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ASEF Hackathon links sustainable urbanisation and heritage

19th ASEF Summer University (ASEFSU)

Photo credit: Mr Zihao CHENG, ASEFSU participant, China

The 19th edition of the ASEF Summer University (#ASEFSU) has successfully concluded. 50 participants selected from a pool of 1,700 applicants and representing 46 ASEM countries gathered between 9-21 August 2015 in Pune, India for this interdisciplinary 2-week project. Ranging from architecture students to anthropologists, urban planners, artists, and computer scientists, the group explored the intersection between urbanisation and heritage preservation. They jointly worked with local civil society groups on the development of digital prototypes, social impact approaches and business plans for the following case studies: Revival of traditional crafts for livelihood; Adaptation and reuse of historic properties; Traffic and transportation in the central city; Traditional water sources and systems as resources; Cultural and intangible heritage like traditional festivals; and Linkages of local economies, livelihoods and lifestyles with heritage at the core.   

Mr Navin PIPLANI, Director of INTACH Heritage Academy and knowledge-partner of ASEFSU, emphasised that, “ASEFSU is an opportunity to dialogue and debate about local challenges and complexities from a wider international perspective, and think imaginatively about urbanisation and heritage management for a sustainable future.”

The project concluded with an ASEFSU Showroom where the participants presented their ideas and products to all partners and representatives from involved communities. Further collaboration on the proposals and prototypes between the participants and local civil society groups will continue.

“This was the first time that an ASEF Summer University engaged participants from ASEM’s newer member countries, including Croatia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Norway”, said Ms Leonie NAGARAJAN, Director of ASEF’s Education Department. “We are glad that all participants will now have the chance to become members of the ASEF University Alumni Network (ASEFUAN) and further promote the ASEM vision and mission among the youth”.