows: ‘How water can be at the core of urban management strategies and planning?’ It was further expanded to explore how traditionally run community-based water management of inland water-bodies in the city of Varanasi had ensured better water infrastructure in earlier times, as compared to the prevailing system of water supply singularly drawing from rivers. In other words, how locally-evolved-yet-informal community-based urban management systems have ensured sustainability in organically grown old Indian cities like Varanasi.

At the outset, grounded field-work was conducted between Jan. 5th-13th, 2018 in Varanasi, India. It had engaged a team of about 50 students from three institutes - IIT Kharagpur, Columbia University, and IIT Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi. Student-groups had explored city-transects starting from the river-bank and extending up to about 1 or 2 km inland. It included reconnaissance survey, spot-interviews with people, discussions with local experts and city administrators. Groups had looked into the role of locally developed community-based networks / systems and their involvement in shaping public places in the city.