Every 12 years, a megacity springs up in India for the Kumbh Mela religious festivalwhat’s built in ten weeks is completely disassembled in one. What can we learn from this fully functioning, temporary settlement? In a visionary talk, urban designer Rahul Mehrotra MAUD ’87 explores the benefits of building impermanent cities that can travel, adapt or even disappear, leaving the lightest possible footprint on the planet. His focus while working in India is working on institutional buildings and conservation of historic places.

Rahul Mehrotra is an architect, urbanist and educator who is the Founder Principal of RMA Architects and is Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the GSD. His work covers a range of buildings, from houses to institutional to office buildings. A recent project was a housing estate for 100 elephants and their caretakers in Jaipur, India. Mehrotra is passionate about writing. He’s written several books on the history and architecture of Mumbai, including Architecture In India Since 1990. He’s also written on urbanism in India and is currently working on a book on his experiences as a practitioner in India.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference and was featured by the editors on the home page.