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Writing Urban History

Dec 17-20, 2020

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Online Workshop


Indian cities have not really been understood with respect to their historical evolution. Often the information is patchy or is just not available. We, at CityLabs have started addressing this gap by conducting workshops on Indian Urban History. This third writing workshop helps Architects, Designers and Planners create a narrative around the Urban Histories of their own cities or any city of their choice.


Writing Urban History was a four-day intensive online workshop where the participants learnt to conceptualize and narrate the historical evolution of Indian cities using different mediums and frameworks. 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.


The workshop was conducted online between  17 - 20 December 2020.


An orientation session was conducted a week prior to introduce the subject to the participants and help them choose their cities. During the workshop, the participants were given daily theoretical inputs over video conferencing on key urban theories and were 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.


Pratyush Shankar, Dean of SEDA Navrachana University, Vadodara, India, is a practising 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

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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.

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