Why Urban Studies?
Diamanta Vania Lavi
Class of 2017
I grew up in densely-populated, highly-congested Jakarta. When I moved to Singapore at the age of 14, the stark contrast between the two cities was just mind-boggling. I experienced first-hand how proper planning can really affect people’s lifestyle and pace of living. Since then, I have been very curious about cities, and when it was time for me to declare a major, Urban Studies just seemed to be a natural choice.What is Urban Studies to you?
Urban studies is a truly multi-disciplinary field that allows me to explore everything that is related to cities and is affected by cities. This broad spectrum of fields I can choose from is highly liberating, and the common denominator of the urban really helps to tie these different fields together. It is highly complex yet also very exciting! What are your other interests?
I really enjoy modern literature, art history, physical geography and anything francophonic. I also bake and do yoga on my free time. I just started trying my hand at short film-making lately! What city best represents you and why?
I think the city that would best represent me is Jakarta. It may appear disorderly and chaotic, but beneath these chaos people have found innovative way to create orderly systems to go about their daily lives! The pace of life might seem really fast as well, but at the end of the day, people know how to slow down for late night conversations and a cup of warm jasmine tea. This mix of disorder- and orderliness, as well as dynamism and tranquillity, best represent me as a person. My favourite place of the city would have to be any patch of grass where I can lie down to read, have picnic, or just enjoy the sun. Sometimes, being in a city with skyscrapers can get really claustrophobic, and it’s nice to just be able to escape from that density.