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vacant lands in

the dense city


finding vacancy



in vacant land


Ahmedabad POPS

The work represented here comes from a series of studies engaging the condition of vacancy in the densely populated and growing Indian city, one which is not uncommon yet rarely examined.  By making mappings of- and by participating in- activities on ground, we examine how tactics of temporary occupation are used to lay claim to and transform otherwise overlooked space. 


We take the position that the result of the vacancies is not that of neglect necessarily; rather they are opportunistic spaces, which by virtue of their vague legal status allow realities to play out that need not adhere to the heavy handed commercial transactions of urban land economics. They support an alternate reality in the space of the city, where access is determined not by money but by engagement and claim; where direct negotiation supplants the down payment of capital, and outsiders find a way in.


We alternate between two modes of engagement with the site: mapping and designing. We use these tools to examine urban conditions and to critique the situations and processes that produce them. 

Led by Melissa Smith, in collaboration with Bulbul Vyas, Sachin Bandukwala, with contributions from 

Chandrani Chakrabarti, Alisia Tognon, Inigo Cornago Bonal, Christoph Lueder, Khushali Haji, Anu James, Mariana Paisana, Harsh Parmar, Hetvee Panchal, students of CEPT University, Kingston University, and Archiprix Participants

projects, workshops and studios supported by

CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India

CEPT University URP Grant, "Opportunities in Ahmedabad's Vacant Land"

Kingston University

Archiprix 2017

Ahmedabad Mapping Project

BandukSmith Studio, Ahmedabad

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