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


Watch this space for updates on workshops, seminars, book releases and other events focused on reimagining the urban.



Interactive Session on Developments in Micro Finance (MF) Sector
September 23, 2017

Till couple of decades back, barring crop loans from state supported cooperative institutions in the rural areas, poor in our country were not availing any noteworthy credit product from the formal financial sector. That situation partially changed when GOI launched twin initiatives in mid 90s, e.g. NABARD sponsored Bank-SHG Link (BSL) program and permitting diverse types of Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) to penetrate into then un-banked sections of society. With this, poor, particularly women among them, started getting unsecured micro credit. Over the years, annual credit disbursements under both the modes increased substantially, though much less if the total credit requirement of the poor in our country is taken into account.

 As a part of the Financial Inclusion vertical of the Right to the City project, the teams are closely researching on similar developments related to the Micro Finance sector. In conjunction with this, an interactive session/ workshop was organized to exchange notes on:

a) The exponential growth of "micro-credit" and its role in serving the purpose of poverty alleviation.

b) The sharp socio-political reactions that have yet again invoked in the recent period.

c) To explore possibilities of creating a network of concerned MF practitioners, academicians, journalists, bankers, advocates within our network.

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A Review of the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme
December 27, 2016

The Slum Rehabilitation Scheme (SRS) completes its 20th year in 2017, and over these two decades the scheme has had its share of success and failure. From time to time, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has drawn criticisms on various fronts like the provision of free housing, involvement of developers, and implementation processes that created opportunities for enormous corrupt practices. Therefore it seemed an appropriate time to examine the scheme for its performance and influence on the housing sector at large, and its expanding role in the state and country. This workshop attempted to understand the trajectory of SRA by focusing on the following questions:

What are the different ways in which SRA has been implemented across MMR and in the state?
What are the different problems post rehabilitation and how are people coping with it?
Is there an alternative to SRA. How do we engage with these alternatives?


The seminar was jointly organised by the School of Habitat Studies, TISS and the Committee for Right to Housing (CRH). The concept note can be found here.


Urban Planning and the Heterogeneous City
November 23, 2016

The closed workshop was aimed as an interactive space between the research team, academics, practitioners and civil society groups. The workshop had two main goals. Firstly it enabled to create a space for dialogue and reflection together with various actors from different backgrounds that participated in the making of the Development Plan (DP); secondly it was the opportunity to present and validate the preliminary findings of the analysis. These two goals had the objective to increase and deepen the research team’s knowledge about the intricate process that is the DP.

The workshop was organised by the Laboratory of Urban Sociology, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland and the Center for Urban Policy and Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India

For more details click here.


Becoming smart about settlements: Policy, planning, governance and the urban challenge in India
August 26, 2016

Smart is the new buzzword for cities. But even as we debate the ideal of smart cities (and villages!), how governance and policy understand and respond to the existing urbanization dynamic deserves closer attention. On the one hand, cities are explicitly being yoked by policy to the task of pushing up the GDP. On the other, the process of urbanization is unfolding in a poorly understood, weakly planned and regulated, unsustainable, and iniquitous manner across the urban-rural continuum spanning megacities, smaller cities and towns, and peri-urban villages. The rapid expansion of speculative urbanism, and new cultures of consumption is accompanied by a neglect of mounting crises related to livelihoods, inequality, social fragmentation, ecological devastation within and across each of these geographies. The fact that governance and policy initiatives at central, state and local levels are increasingly furthering these fraught processes forms the rationale for this symposium.

This symposium shifts attention from the outcome of smartness in cities to the more critical challenge of becoming smarter about understanding and addressing the process of urbanization as a whole. It seeks to explore the limitations of current policy, planning and governance thinking about the process of urbanization and consider different approaches to becoming really smarter about it. Policy and planning are the key objects of attention for the symposium, but are approached in relation to governance at large.


Navi Mumbai’s Urbanisation Trajectory – Conflicts and Contradictions around Utopian Plans, Planning, and Governance
May 27, 2016

This workshop explores the contesting imaginations of urban utopias – past and present, top down and bottom up, that speak to how the city of Navi Mumbai should be developed, how land and resources should be distributed and how questions of justice, equity, rights are to be engaged with and addressed through democratic and participatory processes. How are these utopias shaped by the history of urbanisation, the socio-political dynamics and local relations? How does one empower, strengthen, embolden these alternative utopias? What spaces will promote, contribute to and help to grow these ideas of a different kind of city in the face of an increasing emphasis on smart urbanism as the and only pathway to urbanisation? What are the challenges and opportunities that come into play when multiple trajectories of urbanisation are opened up?

