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Certain cities or parts of a city are lost in the layers of history and fade away from public memory. However, many of such long-forgotten urban conditions are important because within them they are a repository of certain collective culture and consciousness. In this writing workshop, we will write episodical histories of such cities while emphasising key ideas or practices that defined them. The aim would be to create a narrative which can be quickly shared in the public domain.

This workshop is a part of a year-long series of workshops conducted under the narrative of CityLabs. Selected outcomes of this workshop will find their way to a book publication. The work produced in our previous workshops is being published as a 'Young Scholar Series' on Indian Urban History.

June 03-06, 2021

Online Workshop

Writing Urban History

The Lost Cities

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The workshop is scheduled to be conducted online between  03-06 June, 2021.

The fees for the workshop is 8000 INR.

This workshop is ideal for students and professionals from the field of Architecture, Planning, Design, Geography, History and Arts.


An orientation session will be conducted a week prior to introduce the subject to the participants and help them choose their cities. During this workshop, the participants will be given daily theoretical inputs over video conferencing on key urban theories and will be exposed to techniques and mediums they can use to narrate the urban histories of their selected cities in the best way possible. 


The workshop will end with each participant producing a publication/ dissemination ready presentation/ essay/ comic on the urban history of a city. Selected works from the workshop will be offered the opportunity to publish their writings in an edited volume and will be guided through the whole process by Prof. Pratyush Shankar.



Vaibhavi Dave is an architect from CEPT University, Ahmedabad. She has been co-ordinating CityLabs activities for many years and has been part of previous writing workshops. Her thesis looked at the idea of utopia as reflected in works of subsequent architects. She is interested in ideas of temporality and flexibility. In her latest writing, she explores the idea of a temporary city through the case of Kolkata. 

Pratyush Shankar, Dean of SEDA Navrachna University, Vadodara, India, is a practicing architect and academic. Previously an Adjunct Professor and Acting Dean at the Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University, he is also a Visiting Professor at TU Darmstadt, Germany, and was Senior Humboldt Fellow at University of Bonn, 2015-17. He has written the book Himalayan Cities and his forthcoming publication is titled “History of Urban Form” for Oxford University Press. He has been closely associated with the students and young professionals for over 2 decades. For more information log on to

Snigdha Srivastava is a conservation architect, graduate from SPA Delhi. She is interested in urban heritage, specifically from the point of view of architecture and the city. She has carried out extensive research on the city of Vadodara on works on Robert Chisholm and the larger idea of institute and formation of public places. She is also interested in imaginative fictions and is a ferocious reader.

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The CityLabs Editorial team is currently working on publishing selected works from the recent workshops guided by 

Prof. Pratyush Shankar. The participants’ work will be featured in an edited Anthology of Indian Urban History. The volume aims to bring together a group of young authors with different yet complementary approaches by the means of thought-provoking articles, drawings and critiques on Indian cities. The publication will serve as a commentary on the state of cities in present times.



Roots of Urban Scholarship

The Lost Cities: A Critical Perspective


Urban Theory & Frameworks

Creating Urban Narratives


Historicizing Early Cities

Historicizing The Indian Medieveal Cities


Colonial Intentions, Practices & Urban Form

Princely Modernities & Rise of Cities


The Questions of Modernity & Its Reaction

New Geography of Informational Cities

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