Cities are colourful places where diverse people live together. They are social spaces of coming together, they are industrial and economic spaces for work and livelihood; they are spaces for art and culture. They are places of refuge for people with great longing and places for lost dreams. Cities have structure and yet are subject to chaos; they are characterized by strength and resilience and yet are vulnerable to the forces of nature.Cities are our home. They are spaces in which we move mechanically, but which at the same time open up great potential for creative freedom. They are spaces that we use, exploit, appreciate or ignore. Spaces in which we come together with familiar faces and strange figures to exchange ideas, to learn about new perspectives and ways of life, to grow. At the same moment, our cities continue to grow inexorably.
Finding new waysBut how can we make the city's spaces more socially friendly and attractive? How can we come together safely in public places in times of the pandemic? How can we make our cities more climate-friendly and sustainable? What is our vision of a liveable city?
Our "Urban Spaces" project revolved around precisely these questions. In lectures, discussions and workshops, participants interactively learned about the challenges and opportunities of modern urban design and together found solutions for better coexistence. Topics such as architecture, sustainability, social spaces, public art, photography and much more were addressed.
With our final conference in December 2021 we not only presented the products and results from our workshops, but also gave further impulses and worked together interactively on solutions for a better living together.
To get an insight, you can have a look at the pictures.
Our project offered a variety of interesting events such as lectures, workshops and discussion panels. To get an overview, you are welcome to have a look at our events.
© Goethe-Institut What comes to your mind when you think about your own city? Which emotions come up? Which attributes would you link with your city?
As part of our Urban Spaces project, we invited you to participate in our creative video campaign. You sent us great videos. Thank you very much.
You can watch the final video by scrolling down the main Urban Spaces site.
Public spaces are the kit of a city. It is where we meet our fellow human beings, where we exchange ideas, where we leave our isolation and transform ourselves from individuals into communities. But how can we make these public spaces fair? How can we create accessibility for all? And what does a safe public space look like in the post-Corona city?
We developed approaches to these questions in a roundtable discussion between three countries: India, Germany and Bangladesh. Three countries whose urban culture seems to differ greatly at first glance. But what commonalities can we find and how can we learn from each other?
Our guests were Prof. Dr. Astrid Ley from the University of Stuttgart, Brinda Somaya from Mumbai, Prof. Durganand Balsavar from Chennai and Saif Ul Haque from the Bengal Institute of Architecture in Bangladesh. The discussion will be led by Arunava Dasgupta, Head of Urban Design at the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi.
What is the potential role and processes for architecture in community building?
Deep in the heart of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is the architecture and design studio Paraa. Here, young, ambitious architects and designers are working on their own vision: a commercially sustainable studio that first focuses on the rights and desires of the respective community, examining traditional methods, social and economic conditions before a project can be realized.
Paraa’s approach to design, collaboration and working in different vulnerable urban neighbourhoods in Dhaka was introduced to us by the director and co-founder of the studio Ruhul Abdin in his lecture.
Is there a need for a shared city?
Public spaces are essential for a city. They are the places where we meet our fellow human beings, where we exchange ideas. They are places of entertainment and diversity. Here we meet each other on an equal footing. But what actually characterizes a public space? What are its challenges but also its opportunities? And how can we safely meet other people in public places even in times of pandemic?
This is what Prof. Dr. Frank Eckardt from the Bauhaus University in Weimar presented in his lecture "Public Space for all - the need for a shared city".
Together with Reuben Abraham, CEO of the IDFC Institute in Mumbai, we explored the topic of "cities" and took a look in particular at India, where cities are growing faster and more uncontrollably than in other corners of the world.
Through a PechaKucha - lecture the photographer Nipun Prabhakar showed us what happens after the architect has finished her work and Stefan Signer from the Bauhaus University Weimar dedicated himself to public spaces and creative solutions for a better design.
Furthermore, our workshops and speakers were presented and the winners of our writing competition were chosen.
We are very happy that we received more than 100 literary texts. The winner of our writing contest is Rito Chakraborty, who wrote a fantastic text about Mumbai and Delhi.
You can read his text here: "My confounded love affair"
We organized creative workshops about dream cities in selected schools and presented the outcomes at our final conference in December.
The conference took place on 18.12.2021 in New Delhi and was especially aimed at students and all those who were involved in the project. There were not only lectures and interviews, but also interactive booths that invited to participate.
Project Manager, Educational Services
Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi
Tel. +91 11 23471100