Resilient Ziro 2041

A symposium under EU Erasmus+ BReUCom Project

Friday, 7 January 2022 (Online)

Organiser: School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal

Collaborator: Rajiv Gandhi University, Doimukh, Itanagar

Event Report

School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal (SPAB), in collaboration with the Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar (RGU), organised an online Symposium, Resilient Ziro 2041. This symposium was organised under the EU Erasmus+ project BReUCom aimed to bring together the natives, residents, urban professionals, academics, researchers and other stakeholders in visioning the resilient future of the Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh. The valley, which is on the UNESCO Tentative List of World Heritage Sites, is the living laboratory of sustainable practices in the domains of community, craft and culture.

The inaugural session witnessed Prof Sarit Kumar Choudhuri, a renowned anthropologist and Professor at RGU, noting the event's significance concerning the tribal heritage and the developmental visions of the planners in the North-East region in India. Prof Rama Pandey hosted the session. The inaugural session was followed by a presentation on Ziro, Learning from Ziro, by the former students (batch 2018-20) of the Department of Design at SPAB. The presenters, Ayushi Wakankar, Rik Bhattacharjee, Rinki Sambhani & Jayant Kumar, highlighted the examples of Objects, Spaces, Communication and Systems in the Ziro valley. The presentation oriented the audience towards the unique prepositions of culture, sustainability and resilience at Ziro.

The panel discussion, moderated by Dr Saurabh Tewari, hosted the natives and locals of the Ziro Valley around a central question, “How do you see the Ziro Valley in 2041?”. The discussants responded to the question and elaborated their perspectives and visions for the valley. Dr Tage Kanno, DMO at Ziro, shared his logic of nominating the Ziro Valley in the Tentative List of Heritages sites at UNSECO. Nani Jalyang, a local entrepreneur, highlighted the role of women in the various facets of life and future in the valley. Rinyo Ngilyang, an architect and planner, lamented the current state of built practices. She called for adopting the local and traditional construction methods over the unsustainable techniques and materials from the mainland. Rana Gyati, an Apatani cultural activist, highlighted the role and importance of community in charting the development plans. Chobin Punyo, an artist and academic at RGU, proposed the opportunities for creative brains in the valley.

The technical session, chaired by Prof Dr Natraj Kranthi from SPAB, hosted the structured presentations around the theme and site. Prof Anand Wadwekar from SPAB elaborated on the concepts and literature from Urban Resilience. Further, Rana Gyati, an Apatani cultural activist from Itanagar, highlighted the cultural wealth of sustainable practices in the valley. Rinyo Ngilyang presented the strategies for conserving the valley's built environment and cultural landscape. Her empirical study on the site highlighted the gaps in land management, water management, and settlement planning strategies among the authorities and traditional practices. Finally, Paritosh Goel explained the proposed Ziro Master Plan 2030 and called for further discussion over strategies for urban resilience in the site. The concluding session discussion brought forward the concepts of participatory design and planning, more engagements with the locals while preparing future plans, and sustained documentation of tangible and intagible heritage of Ziro Valley.

The Valedictory Session witnessed the Chief Guest, Prof Dr Saket Kushwah, Vice-Chancellor (RGU), calling for greater synergy between all the stakeholders, including humans and wildlife of environment in the North-East. He also called for preparing a model for development in environmentally sensitive and tribal heritage regions in India.

Overall, the event witnessed a warm reception from various audiences, including the students, professionals and researchers from the fields of Urban Planning, Social Sciences, Architecture and Design. More than 100 participants from the 172 registrations were present throughout the event.


Presenters and Panellists

10-10:30 AM: Inaugural Session

Prof Dr N Sridharan

DirectorSPA Bhopal

Prof Dr Sarit Choudhuri

Professor & Head Department of Anthropology, RGU Itanagr

Dr Rama Pandey

Associate Professor & HeadEnvironmental Planning, SPA Bhopal

10:30 - 11:00 AM: Presentation - Learning from Ziro

A Report by SPA Bhopal MDes Batch 2018-20 Representatives

Rik Bhattacharjee

Product DesignerBengaluru

Ayushi Wakankar

Experience DesignerWongdoody,Bengaluru

Rinki Sambhani

Textile and Communication DesignerBhopal

Jayant Kumar

Assistant Professor NIFT Patna

11:00 AM-12:00 Noon: Panel Discussion

Ziro 2041: Locals Perspectives on Climate, Culture and Continuity

Dr Nani Tamang Jose

Joint RegistrarRGU, Itanagar

Dr Tage Kanno

Local Heritage ExpertZiro

Nani Jailyang


Chobin Punyo

Assistant Professor
Fine Arts,
RGU Itanagar

Rinyo Ngilyang

Architect and PlannerItanagar

Dr Saurabh Tewari

Assistant Professor Design,
SPA Bhopal

2:00-4:00 PM: Presentation Session - Ziro and Resilience

Ziro 2041: Locals Perspectives on Climate, Culture and Continuity

Prof Dr Natraj Kranthi

Professor & HeadUrban and Regional Plannning, SPA Bhopal

Dr Anand Wadwekar

Associate Professor & Head Urban Design,
SPA Bhopal

Rana Gyati

Cultural ActivistItanagar

Rinyo Ngilyang

Architect and PlannerItanagar

Paritosh Goel

Architect and Urban PlannerNew Delhi

4:00-4:15 PM Valedictory Session

Prof Dr Saket Kushwaha

Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar

Prof Dr N Sridharan

DirectorSPA Bhopal

Images from the event