URBZ has developed a new website for PUKAR, a Mumbai-based urban research and action collective. Based on Wordpress, an open source content management system, this website has been entirely customized to suit the needs of PUKAR, of which its flagship project – the Youth Fellowship program – comprises about 400 youth researchers across the city. Besides this, PUKAR’s researchers work in various neighbourhoods all across the city through projects such as ‘Healthy City, Wealthy City’ and ‘Mythologies of Mumbai’.
The main purpose of the new website is to allow PUKAR’s researchers and staff to publish their research online and make it publicly available. The site will also allow visitors to comment on pages and posts. Among various innovative features is a plugin allowing different Flickr photo albums to be displayed on every page. The admin section was also entirely customized and a series of plugins have been produced to suit PUKAR’s needs, including the main menu and the tag cloud. All these plugins will be made freely available to all Worpress users and developers on the URBZ site in the near future.
The site was developed by Wordpress and CSS master Ricardo Garcia Sanchez, who works with URBZ from Geneva, Switzerland. The design was produced by Jose “Cole” Abasolo, based in Santiago, Chile. Cole is also responsible for the design of the URBZ website and posters. The site was conceived byMatias Echanove and Rahul Srivastava who both have been working for PUKAR (Rahul as its first Director and initiator of the Youth Fellowship Program, and Matias as IT Advisor). The development of the site was coordinated by Matias Echanove.
The architecture of the site as well as its design are the product of a year-long dialogue with PUKAR’s staff and youth fellows, which included many IT training sessions. It was produced in a participatory way and conceived to maximize everyone’s involvement in the production of online knowledge and information.