Kumbh’s pop-up mega city ‘unlike any other research’ for Harvard team
Tarun Khanna of HBS is fascinated by the massive temporary township that springs up on the sandy banks of the converging rivers. “Spread over 1,940 hectares, it’s quite amazing for scholars like us to observe such speedy migration into a city like this. It makes for a unique, rapidly moving laboratory — and offers us a special opportunity to study everything from the process of organisation to the interplay of commerce and technology,” he says.
While the Graduate School of Design (GSD) team envisions this project as a prototype for the pop-up mega city, and has mapped flows of people and infrastructure, the faculty of arts and science team will look at various religious and cultural aspects of the Kumbh, including the kinds of religious groups present at the festival, devotional practices, tourism and environmental concerns. The health team will look at the presence and networks of hospitals, clinics and public health facilities, while the business team gathered information on business practices at the Kumbh, including the interaction of the public and private sectors. They will also examine the way in which technology, media, Internet connections and cellular networks play a role in the 2013 Kumbh logistics as never before. The team will submit its reports in a couple of months.
“This city, laid out on a grid, is constructed and deconstructed within a matter of weeks.
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