Panel: Ways of Knowing the Future: Perspectives on four Asian Cities – Manila, Delhi, Kathmandu and Dhaka
Wednesday 24 June, 1pm-2pm (AEST)
Watch webinar recording (Password: I@mAstar123)

Dhaka, Bangladesh / © 2019 AFP

Chair: Tanzil Shafique (University of Melbourne)
Panelists: 
Ishita Chatterjee (University of Melbourne), ‘What is Khori Gaon’s Future? A Case of Multiple, Competing and Shifting Imaginations of the City’
Neeraj Dangol (University of Melbourne), ‘Future of the Non-Citizens in Making the Future of the Kathmandu city?’
Stephanie Butcher (University of Melbourne), ‘Clean, Green Dreams: Whose Heritage Counts in Urban Revitalization?’

This panel proposes to look at how the notion of ‘future’ is constructed in three different cities across Asia, namely Manila, Delhi and Kathmandu, with an introductory note on Dhaka. What constitutes as the ‘future’ of these cities, particularly in relation to its informal settlements, is often thrown around in policy documents as well as conversations as a given entity, with a seemingly consensual status of its composition. What we would like to unpack in this panel is how the narratives of futures come to be ‘known’, how often the desires of the certain classes and territories are silenced and desires of entities beyond the cities themselves play a normative role in setting up what is referred to as the ‘future’. It is crucial simply to ask when speaking about ‘future Asias’, whose future are we talking about? What is marginalized and what is treated as the obvious referent when claims are made about the ‘new’ spatio-political-economies? Why do the future of informal settlements determined apriori without involvement from the people themselves? How just are the futures we so fondly claim will be sustainable? Each presenter in this panel will take this larger notion as the point of departure and focus on particular aspects of that ‘future’.

Tanzil Shafique, Assoc. AIA, is a Ph.D. researcher at the Melbourne School of Design where he also teaches graduate design studios. His Ph.D research investigates morphogenesis of informal settlements.

Ishita Chatterjee is an architect who has worked on projects in India and China before joining academia. Currently, she is pursuing her PhD along with teaching and working as a research assistant at the University of Melbourne. When she is not mapping informal settlements she can be found strolling through the alleyways and lanes of different cities around the world.

Stephanie Butcher is a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Connected Cities lab. She is a part of the ‘Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality’ (KNOW) project, a global consortium which seeks to deliver transformative research and capacity in policy and planning that will promote and strengthen pathways to urban equality.

Neeraj Dangol is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne.