Upstairs Seminar Room, Australia India Institute
147-149 Barry Street, Carlton VIC 3053
About the talk:
In 2014, India embarked on an ambitious plan to rapidly develop its crumbling urban infrastructure and improve the Quality of Life of its urban citizens. While Australian cities perform well (Melbourne is often ranked as the world's most livable city), Indian cities fare poorly in almost all urban well-being indicators (cost of living being the exception). Subsequently, urban development has also become an important pillar of the political agenda. To address the broad urban challenges of connectivity, mobility, housing, infrastructure, energy and civic amenity, Urban authorities have embarked on a number of initiatives and partnerships. In this context, the sacred city of Kashi (Benaras or Varanasi) on the banks of the river Ganga, faces enormous environmental and social challenges. This talk will review the Kyoto-Varanasi Partner City Agreement between India and Japan to address the unique challenges faced by Kashi. It will reflect on the ongoing projects for the planned modernization of Varanasi drawing upon the “cultural capital” and expertise and experience of Kyoto. Kashi like Kyoto, represents the spiritual and cultural essence of Indian civilization and is therefore a symbolic harbinger of progress for both cultural and economic rejuvenation through urban development initiatives.
About the speaker:
Sambit Datta studied architecture at the School of Architecture, CEPT University. He completed his masters and doctoral studies at the National University of Singapore and the University of Adelaide. His research is focussed on the computational representation and analysis of building and urban typologies in South and Southeast Asia. His research contributions are in the representation and reconstruction of Indic temple architecture, models of vernacular urbanism and the spatial evolution of street networks.
He is Professor of Architecture in the School of Built Environment at Curtin University with a joint appointment in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computing. He is currently an International Visiting Professor at IIT, Kharagpur and Visiting Professor at the Idea Factory, NYUST, Taiwan. He serves as Corresponding Editor (Asia-Pacific) of the Nexus Network Journal on architecture and mathematics and served as secretary of the Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, CAADRIA.