An online public archive of resources & research centered around the urban

URK aims to spark conversations about the diverse ways of knowing, imagining and experiencing the urban. The website is a project of the Centre for Urban Policy and Governance (CUPG), School of Habitat Studies (SoHS), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

It is conceived as a public archive for knowledge resources on urbanisation and the city, including original research conducted at CUPG. It will contribute to building just and progressive counternarratives to dominant discourses.


The Centre uses a broad conception of the urban covering small towns and large cities, metropolitan regions, and rural-urban interfaces and peripheries. It studies the transformations involved in becoming urban, the nature of the cities within the city, and the politics and movements that shape trajectories of change.


It serves as an archive for multi-media narratives such as government documents; maps, photographs and

videos and published as well as unpublished reports and grey material.


The intention is to encourage the creation and valorization of different knowledges that serve to re-imagine the urban in the Global South. Using participatory methodologies and democratisation of the knowledge building and archiving process are core elements of this intention.


The contemporary world is urban, with the locus of urbanisation shifting to the Global South. India, particularly, is at the cusp of a transition from a primarily agrarian society to one that is urbanising in a markedly unsustainable manner. Knowledge on the challenges of urbanisation however, is uneven, limited by disciplinary silos, and policies usually lack the perspective of marginalised actors.

It is here that the Centre seeks to make substantial contributions to theory and practice by producing situated, critical and interdisciplinary knowledge about urbanisation and the city. CUPG is committed to imagining and realising a paradigm of urban development that is just and sustainable in social, spatial and ecological terms. It aims to emerge as a centre of such knowledge in the Global South.

Established in 2008, the Centre has a multi-disciplinary faculty and research team, and undertakes collaborative partnerships with other centres in the city, country and internationally. The Centre administers a Master’s Programme in Urban Policy and Governance, and its faculty advise MPhil and PhD students. Building a core of committed academics and policymakers is central to its work.