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Promoting female participation in urban India’s labour force
May 11, 2023

Promoting female participation in urban India’s labour force

The workforce participation rate of India’s women is significantly lower than that of the men; and amongst the women, the employment levels of urban women are lower than those of their rural counterparts. Using the findings of the 2018 Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), released in 2019, this brief provides an overview of the current state of female labour force participation in urban India. It analyses data on vocational training and employm

Property tax reforms key for India’s post-Covid urban transformation
Sep 24, 2020

Property tax reforms key for India’s post-Covid urban transformation

The very nature of this tax needs to be assessed to understand either why it is not paid or why recovery is poor.

Pushing city administrations towards innovative ‘feminist urbanism’
Nov 30, 2020

Pushing city administrations towards innovative ‘feminist urbanism’

Cities will need to give special attention to the needs of women and ensure that it builds on their economic productivity and recognises their contrib

Re-visioning urban transport in a smart India
Sep 28, 2018

Re-visioning urban transport in a smart India

There is an urgent need for breaking the vicious cycle to improve the quality of life in Indian cities.

Reimagine cities, rethink urban policymaking, realign its purpose
Jan 28, 2021

Reimagine cities, rethink urban policymaking, realign its purpose

It is about recognising that while cities offer economic opportunities to millions, they come with poor and overcrowded housing, lack of safe water an

Requirements for maintaining urban sanitation
Mar 27, 2024

Requirements for maintaining urban sanitation

Sanitation challenges will continue to persist in urban centres until there is an expansion in the managerial, financial, and technological capacities

Restoring groundwater in urban India: Learning from Bengaluru
Oct 16, 2020

Restoring groundwater in urban India: Learning from Bengaluru

What steps are Indian cities taking in order to bring about the sustainable management of groundwater?

Rethinking urban green financing for accelerating India’s cleantech system
Feb 20, 2023

Rethinking urban green financing for accelerating India’s cleantech system

ULBs can effectively contribute to and accelerate India’s cleantech system only if a proper financial framework is put in place

Right to the city: Urban mobility for women empowerment in the decade of action
Mar 08, 2021

Right to the city: Urban mobility for women empowerment in the decade of action

Improved mobility not only broadens women’s economic and social opportunities, but also plays an important role in curbing urban congestion and envi

Scaling-up urban rainwater harvesting
May 02, 2020

Scaling-up urban rainwater harvesting

Most Indian cities experience water supply shortages, particularly during the summer season when the demand for water is phenomenally high. In such si

Sheltering the urban homeless
Nov 28, 2022

Sheltering the urban homeless

The state seems to have failed to undertake adequate measures to deal with the rising issue of homelessness

Small-town youths, digital lifestyle and sustainable urbanisation
Oct 24, 2019

Small-town youths, digital lifestyle and sustainable urbanisation

While the digital economy creates more business opportunities for both rural and urban residents — it narrows the living standard gap between them.

Social marginalisation in urban India and role of the State
Jun 05, 2015

Social marginalisation in urban India and role of the State

Social marginalisation in urban India can be overcome by identifying committed non-State individuals/institutions, and supporting them so that they are able to successfully contribute to the government's reform process.

Social Marginalisation in Urban India and the Role of the State
Sep 15, 2023

Social Marginalisation in Urban India and the Role of the State

Urban inequality is a blight experienced by many cities, even in the developed world.In developing countries like India, these social and economic inequalities become even morepronounced, with living conditions in certain populations crossing the line to the abysmal. Inthese cities, agencies responsible for addressing welfare concerns are unable to do so, as theythemselves grapple with a host of challenges. This paper argues that any positive tra

Speeding up Bihar’s urbanisation
Jul 19, 2022

Speeding up Bihar’s urbanisation

Both the state government and the Central government would need to adopt more concrete measures to rectify the downtrend witnessed in Bihar’s urbani

Strengthening urban India’s informal economy: The case of street vending
Aug 21, 2023

Strengthening urban India’s informal economy: The case of street vending

Street vending was illegal in urban India for almost six decades until the passage of the Street Vendors Act in 2014. Despite the law having legalised the activity, however, the default policy in most cities across India is to clamp down on street hawkers. Yet street vending remains a viable source of employment for many. As the pace of urbanisation increases across India, it is only likely that a greater number of street traders will contest for

Sustainable urban transport—A case for bicycle-friendly cities
Aug 25, 2023

Sustainable urban transport—A case for bicycle-friendly cities

Integrating the use of bicycles and establishing a sound cycling infrastructure will help India in its quest to achieve sustainable development

Technology for urban planning: Prospects of ‘Open Building’
Oct 06, 2023

Technology for urban planning: Prospects of ‘Open Building’

While Open Building holds positive emancipatory potential for urban governance, the adverse impact of technology in an urban space must be kept in min

The abolition of cantonments: What does it entail for urban local bodies?
Jul 06, 2023

The abolition of cantonments: What does it entail for urban local bodies?

