Drawing from his recent projects in the United States, Egypt, China and Panama, and his latest book, “Urbanism Beyond 2020,” Bharne will reflect on numerous questions triggered by the COVID-19 Pandemic: Why is city making a health project? How are ecological and human wellbeing interrelated? How can leadership and governance help bridge gaps in our unjust cities? How can we renew our relationship with dwellings and neighborhoods? How resilient and adaptable are our cities during uncertain times? Amidst climate change and global warming, is the pandemic a prelude to the challenges to come? Going across continents, nations, and geo-political terrains, this lecture will touch upon a wide range of topics – ecology, wildlife, social justice, vernacular habitats, the water crisis, public space, urban density, informal economies, governance, religion, and urban art. It will argue why the pointers to our future will not emerge exclusively from affluent nations or less developed societies alone, why we live in an interconnected world, and why this pandemic is a crucial period to reexamine the impact of our cities on our planet’s future.
Based in Los Angeles, USA, Vinayak Bharne is a leading practitioner and thinker in the fields of urban design and city planning. His two decades of professional work ranges from new towns and affordable housing to inner-city revitalization and urban policy in the United States, China, India, Panama, Kenya and Mauritius. His projects have been recognized with numerous awards including the National Award for Smart Growth – Overall Excellence by the US Environmental Protection Agency, seven national Charter Awards from the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the Excellence in Planning Implementation Award from the American Planning Association. Bharne is currently the Principal and Director of Design of the influential practice, Moule & Polyzoides Architects and Urbanists in California. He serves as Director of the India-Netherlands-based think-tank and knowledge platform, My Liveable City. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Urbanism at the University of Southern California School of Architecture (USC). He is the author/editor of numerous books such as Urbanism Beyond 2020: Reflections During the COVID-19 Pandemic (2022); Affordable Housing, Inclusive Cities (2020); The Emerging Asian City (2012); and the forthcoming Streets For All: 50 Ideas for Shaping Resilient Cities. Bharne has lectured in numerous distinguished forums such as the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies in Rotterdam, the Turenscape Academy in China, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design in the US. Featured as a thought leader in World Architecture News in 2013, and recipient of the Presidential Fellowship at the USC Marshall School of Business in 1997, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the award-winning non-profit organization, Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena, California, and on the Advisory Boards of several urban advocacy organizations such as Conscious Urbanism in India; and U For Urban Impact in Egypt.