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The Contemporary South Asian City

At Harvard

Urbanism Workshop, SAI Symposium
Thursday, April 24, 2014

Organized by SAI, this workshop looked at the common challenges and opportunities facing urbanization in the region today, local and global innovations in environmental sustainability, as well as building materials and other technologies that stand to redefine patterns of development. Other topics include how cities in the region remain mindful of the past through conservation, and the unique characteristics that define and differentiate the contemporary South Asian city compared to other regions in Asia and beyond.


Urbanization Seminar Series

Post-colonial urbanization in South Asia has seen some of the largest and fastest growing urban centers in the world. Rapid growth brings new challenges and opportunities for small, medium and mega cities. The SAI Urbanization Seminars are facilitated by Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Planning and Design and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

In Region

Contemporary South Asian City Conference
January 9-12, 2014, Karachi, Pakistan

Harvard team in Pakistan

The Harvard team meets with senior leaders in Pakistan, 2014

From January 9 to 12, 2014, Karachi became the gathering place for politicians, scholars, doctors, architects, urban planners, and citizens to explore issues related to rapid urban change. The conference aimed to generate new knowledge and insight into the driving forces, socioeconomic challenges and political implications facing the contemporary South Asian city. SAI was a sponsor for the conference, and panel topics included Professional Practice in South Asia, Memory and Conservation of the Built Environment, and Constructing the ‘Right to the City’ in South Asia: Housing, Governance & the Civic Realm.


Roundtable discussion on the Contemporary South Asian City Project
January 12, 2014, Karachi, Pakistan

Following the success of the South Asian Cities conference in Karachi in January 2014 , the Harvard team, in partnership with other scholars in South Asia, held a roundtable discussion on the Contemporary South Asian City project in Karachi. The research initiative seeks to understand the unique characteristics of the South Asian city, with the initial phase focusing on comparative urban issues in India and Pakistan.