Sustainable Urban Development: Practices, Problems and Prospects

Amsterdam - Mumbai Symposium

26Mar2015 27Mar2015


The current growth of the number of people living in urban areas imposes enormous pressure on cities. It challenges both cities in the global north and the global south as sustainability and growth are often perceived as an oxymoron, especially in the context of mega-cities. Social scientists and engineers/technologists will focus on these challenges and formulate alternative analytic models and designs.

Mumbai skyline

Mumbai (photo: Jan Nijman, Urban Studies)


Despite the current challenges, cities are also at the centre of economic transformation and dynamism offering new opportunities for jobs, livelihoods, social and physical mobility, political mobilization, and technological innovation. Moreover, climate change and an increase in disaster risk create new commonalities and offer opportunities for collaboration. Therefore, this symposium aims to bring together urban planners and urban development government functionaries, scholars and researchers, activists and practitioners from Amsterdam and Mumbai to brainstorm and share lessons learnt on problems of urbanization, development (broadly defined), and sustainability.

This two-day symposium will consist of keynotes by distinguished urban government functionaries as well as by scholar-researchers and practitioners. An important component of the symposium will be a set of four expert panel discussions to facilitate in-depth discussion and collaboration between scholars from diverse backgrounds. Themes for these panels include:

  1. Public transportation and infrastructure
  2. Housing
  3. Health and sanitation 
  4. Urban governance and democratic participation

The purpose of the panels is to understand and assess technological opportunities and potential in their social and political-administrative contexts, as well as recommend alternative models and designs to consider deep and underlying structural problems, constraints, and emerging aspirations.


26th March 2015
09:30 - 10:30

Opening remarks by Prof. J. Nijman (CUS) 

Speech by Mayor of Amsterdam, E. van der Laan

Presentation by Deputy Director of IITB

Signing of MOU 

10:30 - 11:00 Break 
11:00 - 13:00

Introduction by Prof. J. Nijman (CUS) and Prof. D. Parthasarathy (IITB)

Keynote address by Prof. A. Paul (KRVIA)

13:00 - 14:30


14:30 - 16:30

Panel Discussion on 'Public Transportation and Infrastructure' moderated by Prof. K. Ramamritham (IITB)

27th March 2015
09:30 - 11:00

Panel Discussion on 'Housing' moderated by Prof. J. Nijman (CUS)

11:00 - 11:30 Break 
11:30 - 13:30

Panel Discussion on 'Health and Environmental Challenges'  moderated by Prof. P.L. Trivedi (IITB) 

13:30 - 14:30  Lunch 
14:30 - 16:00

Panel Discussion on 'Urban Governance and Democratic Participation' moderated by Prof. K. Deb (IITB)

16:00 - 16:30 Break
16:30 - 17:30 Review and Plenary Discussion moderated by Prof. J. Nijman, Prof. D. Parthasarathy and Prof. A. Jana


The symposium is a joint initiative of the Centre for Urban Studies (University of Amsterdam) and the Centre for Urban Science and Engineering (Indian Institute of Technology Mumbai). The Symposium is also part of the Mayor of Amsterdam's delegation to Delhi, Bangalore & Mumbai, the so called 'Iamsterdam days India' organised by the Office of the Mayor of Amsterdam. Eberhard van der Laan, mayor of Amsterdam, will open the two-day symposium.

General information

The symposium will take place in Mumbai on Thursday the 26th and Friday the 27th of March 2015.

For inquiries, please contact

Published by  CUS