As part of building networks of knowledge, practice and people, IIHS engages with a range of urban issues through public events. These are significant to build repositories of knowledge and deepen public discourse.
IIHS conducts lectures, film screenings, workshops, exhibitions, theatre and music performances, book launches, conferences and community engagement with schools. These events are designed to engage with people from all age groups with diverse interests, around urban concerns.
Educational events are organised for children through games, storytelling, object theatre, shadow puppetry and craft. These programmes aspire to revive ebbing traditional skills and ensure they establish a defined space in the urban. The IIHS local community engagement has deepened with the expansion of a school engagement programme that works with neighbouring schools at present.
The Media Lab hosts regular documentary screenings in English and Hindi, which share stories of people, places and cultures in India and abroad. They conduct workshops on making documentary films and also host photography workshops, which encourage participants to explore the city with digital cameras.
Public talks, lectures, academic conferences and seminars are regular events at IIHS. These are hosted under the umbrella of ‘Publics@IIHS’, which is a key initiative used for communicating new knowledge in and about the urban, with invited guests presenting their work. This engagement allows for an exchange of ideas between scholars across institutions. It is also a significant opportunity to break traditional boundaries between the academy and the public.
The IIHS Library showcases quarterly exhibitions that focus on a city or theme. These exhibitions include books, maps and movies featuring various themes, such as art and heritage in Indian cities, sustainable design, water and resource management, graphic novels, political history, life sciences and urban practice. The Library hosts a series of conversations called ‘PublicTexts’ with authors about their work, using specific texts as starting points for dynamic, contemporary and free-ranging conversations.
IIHS also organises annual events on practice, research, film and literature. The Urban Policy Dialogues brings together policy makers, practitioners, academics, researchers, and representatives of civil society, to deliberate on the formulation and implementation of urban policies in India. The annual research conference organised by IIHS, Urban ARC, invites national and international scholars to present details of study carried out on specific themes. The Urban Lens Film Festival is an attempt to engage with the way the ‘city’ has found a cinematic expression in films over time. City Scripts is a celebration of city writings. It hosts novelists, journalists, thinkers, architects, planners, poets, bloggers and the broader community to engage in conversations on writing in different genres about the experience of living in Indian cities.