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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 define 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.

May 16-19, 2024

Online Workshop

Writing Urban History

The Lost Cities 2.0


The workshop is scheduled to be conducted online between  16-19 May 2024.

The fee for the workshop is 7000 INR.

This workshop is ideal for students and professionals in Architecture, Planning, Design, Geography, History, and Arts.


An orientation session will be conducted a week before 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 videoconferencing 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 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 a Senior Humboldt Fellow at the University of Bonn, 2015-17. He has written the book Himalayan Cities and his recent publication  “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 has published selected works from the recent workshops guided by Prof. Pratyush Shankar, now available on Amazon.

The participants’ work is featured in an edited Anthology of Indian Urban History. The volume brings together a group of young authors with different yet complementary approaches by means of thought-provoking articles, drawings and critiques of Indian cities. The publication serves 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

Dhruv Raja is a social researcher with expertise in qualitative methods, with 3 years of experience as a multidisciplinary urban researcher and architect. His work centres on social exclusion, inequalities and politics of urban spaces. He obtained MSc in City Design and Social Science at LSE, specialising in the impacts of social differences on urban segregation in India.

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