UrbanScripts: Essay Writing Competition

The archive of the winning and selected entries from the UrbanScripts: Essay Writing Competition for Young Writers.

The competition was supported by Dhun, Jaipur

Udaipur’s Architectural Renaissance: A Conservation Architect’s Chronicle of Heritage Amidst Climate’s Embraces

Udaipur’s Architectural Renaissance: A Conservation Architect’s Chronicle of Heritage Amidst Climate’s Embraces
From colonial echoes to climate confrontations, the essay witnesses a city’s tale etched in bricks and resilience. Amid neglected heritage, the battle cries for sustainable rebirth. Udaipur’s past isn’t just conserved—it’s a roadmap to a defiant, luminous future, where history meets the tempest of climate change head-on! This essay by Anubhuti Jain was amongst the shortlisted essays.

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Pune

Pune – An Ever-Evolving Jewel

The essay traces the transformation of Pune from a quaint town to the vibrant city it is today. Mostly it is about the city’s aspects, which make it different and unique. The narrative reminisces about the city’s cultural richness and festive glory. It also points out a bit about the challenges posed by urbanization. But despite everything, Pune successfully retains its cultural essence, making it a city that preserves its glorious heritage while transforming.
This essay by Arpita Khamitkar is amongst the shortlisted essays.

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Reflection of Urban Inclusivity And Reality

The essay reflects on the author’s childhood memories centred around the Kohinoor Textile Mill. The mill, part of Mumbai’s Girangaon, played a significant role in the city’s industrial growth until the early 1980s. The essay fondly recalls the mill’s impact on the community, its cultural richness, and personal experiences. The author expresses concern about the loss of community identity and the impact of privatization, highlighting the need for sustainable urban development that preserves the city’s history. This essay by Pornima Buddhivant is amongst the shortlisted essays.

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The case of Phalke Smarak - Nashik

The case of Phalke Smarak

The essay titled, ‘The case of Phalke Smarak : Nashik’s untapped potential with existing urban public space’ – discusses how a promising urban scale public space project for Nashik city in the late 90s has slowly turned desolate, despite all the possibilities and potential the architectural design, site and overall context offers. It further tries to highlight the gap between the public and failed public spaces based on this case, and points towards public engagement for successful urban design, renewal and development. This essay by Asmita Raghuvanshy is amongst the shortlisted essays.

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The Good, the Bad and the Aesthetic - Bhopal

The Good, the Bad and the Aesthetic

This essay delves into how municipal corporations envision creating Western cities (instead of responding to the Indian context) and end up creating cities that only appear to work, instead of actually being more socially inclusive, dynamic and publicly active. The Smart Cities Mission then caters only to the rich and this becomes evident in not just the visuals they use, but also the manner in which they describe their vision of a World Class Infrastructure. This essay by Avani Mittal is amongst the shortlisted essays.

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Source: Author

Chabutra As Thresholds To Effective Placemaking

The essay discusses the past, present, and future of the Chabutro’s in Ahmedabad from the author’s perspective based on their time spent there. Chabutro’s serve as markers and play a significant role in placemaking. The essay emphasizes the importance of Chabutro, highlighting the connection it holds for a potential future as a new wayfinding tool. This essay by Prakriti is amongst the shortlisted essays.

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Beyond the skyline: Public utilities and their influence on the city

Beyond the skyline: Public utilities and their influence on the city

The essay titled ‘Beyond the Skyline: Public Utilities and Their Influence on the City’ discusses the most fundamental requirement for the floating population, i.e., adequate public utilities. The persisting utilities are in a desolate condition with inefficient services and infrastructure. Progressing towards a livable Jaipur city, which is inclusive, safe and secure and prioritizes the holistic well-being of its inhabitants; an investment in utilities for the public is imperative. This essay by Simran Gandhi is among the special mentions.

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disguise

A step back is a step forward in disguise

The essay “A Step Back is a Step Forward in Disguise” discusses how Bidar is on the brink of change, both economically and politically. It tells tales from the mythical, ecological, historical, sociocultural, and natural layers that are intertwined with the impact of the local climate on the Paapnash Lake community. This essay by Saakshi is among the special mentions.

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Pune

From Peths to Pinnacles: Pune’s Architectural Evolution Towards Tomorrow, drawing inspirations from Yesterday, introspecting Today

“From Peths to Pinnacles: Pune’s Architectural Evolution Towards Tomorrow, drawing inspirations from Yesterday, introspecting Today” is a journey through the architectural story of Pune, a city that’s not just a historical gem but a dynamic fusion of tradition and modernity. The essay emphasizes the importance of sustainable and self-sufficient urban planning, green spaces, and community engagement. It explores the concept of creating self-sufficient urban centers within Pune to achieve a more sustainable and inclusive future, aligning with the ’15-minute city’ concept. This essay by Urvashi Vaijwade is among the special mentions.

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Othayamangalam Juma Masjid (Source: Swantha Chennamangallur, a 2002 book celebrating the village)

Everybody’s Chennamangallur

The essay talks about the past, present and future of the author’s home village—the people, faith and the establishments that formed it, what it is today, and what the future could possibly hold for a place that marries the old and new. This essay by Iman Hashim is among the special mentions.

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India's Housing Crisis: Imitation of the developed cities Source 2: https://www.teoalida.com/world/india/

One-Metre Square, Open

The essay is structured to relate the ongoings of a city with its upbringing and the past. The trends in Mumbai and the construction it withstands, inspires plenty. Yet, this essay breaks down the complexity of the growth of a city, chasing the mindsets and intentions of a human mind. The author attempts to bring forth her point of view not as an argument, but as a simple, basic, fundamentals of humanity, which eventually leads to every creation that exists. This essay by Kanchi Parmar is among the special mentions.

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Hyderabad’s Flooded Dreams: Climate Change and Resilience

The essay, Hyderabad’s Flooded Dreams: Climate Change and Resilience, talks about the impact of climate change on Hyderabad, focusing on urban flooding and resilience. It narrates a flood incident in a neighbourhood, highlighting how the city’s rapid urbanization and poor drainage infrastructure exacerbate the problem. The essay by Kulsum Nafisa was awarded the best of top three prizes.

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Homes

Introspecting on the gap between the Homes we get to live in, the Homes we can aspire to live in and the Houses we actually design

The essay “Introspecting on the Gap between the Homes We Get to Live In, the Homes We Can Aspire to Live In and the Houses We Actually Design” suggests the need for the design fraternity to collectively introspect on the ways through which it can actively engage in a more inclusive and participatory discourse to tackle urban housing challenges. The author takes a personal stand that the discussion on our built environment should invite conversations with a wider stakeholder group while reflecting on her journey as a young architect and resident in the congested city of Mumbai. Penned by Tarjani Samani, this essay was recognized as one of the top three entries in the UrbanScripts competition.

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City Surfaces Tell Time And Stories - Tanuja Vartak

City Surfaces Tell Time And Stories

The essay, City Surfaces Tell Time and Stories, talks about the precinct of Kolsa Bunder on the Eastern waterfront of Mumbai and argues against authoritative planning proposals that have been suggested in the past. The dwellers of the port exist in a state of precarity and the proposals prove this statement further.
It suggests ethnographic research as a manner of conducting architectural study in order to plan for a neighbourhood.

The essay by Tanuja Vartak was awarded the best of top three prizes.

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