Collaborative proposals to work on India’s Urban Challenge: CISOTT and CITIURI

CISOTT: Civil Society Think Tank on India’s Urban Challenge

Building on INHAF’s earlier efforts during Habitat 3 that led to the Delhi Declaration, it was suggested to conceive CISOTT: Civil Society Think Tank on India’s Urban Challenge. Considering that the cities are the undeniable future of the country with 820 million estimated to live there by 2050 and 70 percent of the GDP coming from the urban centres, the response of cities be that investment, institutions, technology or governance, is far behind and removed from what is required. It would appear that the government, professionals and institutions are failing to do justice to its multiple complex demands. Meeting the challenge squarely and exploit the potential creatively much innovative and out of box thinking is necessary. CISOTT—a think tank created and manned by the civil society, to generate a new, innovative response to the urban challenge. Not working against the government, working closely with it but from outside and in collaboration with potential individuals and groups in education and the professional community.

‘CITIURI’: Citizen’s Urban Initiative

Following this and on the back of continuing efforts to set up the National Commission on Urbanisation-2, the Gujarat State Commission on Urbanisation and against the backdrop of the National urban policy framework drafted by the GoI in 2018, Inhaf reached out to different academic institutions and individuals to work with us on ‘reassessing India’s urban challenge, rethinking Indian cities and reformulating the response in the context of the national development challenge’.

In mid-2019, INHAF drafted a proposal to rethink Indian urbanization and named the initiative ‘CITIURI’: Citizen’s Urban Initiative. This initiative is about organising a multi-level and multi-disciplinary systematic societal effort, spearheaded by some of India’s leading urban and related professionals, thinkers and practice-ners to prepare a blueprint, making a roadmap, that outlines the country’s response to the complex urban challenge in a way that ensures efficient, productive, inclusive, sustainable, liveable and humane cities for a happy people and an equitable and harmonious society.

Through CITIURI, we seek to do the following: (a) Reassess India’s Urban Challenge (b) Rethink Indian Cities, and (c) Reformulate the Response in the context of National Development Challenges.