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Published:August 13th, 2010 18:01 EST
Fellowships and Internships: Implosive Growth of Large Cities & Rural-Urban Migration

Fellowships and Internships: Implosive Growth of Large Cities & Rural-Urban Migration

By SOP newswire2

Six-month fellowships on the subject of `Implosive Growth of Large Cities & Rural-Urban Migration`
 
Fellowship 1: Housing, Real Estate, Slums & Shanties
The last 50 years has seen a rapid rise in the population of the Kathmandu Valley, leading to a rise in the demand for housing as well as the creation of slums/shanties across the city. Structural aspects of real estate investment are significant for comprehending the uneven development and the problems of the built environment. Inadequate housing, community services, private sector stores, professional offices compounded by problems such as public health crises, crime, and crushing poverty has increased pressure on the resources of the Kathmandu Valley. Private interest over housing has impeded the growth of public/social housing schemes, increasing the housing cost burden. The forms of agency in the real estate market: speculators, developers, homeowners, local politicians, large corporations, banks and other financial institutions have found it increasingly difficult to work together to solve the housing problem. Programs dealing with relocation/re-settlement have mostly failed while community asset based plans aimed at improving living standards inside shanties have proved successful in some cases.  
 
This fellowship aims at locating residential spaces from different decades and evaluating how housing patterns have changed, where and why new developments have taken place and how real estate/housing structures have affected human interactions among themselves and their built environment. It is imperative to keep in mind the urban planning/policies regarding housing during this time, the actual infrastructure building processes, and changes in human development indicators during the period under study.
 
Fellows will be required to choose two to three case studies of residential locations (old, new and alternative) within the Valley and carry out a comparative study of the areas along the guidelines of the IMAP project. This will include collecting material (maps, pictures, interviews, policy documents) for the digital archive, as well as producing a 5,000-word research paper on the subject.
 
Fellowship 2: Preservation of heritage, Environmental Impacts, Tourism
The notion of Kathmandu as a "lived-in heritage` and the need to protect the built environment because of its historical/cultural importance as well as its current utility from deterioration, demolition, and redevelopment has been a major area of concern. Preservation is inherently confrontational with the profit motive and the constant recycling of land. Thus, it requires government support, sponsorship, and strict intervention in the private sector. Heritage can also include public art, spatial struggles, the inclusion of diverse perspectives from minority and gendered communities, and the relationship between landscape and public memory (participation of citizen groups in deciding what to preserve becomes critical here).
 
There is the danger of the commodification of culture through the promotion of consumerism and tourism while environmental concerns also affect heritage management and tourism. Untreated residential sewage and garbage, building and traffic congestion, along with water, air, and noise pollution from industries directly affect the health of a city. There is governmental discrimination in public spaces (rich neighbourhoods vs ghettos/slums) while proper responsibility has not been taken up by stakeholders, i.e., municipal bodies, local governments, local historians, citizens, and planners.
 
The purpose of this fellowship is to identify the problems surrounding the notion of heritage (inherently based on preservation) in an urbanizing/modernizing environment (fundamentally bent on change). The inherent contradictions are evident in the struggle to realize and actualize new trajectories for Kathmandu while maintaining a dialogue with its historical past. The fellow will be required to choose two to three case studies of heritage sites (religious/culturally diverse) within the Valley and carry out a comparative study of the areas along the guidelines of the IMAP project. This will include collecting material (maps, pictures, interviews, policy documents) for the digital archive, as well as producing a 5,000-word research paper on the subject.
 
Selected fellows will receive a stipend of Rs 14,000/month.
 
Applicants for the fellowships are requested to apply with their CV and a research proposal not exceeding one page to IMAP at the address given below.
 
Internships
IMAP invites applications for three-month internship opportunities with a small stipend in practical digital archiving with formal learning components.
 
IMAP is a digital archiving project for art and culture of the valley. From September 2010 it is incorporating a new line of archiving relating to urbanisation, city space development and the growth of Kathmandu valley.
 
Fresh university graduates, preferably in the fine arts or urban development/ architectural fields, are encouraged to apply with their CV and a covering letter to:
 
Interactive Mapping and Archive Project
Social Science Baha
GPO Box 25334Ramchandra Marg , BattisputaliKathmandu, Nepal
Phone: 977-1-4472807Email: imap@soscbaha.orgFor more information, log on to (www.webimap.org)
 
Application deadline for both openings is 22 August, 2010, and successful applicants are expected to take up assignment on 1 September, 2010.