Articles by Dhanya Rajagopal

Dhanya is the Programme Director of Public Landscape and Urbanism Studio (PLUS), a collaborative practice based in India and the United States. She is a trained architect and placemaking expert interested in participatory research and community based design.

When most of us think of “critical infrastructure” or “essential services”, public spaces don’t really feature in that list. Post-COVID this notion has been challenged globally, prompting multiple sectors and disciplines to collaborate and leapfrog urban policies and technology. When the Government of India announced its first 21-day lockdown in March, cities and corporations were forced to think outside the box to accommodate essential functions and social distancing norms.  It took a pandemic to roll-out the ambitious bicycle and pedestrian friendly streets programme, and the recent nationwide Streets for People challenge, initiated as part of the Smart Cities Mission in…

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