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180 Varick Street, Suite 1220
New York, NY, 10014



Loophole Planning & Infrastructure Making in Mumbai

Elisabeth Weiman

At the Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago, Vyjayanthi Rao presents her ethnographic work looking at the planning process and its implications for understanding relationships between land use planning and politics as it unfolds in contemporary Mumbai. She draws on years of fieldwork to examine citizens’ confrontation with new developments, resulting from a series of policy loopholes that changed the definition of development and the way social and material infrastructure are increasingly linked to practices of speculation.

The talk situates the relationship between planning, citizen-driven, iterative infrastructure making and new forms of political engagement in an age that demands a creative embrace of uncertainty.

For more details about the event, check out Institute for the Humanities' event page.

City Service: Making Homes Permanent, No Longer Provisional

Elisabeth Weiman

Terreform responds to the notion that the current refugee crisis is a temporary one, and in fact, looks to the length and permanence at which people have been displaced and unsettled. Through their new project City Service, Terreform and its partners jump into the tumultuous actions and critical discussions on the use of temporary, mid-term, and semipermanent placements in camps.

"Our goal is to provide ideas and expertise to help mobilize the human resources of refugee populations, to make productive use of the environments in which they find themselves, and to marshal contributions from both relevant governments and NGOs and from private enterprises that directly produce the resources necessary to build and sustain the physical city."

Read more on the project at City Service.


On Tanks & Berms: Our Response to the Open IDEO Challenge

Elisabeth Weiman

Working with Spatial Ethnography Lab, we made it to the final stage of the Open IDEO Challenge!

The brief: "How might urban slum communities become more resilient to the effects of climate change?"

Our response: a home-grown system of tanks and berms developed by coastal slum residents to address water contamination and flooding.

Check out the challenge-in-progress: Tanks & Berms: Estuary as Resilience Engine.

Meeting the Former President of Turkey

Elisabeth Weiman

During Abdullah Gül University's opening in Turkey, Michael Sorkin inspired the audience by speaking on the critical issues facing urban landscapes and the future of cities. There he met with the 11th President of the Republic of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, who also presented at the ceremony on the importance of interdisciplinary education.