• Bhargavi S. Rao
    Bhargavi S. Rao

    Bhargavi S. Rao works at the intersections of community action with law, policy, planning and governance. She has about 30 years of experience across research, advocacy, campaign and teaching in a variety of human rights, governance and people-centred initiatives, and in advancing environmental and social justice. She is currently Director (Research) at the Centre for Financial Accountability and is a Senior Fellow & Trustee at Environment Support Group.

    She has extensive experience in coordinating and teaching a variety of educational programmes. She has coordinated the Knowledge 2 Action Academy offered by the Swissnex India, she was Co-Director of Minnesota Studies in International Development, (India Programme), University of Minnesota and Cities in the 21st Century and Health and Community programmes of International Honours Programme (Boston University & SIT). She has also taught on faculty led Study Abroad programmes (eg. University of Washington, Seattle). She is guest faculty at universities in India and abroad (Eg. Azim Premji University, National Law School of India University, Christ University, St. Joseph’s College, Bhoomi College) and also engages in corporate training.

  • Carol Upadhya
    Carol Upadhya

    Carol Upadhya, a social anthropologist, studies a range of social transformations in contemporary India, including processes of spatial and social mobility, the globalisation of cities and provincial towns and the urbanisation of rural landscapes; speculative land and real estate markets and their implications for local communities; skilling, labour migration, and employment, and labour migration in the construction industry.

    Prof. Upadhya was Co-director of the Provincial Globalisation and Speculative Urbanism projects at NIAS. She has received research grants from the National Science Foundation (USA), Azim Premji Foundation, Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), WOTRO Science for Global Development of the NWO (Netherlands), and the Indo-Dutch Programme on Alternatives in Development (Netherlands).

    She has been a visiting scholar at Central European University, Budapest, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Goettingen, Germany, and the International Institute of Asian Studies, Amsterdam. Upadhya is Co-editor of the Journal for South Asian Development and a member of the Editorial Board for Contributions to Indian Sociology.

  • Kathleen Dorgan
    Kathleen Dorgan

    Kathleen Dorgan, FAIA, LEED-AP principal of Dorgan Architecture and Planning of Storrs, CT, USA specializes in resilient participatory community design and development for communities of choice and justice. Her work includes arts and place-based planning, design of high-performance affordable housing, main street revitalization, structuring green initiatives and technical assistance to not-for-profit organizations and public agencies. Her projects have been exhibited in the National Building Museum and museums and galleries throughout the US. She received a Harvard Loeb Fellowship and an US Department of Housing and Urban Development Fellowship. Ms. Dorgan an active volunteer and is a frequent international speaker, instructor and writer about resilient design and incremental community development.

  • Leo F. Saldanha
    Leo F. Saldanha

    Leo F. Saldanha is full-time Coordinator and also Trustee of ESG. He has gained wide-ranging experience in the areas of Environmental Law and Policy, Decentralisation, Urban Planning and a variety of Human Rights and Development related issues, working across many sectors for over a decade. He is a keen campaigner on critical environmental and social justice issues and has guided several campaigns demanding evolution of progressive laws and effective action. He has creatively supported various distressed communities to secure justice through public interest litigations and advocacy efforts, arguing as party in person several public interest litigations, many of which have resulted in remarkable judgments. He has a background in Environmental Science. Leo has been invited as a speaker by organisations and universities across the world. He assists various Government agencies in evolving law and policy relating to environmental justice. In recognition of his contribution to environmental and social justice efforts, Association for India’s Development, USA, made him their first AID Saathi.

  • Naresh V Narasimhan
    Naresh V Narasimhan

    Naresh V Narasimhan is the Managing Partner at VA – Venkataramanan Associates, a multi- disciplinary award-winning architecture firm based in Bangalore. Steeped in values of design quality, integrity, commitment and ethics, VA has held a steady reputation for the design of benchmark projects across typologies since 1969.

    Naresh trained as an architect at the Manipal Institute of Technology, India (B Arch 1985) & further studied management at Harvard in 1995. He founded the MOD Institute, an action- oriented think tank addressing highly relevant urban design issues and is a trustee of Suchitra Cinema & Cultural Academy. His interests range from politics, governance & communication strategies to cinema, art, and popular culture.

  • Prem Chandavarkar
    Prem Chandavarkar

    Prem Chandavarkar is the managing partner of CnT Architects: an award-winning and widely published architectural practice based in Bangalore, India. He received his training at School of Planning and Architecture Delhi (B.Arch., 1978) and University of Oregon USA (M.Arch., 1982).

    He is a former Executive Director of Srishti Institute of Art Design & Technology in Bangalore; and currently a member of the board of the Architecture Culture & Spirituality Forum, USA. He is an academic advisor and guest faculty at Indian and international colleges of architecture.

    Besides his design practice at CnT, he writes, lectures and blogs on architecture, urbanism, philosophy, politics, education, environment, art, and cultural studies.

  • Tushar Giri Nath
    Tushar Giri Nath

    Tushar Giri Nath, who holds B.Tech degree in mechanical engineering and MBA in human resource management, belongs to the 1993 batch of IAS officers and hails from Uttar Pradesh. He has been in Karnataka for over 25 years, holding several state government positions. He was chairperson of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board for over four years.

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  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Aug 17 2022

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Aug 17 2022

ESG Imaginaries to Make Cities Work – Day 4 : Making Cities Of The 21st Century Inclusive


For over two decades, ESG has focused on emerging urban environmental and socio-economic challenges and worked with multiple communities, government agencies, academia, media, etc. in attending to these issues and conflicts. The approach has always been about finding viable and inclusive solutions to vexatious problems by advocating deeply democratic processes which draw on  intersectoral, interdisciplinary, intersectional experiences, and knowledge and histories. Bangalore and other cities are in a mess today as they follow highly centralised governance approaches which drift away from Constitutional mandates and legal provisions that require decentralisation of administration and devolution of power.  As a result various local publics do not find their due place to imagine their futures, which are then collated to build the collective imagining of the city and its future. 

In ESG Imaginaries to Make Cities Work, participants drawn from diverse disciplines and sectors would reflect on the sort of issues and concerns that have become systemic to urban governance and living, reflect on the initiatives of ESG in addressing them, and articulate ideas and imaginaries in constructing better futures, and of consequences if we were to not make such efforts.

Building Governance Strategies that secure a city for all and into the future:

On the basis of conversations held in the first webinar, various representatives from multiple sectors (and this includes academic and field experts, key decision makers, etc.) will be invited to reflect on the utility of ESG interventions. This session will also be a process in which the experiences could be instructive in imagining what such interventions mean to other situations, and if they have relevance beyond the local. It is also a process in which there can be critical engagement with ESG approaches and could serve instructive in developing newer approaches for action, to ensure the idea of Rethinking Cities is an idea of securing Cities of the 21st Century.


Bhargavi S. Rao
Trustee, ESG

Leo F. Saldanha
Trustee, ESG


Prem Chadavarkar
Managing Partner, CnT Architects

Carol Upadhya
Head, Urban and Mobility Studies Programme, NIAS

Kathy Dorgan
Architect, Connecticut, USA

Naresh Narasimhan
Principal Architect, VA Group

Tushar Girinath
BBMP Chief Commissioner