There are concerns about how well the newly merged cantonments will be governed under the ULBs

The Bengaluru floods: The rising challenge of urban floods in India
Oct 15, 2022

The Bengaluru floods: The rising challenge of urban floods in India

India already ranks very high among countries in terms of disaster events with urban floods now being added to the list

The Bike-Taxi Alternative to Enhancing Urban Mobility in India
Aug 14, 2023

The Bike-Taxi Alternative to Enhancing Urban Mobility in India

Despite concerted efforts to improve urban public transport, the use of personal vehicles has increased across India. City administrations must consider promoting the use of paratransit vehicles, such as bike-taxis, that can provide ridership to more commuters than a private vehicle. While bike-taxis are prevalent in some Indian cities, their use is curtailed elsewhere in the country by state policy and statutes. Amid growing city congest

The decentralisation charade of urban local bodies
Nov 23, 2021

The decentralisation charade of urban local bodies

The façade of federalism is apparent as none of the government levels want to part with their authority

The future is in urban India: Talbott
Sep 20, 2006

The future is in urban India: Talbott

India is witnessing a phenomenal increase in urbanisation and it is essential that this process is studied and analysed thoroughly to provide for a better quality of life, said Mr. Strobe Talbott, President of the Brookings Institution, while formally releasing ORF Mumbai Vision 2015: Agenda for Urban Renewal, published by Observer Research Foundation in ORF Mumbai on September 20.

The future of urban mobility: Shared, connected, and electric
Feb 22, 2024

The future of urban mobility: Shared, connected, and electric

Cities of the future must have sustainable mobility baked into the core planning process with the ultimate goal of meeting transport demand in a cost-

The horror story of urban water wars
Jul 11, 2019

The horror story of urban water wars

Unless a sectoral re-allocation of water resources enforcing adequate demand management is done, the issues of water scarcity might not be resolved.

The impact of urbanisation on health
Jun 10, 2020

The impact of urbanisation on health

To control diseases in a more sustainable manner, the health of the inhabitants has to become a key factor of urban development.

The menace of building collapses in urban India
Oct 05, 2020

The menace of building collapses in urban India

Solutions to the problem are pretty obvious. The first step is to set the policy right. Governments have to begin by scrapping the rent laws as they s

The need of the hour: Gender-inclusive Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme
May 31, 2022

The need of the hour: Gender-inclusive Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme

With the onset of the pandemic, the urban informal workforce in India has been hit hard by the ongoing livelihood crisis, especially women. This call

The Pathway to Affordable Housing in Urban India: A Case Study of Mumbai
Apr 25, 2023

The Pathway to Affordable Housing in Urban India: A Case Study of Mumbai

The affordable housing challenge plagues cities across India. Although city administrations have framed various strategies to tackle the issue, weak implementation, flawed policies, and an inherent lack of capacity to find longterm solutions have allowed slums to proliferate as an alternative. This paper examines the affordable housing issue in Greater Mumbai. Since affordability is not absolute but relative to the development stage and income di

The practice of urban agriculture in Indian cities
Mar 22, 2022

The practice of urban agriculture in Indian cities

Despite the limitations posed by urban farming, promoting it as a critical urban function will prove to useful in the long run.

The promise and reality of digital technologies in bridging the rural-urban divide
Oct 25, 2019

The promise and reality of digital technologies in bridging the rural-urban divide

Digital innovation has the potential to increase the gains from rural economic activity, in part by allowing rural workers to capture larger pieces o

The quality of local urban democracy
Aug 08, 2023

The quality of local urban democracy

Given that India is on the path to urbanisation, there is a dire need for governance reforms at the municipal level to ensure that it reaches the qual

The road to Smart City planning: A historical co-evolution of urban planning and information systems 
Jul 20, 2022

The road to Smart City planning: A historical co-evolution of urban planning and information systems 

The internet and urban planning have been historically interrelated and has influenced each other’s development.

The role of migration in India’s urban growth story
Mar 22, 2024

The role of migration in India’s urban growth story

India’s cities have to be more liveable and have better infrastructure and economic opportunities

The unfinished business of decentralised urban governance in India
Feb 10, 2020

The unfinished business of decentralised urban governance in India

Until the early 1990s, India’s urban local bodies (ULBs) were under the complete control of the states, having little functional, financial and administrative autonomy. The 74th Amendment Act of 1992 sought to make ULBs self-governing institutions. Many salutary provisions were made in the Act and there have been certain positive outcomes since it came into effect in April 1993. However, many key issues have remained unresolved and at present,

Through the looking-glass: Towards a citizen-centric urban metaverse
Nov 14, 2023

Through the looking-glass: Towards a citizen-centric urban metaverse

In embracing the metaverse, data-driven smart cities can unlock transformative possibilities for urban life quality for building new planning models

Transparency as a tool for urban local governance
Jan 08, 2022

Transparency as a tool for urban local governance

To ensure citizen participation and awareness, it is instrumental that ULBS are slowly transformed into transparent and accountable bodies

Understanding and Tackling Urban Floods in India
Dec 30, 2023

Understanding and Tackling Urban Floods in India

Given their frequent recurrence in Indian cities, the problem of urban flooding is gaining focus in policy discussions. Indeed, urban floods can cause massive loss of infrastructure, property, and lives, and have a substantial economic impact. To ensure they remain functional and secure, Indian cities must tackle the issue of floods by examining the urban over-densification problem and adopting innovative mitigation measures with the technical an