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TED Radio Hour

Rahul Mehrotra: How Can Impermanent Cities Permanently Change Our World?


Bret Hartman / TED


Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Life Cycles Of Cities.

Every twelve years, 100 million people descend upon a temporary city built for the Kumbh Mela festival in India. Architect Rahul Mehrotra says other cities can learn from this ephemeral megacity.

About Rahul Mehrotra

Rahul Mehrotra is an architect, urban designer, and educator. He founded RMA Architects, a Mumbai and Boston-based architecture firm. His work includes the book Kumbh Mela: Mapping The Ephemeral Megacity.

Mehrotra is currently a Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he's also the Director of the Urban Design program. He has also taught at the University of Michigan, and at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at MIT. Mehrotra has also been actively involved in civic and urban affairs in Mumbai, having served on commissions for historic preservation and environmental issues.

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Mehrotra is the author of several books, including his latest co-authored book called Taj Mahal: Multiple Narratives and Ephemeral Urbanism: Does Permanence Matter? His current research is on the small towns and emerging urban conglomerations in India.

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