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The GSD Urban India project invited the community to participate of the event “KUMBH MELA: Mapping the Ephemeral City. Presentation of a work in progress”…The presentation will include the many schools and teams from Harvard University that participated in the interdisciplinary mapping project at the Kumbh Mela 2013. Diana L. Eck (HDS), Gregg Greenough (HSPH), Satchit Balsari (HSPH), Tarun Khanna (HBS) and the GSD Urban India team led by Rahul Mehrotra (GSD)..

The research analyzes this ephemeral city from different perspectives. Being the biggest public gathering in the world , the Kumbh Mela deploys a pop-up city comprising of roads, pontoon bridges, tents of different sizes and an array of social infrastructure like clinics, hospitals, and social centers – all replicating the functioning of an actual city. The disposition of the city seamlessly articulates various layers of infrastructure and urban flows, serving apron 3 million people who gather for fifty five days and an additional  10 to 20 million people who come for cycles of twenty four hours on the main bathing dates. From the Kumbh we can learn about planning and design, reflect on flow management and infrastructural deployment but also about cultural identity and adjustment or elasticity in an urban condition of flux.

Lian Chikako Chang,  a M.Arch.I student at Harvard Graduate School of Design, live blogged the event for Archinet Blog. Check it out here.