Get a quick impression of CUS’ two-day joint symposium with IIT Mumbai
On the 26th and 27th of March 2015, the Centre for Urban Studies and the Indian Institute of Technology organized a symposium on ‘Sustainable Urban Development: Practices, Problems and Prospects’ in the Victor Menezes Convention Centre, Mumbai. Urban planners and urban development government functionaries, scholars and researchers, and activists and practitioners from the Netherlands and India came together to brainstorm and share lessons learnt on problems of urbanization, development and sustainability. To get a quick photo impression, browse through the slide show below.
Eberhard van der Laan, Mayor of Amsterdam, opened the symposium with a short speech in which he highlighted the importance of an urban research and policy agenda. Van der Laan argued that “(…) while all cities around the world are different and face specific, context-dependent challenges, we can also learn a lot from each other. All cities cope with questions of sustainability, Amsterdam does and Mumbai does. So, in a way, these challenges are shared challenges, shared research agenda’s. Dialogues are important for all sides.”
Keynote speaker at the symposium was Aneerudha Paul, director of the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies. In his talk, he looked critically at Mumbai’s public realm in general and the city’s newly proposed development plan in particular. The rest of the symposium was devoted to four expert panel discussions: (1) ‘Public transportation and infrastructure’, (2) ‘Housing’, (3) ‘Health and Environmental Challenges’, and (4) ‘Urban governance and democratic participation’. Panelists included, among others, Pankaj Kapoor (Liases Foras, Mumbai), Poornima Dore (Tata Trust, Mumbai), Jaitirth Rao (Chairman, Value and Budget Housing Corporation) and Ronita Bardhan (CUSE), Willem Boterman (CUS, UvA), Arnab Jana (CUSE, IIT), Sudhir Badami (Member Tech Advisory Committee MMRDA), Michael Lees (UvA), Partha Mukhopadhyay (CPR, New Delhi), Shubhagato Dasgupta (CUS/ CPR, New Delhi), Joyeeta Gupta (CUS, UvA), Janak Daftary (Environmental Activist), Rishi Agarwal (Environmental Activist), Isa Baud (CUS, UvA), Abdul Shaban (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) and Sudha Mohan (University of Mumbai).
The aim of the event was reiterated throughout the panels: in light of sustainability, all themes have a technical and a social side, and panelists tried to bridge the gap between the two.