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Conservation and the Indian City: Bridging the Gap

This volume assesses the contemporary condition of heritage and conservation in India from three perspectives – that of the monument and building; that of the city and its ecological context; and that of the broader policy and regulatory frameworks that enable conservation. To what degree does twentieth-century Modern architectural heritage in India actually impact daily urban life? Why are there unforeseen consequences of World Heritage Site designations on Indian towns and cities? Is there real potential for participatory conservation planning in the world’s largest democracy? Gathering an expansive group of multifaceted individuals – architects, conservationists, planners, urban designers, engineers, activists, educators, and practitioners – this book examines the successes and shortcomings of conservation practice in India today, and offers tactics and strategies to bridge extant social, political, and cultural gaps. This volume will be of interest to anyone seeking to understand the complex relationships between the contemporary city, conservation, and ecological-, cultural-, and built-heritage, whether in India or beyond.

Conceptualised, Curated, and Edited by Poonam Verma Mascarenhas and Vinayak Bharne
Foreword by Gustavo F. Araoz Essays
Authored by 26 Experts
Published by INHAF in collaboration with MyLiveableCity
Price: Introductory Pre-Order Offer at INR 1300
Soft Bound Edition
Book Size: 7.25 x 7.25 inches
Book Weight: 796 gms

ClimACT Compendium

ClimACT-Chennai is a climate action initiative that intends to bring convergence in views and actions that can take a proactive approach to the looming threat of Climate change faced by the city of Chennai. ClimACT seeks to lay out a strategic direction for actions relating to climate change in the city with the primary goal of improving its resilience, equity & liveability. The objective is to learn and get a lay of the land in terms of action in Chennai against the climate crisis. 

We believe that one way of gaining a better understanding of the city was to create a Compendium of relevant projects and initiatives in Chennai to get an overview of various actors tackling these challenges. Under the compendium exercise, we have identified organisations and their projects which contribute significantly to the fight against Climate Change in Chennai. The availability of information and access to relevant stakeholders has been the guiding principle in the selection of these organisations. 

The document is a culmination of desk research and one-on-one personal interviews wherever feasible. The underlying idea was to understand the kind of services provided and the type of work being implemented towards Climate action in the city. This is the first phase of the document and we envision a scaled-up version with the work of more organisations in the future.

Jobs and Skilling Landscape for Women Construction Workers in India: Learning from Case Studies​

On construction sites, few women are seen engaged in skilled work like masonry, carpentry, plumbing, etc. The construction industry in itself has displayed tremendous change in terms of technology and scale over the years. And yet, the position of women in the industry has remained unchanged and tied to unskilled, manual labour intensive, low-paying, and low-dignity jobs. 

INHAF and Sehreeti Developmental Practices Foundation came together with the objective to understand and address this issue. Our interactions with various stakeholders in the construction industry including builders, developers, training institution leaders, trade union representatives, and civil society revealed that while there is acknowledgment of the deplorable conditions of women construction workers there has limited action taken in this regard. Only a small group of civil society organisations have spearheaded initiatives that skill women construction workers. 

The need of the hour is an ecosystem approach that brings in the participation of major stakeholders in the construction industry and skilling ecosystem to ensure that women construction workers are not just skilled but are also able to access skilled jobs. This study presents the preliminary recommendations we have arrived at to transform this situation along with insights from our discussions with various stakeholders. 

We intend for it to be a call for collaboration with organisations working in the space of skilling, habitat development, and gender equity to integrate efforts towards mainstreaming skilled women construction workers.

Engaging with Maharashtra's Smart City Program - A Way Forward

The Smart city Coalition, formed under the initiative by INHAF attempted to study the working of the Smart Cities program in Maharashtra. The idea was to understand how did the important national program unfolded on the ground, was implemented by the city, received by the people, how its various components worked, and what it meant for the policy makers, professionals and others engaged in search of appropriate responses to the daunting urban challenge. Launched in 2015, the Smart City Mission (SCM) was one of many flagship national programmes of India, seen as offering solutions to the country’s massive and complex urban challenge. Its focus was to harness information communication technology (ICT) to improve city efficiency, productivity, security, liveability, sustainability and governance.

This project is an example of a tremendous collaborative initiative between various local partners from across the 8 cities who in turn interacted with elected representatives, bureaucrats, professionals and the city residents, who shared their views on various aspects of the Smart City Mission in their respective cities. The entire methodology of this project rested on the feedback received from the local partners on ground, which was then reconciled with other secondary data sources and combined in a structured comparative report. This report hopes to impact policy makers not only in Maharashtra but across the country and at the Centre to identify the lacunae in implementation of centrally devised schemes in a heterogeneous urban landscape. It also hopes to show a way forward to developments required at the level of the urban local bodies to be able to successfully implement ambitious central missions structured as self-sustaining financial entities, entirely different from the grant-dependent nature of Municipal finance at present. The Smart City program, for its size, potential and relevance in the context of policy making, program design, investment strategy and institutional development task does not seem to have been examined as much and as vigorously. In that scenario this work, due to its special nature and context, assumes significance.

SURAKSHA - An Initiative in Support of the Transgender Community

The years of the pandemic have been challenging to say the least. Without a doubt, those without adequate shelter, access to amenities and historically marginalized have only found their lives further upended. Among those marginalized, the transgender community have become still more vulnerable. We seek your solidarity and support as we attempt at improving their living and working conditions through SURAKSHA: a pilot initiative that involves the transgender community to create a participatory principled database involving 1500 transgenders across the 4 states of India in the first phase of the study.

The initiative is the first of its kind and will be instrumental in determining the Shelter, Food, Health, Occupation, and Safety needs of the community. It will offer early lessons and reasoned suggestions for creating and routing facilities, support and entitlements for the purpose. We are keen that CBOs, the organizations headed by the transgender community and interested individuals actively involve themselves in this initiative and become instrumental in improving their living and working in dignity and safety with their own tools, mediums and efforts