It is not for the want of trying that the Indian physical scape remains dismal. Undoubtedly, large proportions of responsibility have to lie on faulty delivery systems, or genuine lack of fiscal assistance; but that cannot be the full story. There is and has been for some time the need to urgently question that model of development we have adopted in reimagining our physical-scapes, but along with that also the policies, the delivery mechanisms and the concerns of accountability that surround it. Centered between the rivers of Varuna and Assi, the oldest continuous living city in the world, Varanasi is today the concretized and heightened idea of India. It captures the imagination of India and the world, and any positive change effected here, will herald reinstating faith in our country with the power that perhaps change in no other place will. The solutions of dealing with Varansi are well known and often listed and concern supporting handicraft, improving road, electrical and water networks, dealing with sewage, improving the connect with the rural hinterland, developing tourist networks, cleaning the river, and restoring the ghats. Enough blue prints have been debated and costs estimated; and the question really is, how it can be made to happen, in which manner, and to what effect. The Future Institute is commissioned to undertake this task of imagining, and reimagining the fabric of Varanasi, and arrive at a blue print that is specific, ambitious and yet realistic, and develop a road map for change to be effected. The work allows examination of all issues of the fabric, allowing the delving into layers that are physical, cultural, historical, anthropological, environmental, and those linked to policy, and finance. LEAF, on behalf of Future Institute anchors this process. It has been supported tremendously by a host of people and firms in the country.

The following firms joined hands with the Future Institute for this initiative.

  • Arya Architects, Ahmedabad.
    A firm engaged in work in the public realm, associated with the BRTS in Ahmedabad, and with successful work in several projects of historical conservation In Rajasthan.

  • Sheth Techno Consultants,
    Ahmedabad A multidisciplinary infrastructure design firm with a large portfolio of city level projects in India and abroad.

  • M/s.Prabhakar B. Bhagwat,
    Ahmedabad India's premier landscape planning and landscape design firm.

  • SG Architects
    New Delhi Engaged in mobility planning for several city initiatives.

  • Dastkari Haat Samiti, New Delhi.
    Premier Crafts Revival Organization in India, with nationwide reach.

  • Abaxial Architects, New Delhi.
    A design firm keenly interested in research in the arts, and exhibition design.

  • Hiland Group,
    Kolkata Development company with key knowledge in governance and policy.

  • Abellon Clean Energy, Ahmedabad
    India's pioneering company engaged in clear energy and waste management.

  • Shift, New Delhi
    A design office engaged in technology, urbanism and sustainability.

  • Crafts Revival Trust, New Delhi
    Engaged in mapping and communicating the crafts in India.

  • Leena Aparajit.

  • Ajoy Choudhury and Associates, New Delhi
    Architectural and planning firm based in Delhi.

  • Varanasi Heritage Foundation, Varanasi
    Hertitage Mapping/Film Maker/ Development Consultants.

  • Taru, Ahmedabad
    Hydrologist/ Water management Consultant.

  • Interface Communications
    Key knowledge in communication initiatives and approaches.

The LEAF Fellowship

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