Kamla Raheja Memorial Lecture Series

Kamla Raheja Memorial Lecture Series 2022 – 11th February 2022

The Kamla Raheja Memorial Lecture Series is an annual event held by the KRVIA to discover new directions in architecture and urban practice and pedagogy. Through discussions and debate, experiment and play, it enables the institution to open out new avenues and horizons for exploration within the academy. Every year a different issue concerning contemporary spatial practices is unpacked through multidisciplinary explorations, seminars, lectures, exhibitions and workshops. These events have covered a wide variety of issues including questions of the domain of architectural thinking, housing, infrastructure, history and heritage. The KRMLS is ssupported by the Kamla Raheja Foundation.


This year, the theme attempts to articulate the city, urban phenomena and architecture through the lens of culture. It is an interdisciplinary understanding of culture, which is in a state of flux, shaped by the city, its identity and its architecture.

The theme runs through a three-year of cycle and brings about sub themes as follows.

Sub Themes
2022 Urban Culture | Architecture | Question of identity
Architecture as a Generator of Urban Culture and producer of the collective
Book Launch: Charles Wolfe: ‘Sustaining a City’s Culture and Character’
KRVIA Faculty: Aneerudha Paul


2023 City-ness | Heritage| Question of Architecture Values
History as a seamless continuum for production of the urban


2024 Regeneration | Community | Question of Environment
Regenerative processes as large virtues for the environment and the community


Learning the City in Transformative Times

The future of our cities and the urban life has become more hotly debated than ever in the wake of the huge upheaval brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Terms such as authenticity, culture, character, and uniqueness are thrown around in discussions about the kind of urban environments we want to live in. But what do they really mean?

Charles R. Wolfe will address his new book with Tigran Haas, Sustaining a City’s Culture and Character, which explores how we can understand and respond sensitively, thoughtfully and creatively to the individual needs of each public place, neighbourhood, or city, creating an urban world that is distinctive and desirable to live in.

He will relate examples from the UK and internationally that underline the critical importance of context and offer insightful solutions to blend the past with the future. They include moving a small Swedish city, reviving Irish market towns, and revitalization efforts adjacent to London’s Waterloo Station. He will also summarize the book’s “LEARN” method (Look, Engage, Assess, Review, and Negotiate), which provides a comprehensive approach to how we can think about, analyse and implement more effectively a sustainable urban culture and character in transformative times.

Event link



Charles R. Wolfe is one of the most important voices in multinational urbanism today, offering a fresh perspective on how we maintain the culture and character of our cities.

He is a UK-based, multinational urbanism consultant, and the author of Sustaining a City’s Culture and Character (Rowman and Littlefield (2021), the third on a trilogy of books addressing how to determine the intrinsic identities of cities and urban places. He is a recent visiting scholar in Sweden, Fulbright specialist in Australia for an award-winning project, and long-time American environmental/land use lawyer. He holds graduate degrees in law and regional planning with 37 years of experience in environmental, land use, and real estate law.

He is founder and principal advisor of Seeing Better Cities Group, has practiced at several law firms, and has served as a long-time affiliate associate professor in the College of the Built Environments at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has been a frequent radio and podcast guest, and written regularly for many publications, including The Atlantic, The Atlantic Cities/CityLab, Governing, CityMetric, Planetizen, The Huffington Post, Grist, and Crosscut. He blogs at sustainingplace.com. He is also the author of Seeing the Better City (2017) (finalist for a 2018 UK National Urban Design Award), and Urbanism Without Effort (rev. ed. 2019), both from Island Press.