Conference on Sustainable urbanization in India: Challenges and opportunities
15-16 January 2015
Organized by Institute of Development Studies Kolkata (IDSK) in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)
Since 2007, urban centres have become the dominant habitat for human beings making the process of urbanization one of the most significant global trends of the twenty‐first century. Sustainable Urbanization is the post‐2015 development agenda of the United Nations. It unfurls optimistic designs where the city is considered the axis for the new global change, economic forces to entire nations, and central players on the world stage. With global environmental change at the planetary scale on one hand and rapid urbanization at the other, cities are recognized as seedbeds of solutions; flurry of recommendations, designs, and innovations are being thought upon with sustainability as the nucleus. Since the 1990s, cities came to be looked at through the sustainability lens. The concept of 'sustainable cities' emerged, being derived from 'sustainable development' which was popularized in the Brundtland Report (1987) of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), United Nations (UN) and Agenda 21 (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development [UNESCO], 1992). The UN Sustainable City Programme in the South was launched as a vehicle for implementing Agenda 21 at the city level to incorporate environmental management into urban development decision making where economic and environmental costs of urbanization and urban development were to be taken into account and cities were to be designed as compact, energy efficient cities, self‐reliant in terms of resource production and waste absorption.
There are critical perspectives questioning the effectiveness of these programmes in the global South with the central argument that here sustainability is perceived from the Northern lens ignoring the critical issues of lack of availability and access to infrastructures and resources. Critics include Mike Davis, Joseph Gugler, David Harvey and others who have invoked into the contradictions associated with rapid and rampant urbanization in the poorest quarters of the developing nations.
The present seminar aims to move beyond the bi‐centric approach (of only looking into the differences between the 'developed' and the 'developing' world) and reflect on cities across India using polycentric methods and approaches. In spite of some common components, each and every city has its own trajectories of growth and development, vulnerability and resilience. The Indian scenario is extremely diverse and cities can be broadly classified according to historical, geographical and demographic conjectures. Solutions laid out in official and non‐official documents tend to miss out these diversities. The main objective of the seminar is to identify city‐specific sources of unsustainability and challenges and explore strategies and potentials to make the process of urban transition both sustainable and equitable. Lessons can be learnt from multi‐scalar analyses and case‐study based examples of Indian cities. The non‐linear, bottom‐up, multisectoral process‐based local contexts and initiatives would interrogate a general acceptance of the universalized concept of Sustainable Urbanization and suggest ways that might be important for transcending the theory into action.
Call for Papers
Major and cross‐cutting/overlapping themes
- Urban inequalities (between large cities and small towns and among different groups within a city)
- Governance, planning and finance (role of govt. institutions, NGOs, CBOs and foreign capital)
1. Civic infrastructures (including access to natural resources)2. Waste management3. Emission and energy use4. Urban sprawl/mega‐urbanization5. Different shades of metropolitan civility and urban environmentalism(s)6. Cities and disasters – vulnerabilities and resilience
- August 30, 2014: Submission of abstract
- September 20, 2014: Authors of selected abstracts would be notified via email
- November 30, 2014: Submission of full draft paper
- January 15 and 16, 2015: Paper presentation in the conference
- February 20, 2015: Submission of full revised paper for publication
- Researchers from academic, government and non‐government organizations are invited to submit their original and unpublished research work on any of the sub‐themes mentioned above. The list of sub‐themes is, however, only suggestive.
- Abstracts should be within 500 words and they should contain complete contact details of the author(s) including email id(s) and contact number(s). Abstracts must state the research problems, methods and methodologies pursued and major observations and findings of the research clearly.
- Selected papers will be invited for presentation in the conference. While submitting a full paper, please abide by the following guidelines:
- Paper size: Approximately 6000 words including references
- Style: American Psychological Association (APA)
- Font: Times New Roman; Size: 12 points; Spacing: 1.5
Please note that we are planning to publish some of the selected papers in a book volume by a reputed publisher.
Travel and accommodation
IDSK will reimburse travel expenses to and from the place of residences that include AC 2/3 tier train fare, boarding and lodging facility in the city and other expenses to those paper presenters who will submit full papers within the scheduled date.
For any queries, please email Dr. Jenia Mukherjee (Assistant Professor of History of Ecology and Environment and Coordinator of the conference) at email@example.com or call at 08017246499.
Further Details: http://idsk.edu.in/common/file/Call-for-papers-for-Jan-2015-conf.pdf