For more details visit:


State-level Workshop Report of Governance and Infrastructure Transformations in Bhubaneswar and Puri via the JNNURM
October 30, 2014

The objective of this workshop was to have all the stakeholders and key implementers of JNNURM to share their experiences of the programme, the issues that came up, challenges they faced in its implementation and any success stories from each of their perspective.

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On Impact of Infrastructure and Governance Transformation of JNNUIRM and IHSDP projects in Mizoram: A Report
October 29, 2014

The purpose of this workshop was to share the understanding of the research team of the ICSSR sponsored project undertaken by the Department of Urban Policy and Planning supported by the Department of Social Work, Mizoram university.

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The City Produced: Urban Development, Violence and Spatial Justice in Mumbai
September 29, 2014

The seminar was held to release 'The City Produced: Urban Development, Violence and Spatial Justice in Mumbai', a city profile that traces the changing trajectories of poverty, inequality, violence, and peace over the last few centuries. The release was be followed by 'Mumbai Matka: Urban Trajectories and Futures', a panel discussion on the possible future directions of the city.


“How can urban development work for the poor?”: Improving centrally sponsored urban development programs
June 14, 2014

Participants at the workshop came up with a series of suggestions to ensure that future iterations of JNNURM and other urban development programs will result in outcomes that are better for the city’s poor.

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State level Workshop on the Influence of Spatial and Land Use Planning on Economic Development and Livelihoods: The Case of Small and Medium Towns in Maharashtra.
April 30, 2013

This workshop focused on sharing and reflecting on the analysis that came out of the Planning and Economic Development component of UIRF II.

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Joint National concluding Workshop by UIRF-SUBURBIN on Provincial Urbanisation: Examining the role of Small and Medium Towns and Cities in the Urbanisation of India
April 23, 2013

This workshop organised with the Subaltern Urbanization in India (SUBURBIN) focused on the significance of India’s small and medium cities and towns and the rapidly changing processes of urbanisation in India.


Western Region Consultation on Millennium Development Goals and the Urban Poor
December 03, 2012

The workshop was organised in partnership with Oxfam India and YUVA India. The focus of the consultation was to deliberate on possible new frameworks for the Millennium Development Goals post 2015 in light of contemporary and future challenges facing urban poor groups.


National Workshop on Lessons Learned from JNNURM-1 for Feeding into JNNURM-2
November 27, 2012

The workshop was organised in partnership with the India Habitat Forum (INHAF). It focused on the problem and success areas of JNNURM and what could be done to address these in future urban development programmes. The intention was also to invite participant feedback on how a coalition of academic and practitioner groups could contribute to more effective design of future urban development programmes.

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Gendered Governance in Urban Maharashtra: Challenges and Opportunities Workshop
March 02, 2012

The workshop brought together women representatives in urban local governments and activists who saw an opportunity in the expanded reservations for women in local body elections in Maharashtra.

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Towards a Comprehensive Agenda for Housing in Maharashtra Workshop
November 18, 2011

This workshop was an effort to think through housing issues at the state level and to validate and share the analysis of the UIRF II Housing Component.

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The UIRF National Concluding Workshop
August 26, 2011

It marked the conclusion of the UIRF Project and shared research done during the project duration as well as reflected on possible next steps going forward.

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From Reforms to Good Governance: National Consultative Workshop
November 19, 2009

The workshop was held to to inaugurate the Urban India Research Facility within the School. The event kickstarted a discussion on the challenges introduced by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission’s agenda of reforms. The keynote was delivered by Prof K C Sivaramakrishnan from the Centre for Policy Research, Delhi.

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September 01, 2014

From communal riots in Hyderabad in 1984 to the crisis of redevelopment in Beijing before the 2008 Olympic Games, multitudes of everyday urban realities found a common ground in cinema at Sheharnama, a two-day international film festival of documentary and short fiction films. The festival was organised by CUPG, Films Division India, Action Aid and Ciric. Click below to find a curated list of eighteen documentaries and short fiction films on and from cities from across the world, that were screened at the festival.

Link to complete list of films