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With innovative, rigorous and influential thinking, Urban Rationale aims for a better understanding and an insight into urban subsystems by bringing data, dialogue, reason and action to a single platformWe are strongly committed to interdisciplinary and applied research, with expertise in architecture, urban planning, public policy, geography, economics, environmental sciences, spatial analysis, history, and sociology. 

Our projects and collaborative endeavours with government, industry, public welfare organisations, and universities, are used to help shape public debate and policy surrounding urban issuesWe use our strengths to drive impact in research and innovation through collaborations amongst urban stakeholders nationally and internationally, and invest in research areas to advance new strengths aligned with our goals and interests.

 Ongoing Research 

Evolution of Hybrid Public Open Spaces in Walled City of Jaipur

Banda, Sandeep Reddy;

Kala, Nikhil;

Bansal, Sakshi



Public open spaces (POS) have been critical sites of cultural, political, and economic life from early civilizations to the present day. From ancient agora of Athens to the squares of Lutyens’ Delhi, the form and function of open spaces have varied dramatically, based on particular cultural arrangements, yet retaining a host of similar features. Walled city of Jaipur was designed during the time when streets were considered as part of public realm. It was planned around king’s palace; religious places, squares and streets with markets as prominent POS. The plan was clearly based on vision of economy through trade routes and hierarchy of POS. Over time, vehicular traffic suppressed public space as a part of permanent infrastructure and town planning became a practice that facilitated commerce and associated traffic. As a result, many POS lost their identity; some evolved as hybrid multi-functional open spaces and some lost their battle against the profit seeking human agendas.

This research aimed to examine evolution of hybrid character in public open spaces situated in walled city of Jaipur. This research is divided into five stages. First stage involves classification of public open spaces of all scales in hierarchical manner based on selected indicators. In second stage, form and functions of all public open spaces were analysed in detail. Third stage consists of establishing regression between hybrid character of public open spaces and implications of socio-cultural, political, economic, spatial and technological changes. Fourth and final stage concluded the research with assessing the performance of public open spaces with hybrid character.

Regularisation of Street Vendors in Walled City of Jaipur through Rajasthan Street Vending Scheme, 2016

Sthapak, Akshat;

Banda, Sandeep Reddy



Street vending is a most visible section of informal sector in urban areas. Majority of street vendors are illiterate or educated at primary level but street vending provides means of livelihood to the urban poor. Limited skillset of street vendors restrict their employment opportunities which generally lead to poor economic conditions. It is estimated that 2% the Indian urban poor are street vendors which is approximately 10 million vendors, there by constituting a vital component of the urban economy (MoHUPA). In Jaipur alone, more than 30000 vendors involve in street vending activities. However, urban local bodies have not taken street vendors in consideration in formal planning process at varying scales; starting from pedestrianisation, road design, designing commercial districts to local area plans. The elephant on the street was always neglected which leads various problems like low LOS of road, accidents, parking issues, and harassment by officials etc. Thus, it raises some important questions −what is taking so long in regulating street vendors? What is the synergy of subsystems involved in street vending? How efficient are the interventions formulated by state to regularise and organise street vendors in backdrop of Smart Cities Mission? What kind of organisational structure ULBs need to manage street vendors in effective and efficient manner? This research aims to answer all above mentioned questions in general and particularly in case of walled city of Jaipur.

This research is divided into five stages. First stage involves reviewing Rajasthan Street Vending Scheme, 2016 with respect to national and international case studies. Second stage aims to compute magnitude, type and extent of street vending activities in all major corridors of walled city of Jaipur and their socio-economic status through an extensive primary surveys. Third stage is for analysing urban local body’s interventions in the matters of street vending with respect to findings of stage one. Forth stage is to understand complete structure of subsystems of street vending. Final stage of research aims to prepare comprehensive strategies to regularise street vendors for smooth functioning of their activities in walled city of Jaipur through policy intervention involving all stakeholders of street vending. 

Functional Retrofitting of Chaupars, Public Squares in the walled city of Jaipur

Singh, Raghu Pratap;

Kala, Nikhil



Human interaction is an essential act to achieve individual as well as collective prosperity. The act of human interaction is possible at varying spatial scales at city level. However, public squares have been one of the prominent sites of interaction for socio-cultural, economic and political purposes since the birth of cities. Selective advantage of connectivity makes public squares hotspots of interaction whether the square is organic or designed; enclosed or open; young or historically significant; and mono-functional or hybrid. Public squares in walled city of Jaipur were planned at intersection of four high capacity multi-functional roads surrounded by temples, religious ponds, markets, and associated activities.  Walled city of Jaipur was designed during the time when squares were considered as part of public realm. Over time, vehicular traffic suppressed public space as a part of permanent infrastructure and town planning became a practice that facilitated commerce and associated traffic. A place once considered as an active part of public realm, now occupied by varying hybrid functions and became a challenge to philosophy of a square.

The hybrid nature of Squares in Jaipur is a result of many diverse activities occurring simultaneously. Vendors are using the roadside space for selling their goods, people coming in for shopping activities, tourist flow from other parts of the city, devotees crowding in at the temples, people waiting for the public transport, and gelling in with all this is the motorised vehicular traffic. These activities can be categorised as Socio-cultural, Economic and Physical connectivity for the purpose of this study.

In order to support these activities at public squares (Chaupars of Jaipur), the infrastructure around it plays a vital role. The shaded corridors in front of shops, the temple complex at the corners of squares, the shaded break outs provided by the trees for people to relax, the pedestrian space on roadside used by vendors, the heritage structures around, providing flexibility and supporting the diverse typology of trade occurring at these squares, and the famous monuments around these squares adding to the vibrancy and the cluster of patterns.

This research majorly focuses upon these diverse activities and the link between the activities and infrastructure around it. It goes through the detailed study of historical significance and purpose of these Chaupars and their transformation over the period of time through socio-cultural, economic and spatial lenses. And then identifying minimal design interventions in order to create edges amongst activities at Chaupar without compromising on its identity. Radically it is a Functional Retrofitting of Chaupar through minimal design changes.


Our  Workshops 

Workshops on wide range of themes at Urban Rationale aim at understanding and giving insight by bringing together data, research, engagement and action. Our range of workshops are proposed under various categories based on the interests and choice of individuals.


These are collaborative workshops which aim to share data and knowledge with the participants and explore the possibilities and opportunities for an Urban Environment that we envision at Urban Rationale.

Evolution of

Hybrid Public Open Spaces

Exploring the evolution of the first planned city of India | Walled City of Jaipur

Insights into Haveli Design

Exploring the design of Courtyard Styled Temple of Jaipur

Exploring the Water Conservation System of Jaipur


An Initiative -

I am Jaipur

"Dialogue shaped humankind".

Dialogue has been helping cities to prosper by exchanging ideas, knowledge and wealth; by maintaining religious harmony and avoiding wars. Scrolling through the history there are few cities which attained prosperity through dialogue but war; City of Jaipur proudly stands as one of them. The city has its foundation laid on the principles of trade which brought harmony in a multi-ethnic society in an era dominated by wars.

What is city but people?

People of Jaipur have always found a way to prosper through trade deals, avoided wars through negotiations without compromising their dignity and pride, and choose peace and harmony by accepting ethnic diversity.


I am Jaipur is an initiative to emphasize on a rational way of living with silent and constant fight against all kinds of evils of humankind. When you say I AM Jaipur, the world understands that you are happy, rational, peace loving and progressive. Moreover, the world understands the fact that you are a proud human being.

  • I am Jaipur Facebook Page
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