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…

Uncertainty and Climate Change in India

Harbouring one of the largest mangrove forest tracks in the world, the Sunderbans cover a sizeable area in southern Bangladesh and east India. Formed by the confluence of three major rivers, the deltaic region which the Sunderbans are part of, is famed for its tiger habitats and dynamic ecology. Researchers from a Norwegian Research Council-funded and Noragric-led project…

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…

People riding motorbikes in Chennai

The challenges of creating new visions for sustainable urbanisation in India

by Poonam Pandey, from the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University. A two-day conference organised at Jawaharlal Nehru University, in collaboration with the STEPS centre, raised questions about how to bring about critical new thinking on sustainable urbanisation in India. For the creation of new visions for a sustainable city the foremost questions to be…

Solidarity with JNU

We in the STEPS Centre stand in full solidarity and support for our colleagues at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), India.  We were distressed to hear of the circumstances leading to the arrests and raids carried out on the JNU campus in the last few days, and the subsequent events, including violent assaults on faculty and students. Universities…

cityscape

Why India’s urban researchers need to move beyond megacities

Guest post by Aviram Sharma The launch of the South Asia Sustainability Hub and Knowledge Network (SAH&KN) provides a much needed platform to the academic, policy and civil society groups working in South Asia around sustainability challenges. During the launch and afterwards for the next two days in the International Conference on Pathways to Sustainable…

Rethinking ‘smart’ in India: The city as an ecology of practices

Last week, the government of India announced the names of the first 20 cities slated to become ‘smart’. These are the winners of the recently concluded ‘Smart City Challenge’. The government claims that smartening the cities will make them inclusive and sustainable, through the adoption of ‘smart solutions’. In one city, plans include a digital…

What would a sustainable city look like?

On Thursday, India announced the first 20 cities to receive funding to become ‘Smart Cities’. It’s a high profile mission to modernise and transform urban infrastructure, especially using digital technologies like sensor networks and data centres. Smart cities are one response to the huge challenges facing urban India. The conference on pathways to sustainable urbanisation,…