Craft, Culture and Community: Learning Resilience from the Ziro Valley (CS01)


With the discourse of sustainability as the predecessor and SDGs forming its backdrop, the Urban Resilience discourse has now entered into its third-generation, Socio-Ecological Resilience (UN Habitat, 2017). However, the role of culture still has the potential to be underscored through case studies.

The above position aligns with the emerging inclination of ‘resilience thinking’ towards acknowledging the plurality and investigating interconnections and interdependencies within and beyond cities. (UN Habitat 2017, pp. 9). At present, as the state of the Resilience Literature is defined through formal structures, agencies and actors; there is an opportunity to put forward the indigenous knowledge systems in the body. With the unique proposition of human and nature interaction, co-existence of formal political structures and traditional tacit anthropological systems, the ZiroValley from Arunachal Pradesh offers opportunities to look into the Cultural aspects through its integrated practices and continuums, to evolve towards a next paradigm in the Urban Resilience discourse. The local practices of urban agriculture, livelihood systems and worldview, natural resource consumption, water and forest conservation, cultural conflict resolution offers unique narratives in the part and whole of Urban Resilience systems.


With the objective to illustrate the resilience principles and systems, grounded in the cultural continuums of Ziro Valley, the case study employs qualitative methods, including the design ethnography and socio-cultural-technical system mapping with field visits and interviews to come up with a rooted and indigenous version of Urban Resilience.

Preliminary Findings

  • Unique Human-Nature relationship patterns which have shaped the cultural practices

  • The indigenous knowledge systems spans across the scales of design, from designing object to spaces, from cultural rituals to agriculture

Lead author

Saurabh Tewari ( )

Last modified: Friday, 23 October 2020, 9:56 AM