Future Cities

By 2050, the global urban population is expected to increase by 2.5 to 3 billion of which the majority of residents will live in small to medium sized cities in the developing world. There are few places where this demands as much attention as India as more urban growth is taking place in small to mid-sized cities. This changing trend in urbanization desperately warrants a shift in policy discourse towards growing mid-sized cities. Indian cities require new visions of the future to confront challenges of the 21st century.

Adaptation and Urban Resilience

Historical patterns of urban development in India have exacerbated both physical and social vulnerabilities that communities face due to threats from climate change. While resilient cities are a dominant discourse for tackling these risks, this narrative has prioritised technical responses, such as climate proofing infrastructure, over addressing social vulnerabilities. How can we reimagine community driven resilience solutions? 

Low Carbon Pathways

Urbanisation is a major driver of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in India and across the globe. Besides generating GHGs from buildings and transportation, cities are recipients of goods and services, the production of which likely involves emissions elsewhere. India’s ability to transition to low carbon futures is essential to ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and targets of the Paris Accord. How do we support cities in mitigating their emissions and transitioning to a low carbon future?

Digital Transformations

With the rise of the Smart Cities movement in India the deployment of digital infrastructures to solve complex urban challenges has been normalised. Digital technologies can help improve service provision, monitor development and even mitigate carbon emissions. However, without frameworks of responsibility, issues of equity, privacy and justice will be overlooked. How can cities champion inclusive innovation while critically examining the social dimensions of technological change?

Access and Inclusion

Processes of city making and urban planning have neglected the needs of marginalised communities. Inequities of caste, religion, and gender and income shape access to urban spaces. These inequities are often compounded and manifest in poor service provision, inadequate and segregated housing and even discrimination and violence against communities. How can we strengthen urban systems to make them accessible and inclusive for everyone?

Policy Lab Photo
Power and Politics: Reframing Urban Nature-based Solutions from the Bottom-Up
Nature in South Asian cities is highly contested: cities must incorporate community visions, indigenous knowledge and local uses of nature in cities to achieve climate and development goals.
Too hot to deliver
Platform companies, governments, and regulatory bodies must work together to effectively address heat stress for vulnerable communities like delivery workers in Indian cities.
The City as a Laboratory - Urban Living Labs for Resilience Planning
Transitions Research hosted our first dialogue in our series Talking About Transitions on Urban Living Labs. This blog highlights some of the key takeaways from our event held in July 2022