Mela: Our city, our house, our public sphere

How are Indian cities handling growth? Bengaluru grew 75% in just one decade with conspicuous shortages in water, affordable housing and transport. Don’t miss the Citizen Matters moderated Urban Talk and discussion series this Sunday July 1st.

Worried about your city? The Indo-German Urban Mela is hosting a major urban talk and discussion series titled ‘our public sphere’, ‘our house’ and ‘our city’ this Sunday at Palace Grounds. The talks are structured around a survey and practical design of urban development in Indian cities, and especially Bangalore. The talks start at 11am on Sunday July 1st and conclude at 4pm. The programme includes lunch and entry is free.

The 10 day-long mela itself is already on with 4 more days to go. It runs from 10 am to 10 pm at Palace Grounds has 16 specially-designed pavilions that will have interactive series of presentation on how to improve life within our cities.

The main theme of this urban mela is “City Spaces” and the problems that cities face. The series of programmes and performances are addressing issues such as urban planning, public transportation, sustainability, education and urban culture in an innovative and engaging way.

"City dreams – Dream City" is an interactive programme that links the youth into an awareness of the environmental issues and their concerns. It gives space to the young minds to think and create a beautiful city “out of waste”.

All the art that has come up will be showcased on 1st July at the pavillion of Palace Ground.

Urban Day at Urban Mela

A talk series titled ‘our public sphere’, ‘our house’ and ‘our city’, structured around a survey and practical design of urban development in India and Bangalore, will take place on July 1st, from 11am to 4pm. The talks will question the existing status quo of urban planning and critically address various issues related to urban transformation.

Expert speakers from India and Germany to deliver the lectures at the event. All three sessions will be moderated by Citizen Matters, Bangalore’s interactive newsmagazine.  Mod Institute, based in Bengaluru and Berlin is organising the talk series. Mod Institute describes itself ‘an international collective of architects, designers, researchers, curators and practitioners with engaged interests in, and interests for engagement with, the urbanisation processes in India’.

Our Public Sphere, 11.15 AM, July 1st

This session addresses questions on construction of public and private spaces and shows examples of performative interventions within the city and city spheres from the larger perspective of urban infrastructure to a people-oriented perspective, especially the role of art and perception will be focused on.


Stefanie Bürkle, Technical University Berlin
Stefanie Bremer, Orange Edge, Hamburg
Archana prasad, JAAGA, Bangalore
Moderator: Padmalatha ravi, Associate Editor, Citizen Matters

Our House, 1:10pm, July 1st

This session discusses ‘housing’ on the background of 24 million missing housing units in india. The increased demand for affordable housing has various causes. In the case of Bangalore, one crucial driver of housing shortage has been the growth of Bangalore’s population, exponential by migration. Affordable housing just slowly emerges from the shadow of the global discourses of Megacities real estate Boom or slum upgrading. Hence the crucial question will be how housing should be defined, designed and communicated into the urban population.


Manisha Agarwal, Mo-Of, Mumbai
Vishnu Swaminathan, Ashoka Innovators for Public
Rachel Lee, Architect and Urban Researcher
Moderator: Subramaniam Vincent, Editor, Citizen Matters

Our City, 2.45pm, July 1st

The third and culminating session challenges the question of the ‘political economy’: the multiple networks of relationships between people, space and wealth. The underlying question that arises is the relation between informal and formal processes, between global and local scales and the change of private and public spaces. The striking question will be – what is an indian city?


Naresh narasimhan, Venkataramanan Associates, Bangalore
Sanjay Sridhar, EMBARQ India
Shantanu Poredi, Mo-Of, Mumbai
Moderator: Subramaniam Vincent, Editor, Citizen Matters

Date: July 1, 2012

Time: 11am to 4pm

Place: Palace Grounds

Entry: FREE


The fun factor

A lot of dance and music and theatre is part of the mela.

Masala FX is the dance choreographed by Samir Akika with Bangalore dancers. The performances will be held on June 30 at 9 pm and the grand finale will be held on July 1. MattoIrremit heightens the air of celebration with his own unique rhythmic touch. Join the party and swing along to Indo-German rhythms! Not to miss out on the flash dance that brings alive the folk dance traditions of the German countryside, where music, choreography and people, together create an atmosphere of fun.

Graffiti, international conferences, talks and seminars on bettering the city spaces, exhibitions, et al are a part of this Indo-German Urban mela 2011-12.

And how can we miss out on food! The Beergarden provides a delicious selection of traditional German and Indian cuisine, of course with lots of beer! They say the fresh Pretzels (the crisp biscuits baked in the form of a knot or stick and flavored with salt) are a must-try.

The ball is already rolling. What are you waiting for? Just 3-4 more days to go.

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