Urban Practitioners’ Programme – Past Courses

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2016

Workshop on Writing for Digital Media
16 December, 2016 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

The course focused on writing for two different electronic platforms—Social Media and Blogs. It specifically covered the following.

  • How to manage an institution’s Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • How to run a Social Media or web campaign
  • How to write blogs for institutional as well as personal platforms

The course enabled learners to explore how they can leverage the strengths of these platforms while also moving past the limitations of each. It helped learners understand the nuances of each platform, and how to tailor their writing skills to write across these different registers given the growing importance of the electronic writing space and how Social Media ties it all together.

The key learning outcomes were for participants to be able to create web campaigns, write relevant institutional blogs to target the intended audience, write to make maximum impact across registers and publicizing content in a more effective way given the soaring volumes of e-writing.


Writing for the Development Sector
23 – 24 June, 2016 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

Writing in the development sector often lacks imagination, consistency and clarity. Too often the focus is on writing a report to meet a deadline rather than writing it well. Technical terms, convoluted sentences, plurality of voices and a lack of context make the content inaccessible to a larger audience.

The components of the solution include identifying the audience, the right author to hold the piece together, adhering to a flowchart and style manual, editing and formatting among other things.

The key takeaways of this course were:

  • More efficient and impactful writing of Reports and Policy briefs.
  • Effective translation of reports and policy briefs to more mainstream genres like Op-eds, Blog posts, newspaper/magazine articles.
  • Communicating findings of reports and projects effectively via social media and media campaigns.

Thinking Mobility: Gender and Transport
12 April 2016 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This master class focussed on women’s safety in public transport and public spaces. The accounts of sexual violence in the public sphere and Nirbhaya’s death in December 2012 galvanized action by civil society and different levels of government in creating safer public transportation systems. However, there is a limited understanding of the inter-relationships between gender and transport as current interventions predominantly focus on prevention of spectacular incidents of violence.

The master class attempted to help participants understand:

  • How urban transportation systems, infrastructure and institutions are gendered
  • How we can understand gender inequity in urban transportation
  • What kinds of initiatives cities in India and globally have undertaken and what we can learn from them

Working with Digital Maps – a course on Geospatial Technology (GIS)
29 Feb- 2 March 2016 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus
29 – 31 January 2016 | India International Centre, New Delhi

This 3 day course aimed to equip participants with application-oriented knowledge of GIS in data collection, creation, and analysis to web presentation. It introduced the various components of GIS, its relevance to spatial data and how to implement it in the participant’s field of work. This was an application oriented course designed to introduce geospatial technology to professionals, Government officials and students. The course aimed to provide an understanding of Geospatial Technology and its applications, equip participants with a hands-on understanding of GIS software (QGIS) and the use of GPS hand-held devices, educate on the potential use of GIS technology for data creation, analysis, visualization and sharing, and sensitize participants to the use of GIS in their field of work for better decision making.

2015

Understanding Vulnerability: Concepts, Methods, and Applications for Development Planning
10-12 December 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This 3-day workshop on Understanding Vulnerability critically examined the different conceptualisations of vulnerability; covered the breadth of methodologies used to assess vulnerability; and used different cases to demonstrate the application of vulnerability assessments in development planning and prioritisation. The course specially focused on vulnerability to climate change and how it could help in better decision-making at multiple scales. Using a mix of lectures, multimedia tools, case studies from rural and urban landscapes, and participatory exercises, the workshop expanded the learner’s theoretical and methodological understanding of vulnerability.

The course was conducted as part of CARIAA-ASSAR research dissemination.


Planning for Activists
6-7 November 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This two-day bilingual workshop brought together housing rights activists from a number of cities across India to strengthen their collective capacities in urban planning. Core areas focused on the technical aspects of the Master Plan as well as other planning and governance tools that shape urban development in our cities. The workshop enabled participants to develop a campaign strategy for their city, using and applying the knowledge they gained over the two days.


Are Cities from the Global South adapting to climate change?
19 November 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

Working Group II’s contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) released in November 2014, included for the first time, a review of urban areas (Chapter 8) and rural areas (Chapter 9). This was in recognition of the fact that in addition to natural and managed resources and systems such as freshwater, oceans and food production systems, human settlements and the economic sector are also directly exposed to climate change impacts and will need to adapt across different scales.

In this master class, Sumetee Gajjar,  contributing author of Chapter 8, shared adaptation research and practice from 4 Southern Cities (Durban and Cape Town in South Africa, Dar es Salaam in Zanzibar and Mexico City) using a city systems framework. Learners were encouraged to extend this framework to Bangalore and reflect upon the merits and challenges of applying such a frame to motivate climate adaptation in Indian cities.


Green Interiors: Environmental Aspects of Interior Design
21 November 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This short course explored green concepts for interior design including material selection, interior lighting, daylighting, glass and finishes. The course covered fundamentals and technical terminologies of environmental aspects as applicable during design, construction and occupancy stages per LEED Commercial Interiors (CI) rating system. Participants understood the impact of design decisions on indoor environmental quality, energy and water savings. At the end of the course, participants were able to develop best practice green guidelines for interior design projects. This highly interactive and hands-on course aimed to bridge the gap between theory and practice.


