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CITY OBSERVER – JUNE 2021 ISSUE

Presenting the 13th issue of City Observer – UDC’s very own biannual journal on cities.

So far 2021 has been disorienting and hopeful and chaotic and enlightening. We have been witnessing a world of opposites, half of which is slowly emerging back to society and half which is drowning in the sea, that is this pandemic. The only constant in all of this dissonance has been the people who have found ways to fight this battle for both themselves and the world at large; be it taking a stand against systemic prejudice or standing up for one’s own mental health.

This is the tone this issue of City Observer sets with its stories of changing urban trends and stories of personal discovery – all of which are an attempt at navigating a lost world ridden and recovering from this pandemic.

We are deeply indebted to our contributors (listed here in alphabetical order) for sharing their views and voices with us.

Agnesa Thaci
Amin Aman
Anagha Devanarayanan
Chandrani Chakrabarti
Gouthaman Ekambaram
Lynn Azali
Maanasa Sivasankar
Mansi Shah
Minaz Ansari
Nakshi Shah
Namratha Aroor
Neha Krishnan
Ranjana Shah
Riya Chadha
Shruthi Ramesh
Shruti Shankar
Siddharth Sivakumar
Sunjana Thirumala Sridhar
Tyler Middendorf
Vidhya Mohankumar
Vidhya Venkatesan

Happy reading!
Over and out.

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PARTICIPATORY PLANNING IN AN ERA OF PHYSICAL DISTANCING

Participatory planning forms the heart and soul of our work at Urban Design Collective. The COVID 19 lockdown got us to rethink how we would do participatory planning while maintaining physical distancing. So we took the key steps of participatory planning that we engage with in our work extensively and arrived at a new toolbox to go about these steps. And because we want more of you to NOT give up on participatory planning, we are sharing our tool box with you.

This is an evolving tool box and is not by any means a complete list of options. As we prepare to get back to work, we hope to try out these options ourselves and continue to refine and add more to the list based on our experiences over the coming weeks and months.
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Are you crazy about Chennai? Do you call yourself a ‘Chennai Paithyam’?

If yes, here is a chance for you to locate what makes the idea of Chennai for you! Share with us your favourite/ secret spots in your neighbourhood that you treasure. Consider this as an opportunity to draw some attention to the places you love visiting in Chennai… the places that fill you up with warm memories!

Fill out this survey with your favourite Chennai restaurants, landmarks, beaches, buildings and more – and we’ll turn them into trail maps of Chennai. We’re using this survey as a tool to crowdsource information for a series of maps called ‘Chennai’s Roads Less Traveled‘.

CLICK HERE FOR SURVEY LINK

A little more about this project –
Chennai’s Roads Less Traveled is a mapping project that aims to unravel an alternate identity of Chennai by taking locals and tourists on a series of trails that help them discover hidden treasures of the city through public transport. These maps will be developed as a series of both web based and traditional maps.
We’re constantly updating this database too as we crowdsource responses. If you’d like to see what we have so far click here for the Google Maps link.

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If you’re in lock-down/ quarantine, perhaps this may serve as reading material?
City Observer is our biannual journal which aims to create a conversation on cities and to collaboratively interrogate our urban world.
Here is a link to download the full archive of 10 issues to date.

