By Britain A. Ogle, University of Arizona, Masters Candidate – Landscape Architecture
Well, everything I’ve heard about India is true. The streets are chaotic, the Metro is jam-packed, and the food is fantastic! I landed in Delhi on June 6th around midnight. The streets outside the airport were loaded with taxis awaiting any fare, especially one that involves a tourist unknowing of their deceptive practices.
Dr. Shikha Jain, Director of DRONAH, was sitting at her desk when I arrived, eager to meet, she promptly stood and shook my hand. After introductions she proposed an alternative to the UNESCO Creative Cities Project: Crafts Walk assignment. The Jantar Mantar Landscape Master Plan (a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010) is in need of a revision, she felt the project might better suit my interests. Dr. Shikha explained to me, “Either project is suitable, you have the final say in which ever one you might want to pursue.”
It is most difficult choosing one site over another, each is so unique and has its own challenges and erudition. Since my work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia, UNESCO Heritage Sites and landscape design has been my pursuit. Although attractive and fascinating, it is not an easy task deciding which UNESCO project to adopt. The Jantar Mantar lies at the axis (literally) of the majestic Pink City of Jaipur, and sets an example for future development throughout the historic city, whereas the Crafts Walk would provide an opportunity to immerse myself in the discovery and mapping of Jaipur’s cultural traditions.