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Feb 19 is a special issue as it brings to the centre not only the city – the site of everyday living and action for many of us, but also to the centre, and in focus, ‘you’. Drawing from the international edition of Domus 1031 guest-edited by Winy Maas, we take forward the theme ‘You are Urbanism’. One of the regrets today, either while talking about architects and architectural practice in India, or the question of cities, urban space, and civic sensibilities and responsibilities, is that we are constantly facing a sense of withdrawal from public space and public action. In that scenario to have a phrase such as ‘You are urbanism’ is extremely important as it throws a challenge right in your face. This is also the month of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in Mumbai, one of the biggest civic movements in India, and in many cases, in the world. The genesis of this festival came as a form of civic action against losing the city to thoughtless development and with a special focus on conservation of what exists. Today the festival is one of the largest urban gatherings in the world over ten days with much merriment, simultaneous with a range of intellectual and critical programming — cinema, theatre, art installations, readings, discussions, and workshops. It draws the city out of its many far flung neighbourhoods — and that is very important. As much as travel in the city has become a nightmare, and planners are always talking about reducing distances, travel-time, and so on, moving in a city and it many parts makes ‘you one with the city’. To be familiar with the city is to be in tune with the city – its chaos and its pleasures. So with the special editorial focus from Winy Maas, and the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in our front yard, it is an important moment to talk about civic engagement and urban involvement.

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