With many thanks to everyone who have made this possible-
Abinaya Rajavelu/ Adithya Rangarajan/ Adnan Nakhoda/ Ahmad El-Atrash/ Aishwarya Murari/ Aishwarya Soni/ Aiswarya Jayamohan/ Aithihya Ashok Kumar/ Ajeetha Ranganathan/ Akhila Suri/ Alexandra Cunningham/ Amita Gupta/ Anandit Sachdev/ Angel Khumalo/ Anish Deenadayalan/ Anita J/ Anitha Suseelan/ Ankie Petersen/ Ankit Bhargava/ Anpu Varkey/ Anu Karippal/ Anuj Malhotra/ Anuja Joshi/ Anup Naik/ Apoorva Deshpande/ Apurwa Kumbhar/ Archasm/ Archita Bandyopadhyay/ Arshiya Syed/ Arushi Chitrao/ Arvind Ramachandran/ Bhavna Thyagarajan/ Bobby Nisha/ Bose Krishnamachari/ Brenda Ceniceros/ Brinda Sastry/ Charlotte Sabouret/ Chelsea Gauthier/ Chirayu Bhatt/ Christa Reicher/ Debayan Chatterjee/ Devangi Ramakrishnan/ Devyani Gangopadhyay/ Divleena Singh/ Divya Chand/ Dory Estrada/ Eneida Berisha/ Erisa Nesimi/ Faizan Khatri/ Farha Irani/ Fiona Guerra/ Fleur Soumer/ Geeta Mehta/ Greena Joy Kallingal/ Hari Krishnan/ Hari Vardhan/ Harshita Jamba/ Hayley Gewer/ Himadri Das/ Idriss Madir/ Ieva Punyte/ Ishleen Kaur/ Jabulani Andries Mkhatshwa/ Jahnavi Aluri/ Jennifer van den Bussche/ Jiya Benni/ Joyant Taandon/ Karteek G/ Kasha Vande/ Katheeja Talha/ Kimberly Goes/ Kripa Kishore Ramachandran/ Kruti Shah/ Ksheeraja Padmanabhan/ Lakshmi Chaitanya Reddy/ Madhav Pai/ Mahesh Radhakrishnan/ Mansi Shah/ Mehdi Comeau/ Menna Mourad/ Monika Katharina Hagg/ Mrudula Koshy/ Naina Agarwal/ Namariq N. Alrawi/ Nandini Ramakuru/ Nasim Amini/ Naveen Mahanthesh/ Neeti Sivakumar/ Neha Krishnan/ Nicholas Falk/ Nirupama Vishwanath/ Nischal Buddhavarapu/ Nishant Lal/ Oliver Schetter/ Patty Heyda/ Pavithra Sriram/ Poornima Dasharathi/ Prasanna Rao/ Prathyusha Ravi/ Preeyambika Bagha/ Priyanka Sacheti/ Raquel Leonardo/ Rinan Shah/ Rohit Lahoti/ Rubaiya Nasrin/ Samar Al-Zwaylif/ Saptarshi Mitra/ Sareena Khemka/ Saritha Sudhakaran/ Sarveswaran Ganapathy/ Sebastian Trujillo/ Seetha Raghupathy/ Shail Joshi/ Shantala V/ Shantesh Kelvekar/ Shourya Dubey/ Shreya Gadepalli/ Shrividya Ravi/ Shruti Omprakash/ Shruti Shankar/ Shweta Sundar/ Siddhartha Joshi/ Sivagami Periannan/ Sneha Parthasarathy/ Srajana Kaikini/ Stephanie Fy/ Sunjana Thirumala Sridhar/ Suprima Joshi/ Taher Abdel-Ghani/ Tejashrii Shankarraman/ Thomas Oommen/ Tomas Degenaar/ Udhaya Vauhini/ Vani Herlekar Bhatt/ Vasu Sellamuthu/ Vidhya Mohankumar/ Vidhya Venkatesan/ Vidushi Agarwal/ Vijay Prabhat/ Vijayaraj Amirthalingam/ Vishakha Tiwari/ Vishal Ramprasad/ Wagdy Moussa/ Yashdeep Srivastava

Catch up on insights from around the world!
Happy reading. Stay safe.

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The Kannagi Nagar Postcard Project – A collaborative project with St+Art India Foundation

This February and March 2020, UDC engaged with the children of Kannagi Nagar in Chennai to create a series of postcards called ‘Games of Kannagi Nagar‘; each postcard is illustrated with a unique game played by the children of Kannagi Nagar.

Through this project, we collect personal positive stories from underrepresented communities and mail them to random people in different neighbourhoods within the same city to catalyze connections between people and neighbourhoods. The residents of Kannagi Nagar have shared fascinating stories and narratives from their lives – that have been written onto these postcards.

If you would like one of these postcards, fill in your details at this link.

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UDC is delighted to be part of an exhibition curated by Riyas Komu at Uru Art Harbour titled ‘Mattancherry’.
Everyone is invited!

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UDC’s ‘Where is YOUR Chennai?’ installation featured as part of the online platform of MoMA’s Uneven Growth exhibition!!!

Uneven Growth, the latest exhibition in MoMA’s Issues in Contemporary Architecture series addresses the increasingly inequitable urban development taking place in our cities as we move into a future that is two-thirds urbanized and shrinking on resources.
‘Where is YOUR Chennai?’ was accepted as an example of “tactical urbanisms”—temporary, bottom-up interventions that aim to make cities more livable and participatory. Visit this link to read more about it.

where-is-your-chennai

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UDC blog makes it to The Guardian’s best city blogs list!

The Guardian recently launched Guardian Cities, an online news hub for high-quality reporting, analysis, and debate about the challenges and opportunities our cities face in the 21st century. The Guardian Cities website is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. Urban Design Collective is thrilled to share space with other great city blogs from around the world! Visit the link for more info.

Guardian map