Exploring responses of the cities, as they grow and develop, to the challenges of Inclusive, Sustainable and Participatory Development

Activity Team

Banashree Banerjee
Anjali K Mohan
Kirtee Shah

The purpose of the project is to track ideas and innovations through city level dialogues in the form of City Hearings called: “What Cities Are Doing: Tracking ideas and innovations in addressing the urban challenge: 3 Challenges, 3 Perspectives and 10 Cities”The main idea is to find out how cities, as they grow and develop under multiple pressures and myriad influences, tackle three of their own urban challenges, defined by experts as critical.

These are:

  1. Inclusive development
  2. Sustainable development
  3. Democratic local governance the core idea is to do it not only through what the experts and the professionals are saying on the above three challenges but also how responses are shaping in the streets of the cities and how people see and work on them.

So the three perspectives consist of hearing and observing

  1.  what the communities (the economically and socially disadvantaged groups, especially the urban poor) themselves are saying and doing
  2. what the various levels of governments are saying and doing, and
  3. what the larger city society—experts, professionals, middle class -- is saying and doing.

The 10 cities will be selected from different parts of the country, preferably those that are participating in the Government of India’s Smart City Scheme, based on the interest in undertaking this exercise. Tentatively the first two cities will be Bangalore and Pune. In Bangalore the project will work closely with the proposed IFHP City Lab initiative.The entry point for the Hearing in each city will be an exhibition titled “People Building Better Cities: Participation and Inclusive and Sustainable Cities”. This exhibition, mainly on the Indian cities, will be developed as an integral part of the project itself. It will also incorporate exhibition panels from an international exhibition on the same theme developed by the Global Studio through a global collaborative effort and which has travelled to different cities of the world, including some Indian cities. The exhibition would be accompanied by a well prepared and city owned/managed public dialogue focused on various aspects of the above three themes, namely Inclusive Development, Sustainable Development and Citizen Participation. This could be in partnership with the local government, other government agencies, civic organizations, academic institutions, or communities that bring a wide cross-section of the citizens, authorities, media and other stakeholders together to discuss the issues with an intent to form the “Citizen Agenda”, “Issue Constituencies” and “Monitoring Arrangement” on the above themes. The outcomes would also be used to initiate policy dialogue with higher levels of government.INHAF and partners will use the inputs from the city hearings to hold policy workshops and exhibitions at regional and national levels with the idea of stimulating change driven from below. INHAF will also use social media, by maintaining a blog on the events on its website and preparing You-Tube videos of the workshops. A book on the process is proposed.

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