On the 11th and 12th of June 2014, the India Platform and its stakeholder NP Bridging visited Pune, and had meetings as a part of building a research cluster on the scientific study of cities, urban planning and urban development in India and Europe.
Description: Five meetings took place as a part of building a research cluster on the scientific study of cities, urban planning and urban development in India and Europe. The Belgian architect-urbanist Sarah Melsens is going to coordinate this research cluster from the city of Pune in Maharashtra. The first meeting was with the director and principal-in-charge of the private architecture and interior design school BRICK. They are planning to set up a research centre that would feed into their educational programmes and expressed their interest to cooperate with India Platform in this regard. In the second meeting, we met the director and the urban design coordinators of Janwani, an important NGO in Pune that has the aim of transforming Pune into the best city to live and work in India. They engage in small-scale research projects on waste management and local area planning in Pune. During a third meeting with the director of the National Insitute of Advanced Studies in Architecture (NIASA), we agreed to collaborate on the building of the research cluster and linking it to a select number of architecture and urban planning schools and institutions in different parts of India. NIASA will identify the relevant partners and people who are interesting to work with to build the research cluster. Finally, we met with the director and associate director of Associated Space Designers, an urban planning company that designed two model townships in the Pune area. They found the idea of the research cluster very interesting and also want to be involved.
Relevance: The building of the research cluster for the scientific study of cities will allow the India Platform to help introduce research culture into a series of higher education institutions in different parts of India. The aim is to involve a number of current faculty of these institutions, who are already interested in scientific research in these areas.
Participants: Ajay Vaidya (architect+urban designer, teacher at BRICK School of Architecture); Pooja Misal (executive director BRICK School of Architecture) and Poorva Keskar (Principal in Charge BRICK School of Architecture); Vishal Jain (Director of the NGO Janwani); Shruti Vaishampayan and Tejas Joshi (Urban design coordinators of the NGO Janwani); Jayashree Deshpande (NIASA, National Institute of Advanced Studies in Architecture); Malay Deshmukh (associate director, Associated Space Designers pvt. ltd.); Prakash Deshmukh (founding director, Associated Space Designers pvt. ltd.); Rahil Bhayani (architect Associated Space Designers pvt. ltd., researcher on pilgrimage towns); Sarah Melsens (architect-urbanist, Coordinator Maharashtra, India Platform); Jakob De Roover (India Platform).