Change mural

How do ‘transformative spaces’ open up possibilities for action?

A paper by Fiona Marshall (SPRU), Jonathan Dolley (SPRU) and Ritu Priya (South Asia Sustainability Hub) explores how ‘transformative space making’ can contribute to systemic change that supports pro-poor transformations to sustainability. The authors describe transformative spaces as follows: “The metaphor of transformative spaces is used here not to suggest a bounded location in space…

Gurgaon skyline with skyscrapers and construction

The Power of a T-Lab: Sharing lessons on water and justice in Gurgaon, India

by Dinesh Abrol, Pravin Kushwaha and Bikramaditya K. Choudhary, South Asia Sustainability Hub & Knowledge Network. As big cities change rapidly, people moving into them can struggle for access to basic services like clean water and sanitation. One such city is Gurgaon, a secondary city that’s experienced rapid urban transition over the last two decades….

Farmers driving through the village of Karhera in India

What does the future hold for Delhi’s urban farmers?

A new digital story and photo book show the dilemmas facing urban farmers at the edge of Delhi and Ghaziabad in India. Surrounded on all sides by rapid urbanisation, industry and even new tourist attractions, the farmers find their access to land increasingly constrained. Their crops, and their health, are affected by rising pollution.

Why we need to reveal the hidden connections at the heart of cities

By Fiona Marshall and Ritu Priya, STEPS Urbanisation theme Urban areas are intense meeting points of people and cultures, but they’re also places where more or less visible interactions happen: between the infrastructures and systems of water, energy, food and other resources. These connections pose a big challenge for how researchers understand cities – but…

To struggle against and to build with: what does student activism in Delhi mean for pathways to justice?

At the weekend, Umar Khalid, one of the six student activists accused in Delhi’s ‘anti-nationalism scandal’ unfolded by the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Modi, returned to the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). In a rousing speech on Sunday night, he made a persuasive case for “anti-nationals of the world [to] unite”. Echoing…

launch event

South Asia Sustainability Hub launched in Delhi

The economist Nitin Desai, the environmentalist Sunita Narain and the writer P. Sainath spoke at the South Asia Sustainability Hub & Knowledge Network launch event on 28 January in Delhi. The new hub joins five other hubs around the world in the Pathways to Sustainability Global Consortium, which the STEPS Centre convened to link up…

South Asia Sustainability Hub launched in Delhi

The economist Nitin Desai, the environmentalist Sunita Narain and the writer P. Sainath spoke at the South Asia Sustainability Hub & Knowledge Network launch event on 28 January in Delhi. The new hub joins five other hubs around the world in the Pathways to Sustainability Global Consortium, which the STEPS Centre convened to link up…

Stories from STEPS: Waste not, want not

The first of a new series of digital stories from the STEPS Centre looks at the working lives of India’s waste pickers, and reveals the hidden connections within the life and politics of the city. Read the story now on Medium: Waste not, want not The story picks up themes from our ‘Pathways to environmental…

How climate change transformed India’s megacities

By Alankar, researcher at Sarai / STEPS Uncertainty from Below project. The megacities of India like Delhi and Mumbai are exhibiting today what we can call ‘urbanization of poverty’ and ‘urbanization of consumption’. More than half of the populations of both cities survives under acute poverty. At the same time, both these megacities today house…

The Water Cookbook: Bhagwati Prasad’s strange and beautiful illustrations from peri-urban Delhi

I’ve just come across a copy of The Water Cookbook which I was given by Lyla Mehta, produced by part of our project looking at water conflicts in peri-urban Delhi. It’s an amazing set of illustrations by Bhagwati Prasad of the Delhi-based research centre Sarai programme, which uses art and media to respond to and…