Working with Digital Maps – a course on Geospatial Technology (GIS)
8-10 October 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This 3 day course aimed to equip participants with application-oriented knowledge of GIS in data collection, creation, and analysis to web presentation. It introduced the various components of GIS, its relevance to spatial data and how to implement it in the participant’s field of work. This was an application oriented course designed to introduce geospatial technology to professionals, Government officials and students. The course aimed to provide an understanding of Geospatial Technology and its applications, equip participants with a hands-on understanding of GIS software (QGIS) and the use of GPS hand-held devices, educate on the potential use of GIS technology for data creation, analysis, visualization and sharing, and sensitize participants to the use of GIS in their field of work for better decision making.


Data Visualisation
29-31 October 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This comprehensive programme highlighted the importance of using data in the context of the development sector. Through this programme, researchers and practitioners at various levels were trained to build and share narratives around their data, using a structured process. The course familiarised learners with human-centric theoretical frameworks as well as contemporary tools in data analysis and visualisation, with a diverse set of cases and examples. At the end of the course, learners were equipped to work with spatial, quantitative and qualitative data to create simple, comprehensible and compelling narratives.


An Introduction to Urban Studies
18 September 2015 | The Attic, New Delhi

This Masterclass introduced the questions that define the field of urban studies to those new to it. It mapped the terrain of what it means to study the urban, how different disciplines have come to it, and what the problem space of “urban theory” is. It suggested to learners of different disciplinary backgrounds, practice domains, and interests, how they could find their own way to urban studies and could locate their own interests and inquires within it.


Urban Sanitation
21-23 September 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

The three-day programme on Urban Sanitation catered to officers in the urban water and sanitation sector, working in Utilities, Urban Local Bodies, and other State Departments. This course enhanced participants’ understanding of urban sanitation systems, and enabled them to play a key role in being able to plan, implement and maintain/manage  maintenance, in other words, become proficient in managing the  complete wastewater cycle. The course covered both sewerage and on-site systems, and treatment systems. The course also helped participants get better acquainted with policies and programmes in urban sanitation. Finally, participants practiced how to prepare comprehensive proposals in urban sanitation.


What can Southern Cities learn from each other when planning for climate change?
23 September 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This masterclass continued from Sumetee’s last class titled ‘Are Southern Cities Adapting to Climate Change?’ Sumetee practised as a public sector consultant for more than a decade in South Africa, in the domains of integrated strategic planning and performance management across national, provincial and local government. In this class she discussed whether administrative structures and planning instruments at municipal level in South Africa, offered lessons for Indian Cities to tackle the interlinked challenges of urban development and climate change adaptation. The focus was on municipal structures and processes in Durban and Cape Town in South Africa, and on Bangalore and Surat in India.


Are Southern Cities adapting to Climate Change?
7 August 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

Working Group II’s contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) released in November 2014, included for the first time, a review of urban areas (Chapter 8) and rural areas (Chapter 9). This was in recognition of the fact that in addition to natural and managed resources and systems such as freshwater, oceans and food production systems, human settlements and the economic sector are also directly exposed to climate change impacts and will need to adapt across different scales.

In this master class, Sumetee Gajjar,  contributing author of Chapter 8, shared adaptation research and practice from 4 Southern Cities (Durban and Cape Town in South Africa, Dar es Salaam in Zanzibar and Mexico City) using a city systems framework. Learners were encouraged to extend this framework to Bangalore and reflect upon the merits and challenges of applying such a frame to motivate climate adaptation in Indian cities.


Urban Rental Housing
13 August 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This masterclass on rental housing attempted to unbundle questions regarding demand for rental housing, relationships between landlords and tenants and rental housing in low income households and settlements, and highlighted some of the advantages of and inequities in the rental housing market. While there is official data available on the state of the rental housing market, the masterclass opened discussions around them in order to better grasp the layers of meaning behind this data. The masterclass also covered a range of Indian and international policies and programmes on housing and rental housing in particular – identifying key features and their impacts and outcomes. In focus was India’s recent and current programmes on urban housing at the central government level, such as the Rajiv Awas Yojana, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Housing for All 2022), and other state government schemes.


Planning Indian Cities: Utilities and the Futilities of the Master Plan
12- 14 August 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

Cities and urban areas in India are planned by an assorted selection of accumulated practices arrived through colonialism, international consultants, bureaucracy, development agencies, and planning schools. One of the key instruments among these practices is the Master Plan (or the Development Plan) the main statutory instrument that has been at the receiving end of wide range critique during the past three decades or more. This 3-day workshop on Challenges for Planning and Planning Challenges in India critically and productively engaged the Master Plan within the planning process to examine its challenges, potentials and possibilities.  This was contextualized using the major transformations in planning theory and practice across the world. Many Indian and international case studies were part of this intense, experiential and case-based learning program.


Working with Digital Maps – a course on Geospatial Technology (GIS)
1-3 July 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This 3 day course aimed to equip participants with application-oriented knowledge of GIS in data collection, creation, and analysis to web presentation. It introduced the various components of GIS, its relevance to spatial data and how to implement it in the participant’s field of work. This was an application oriented course designed to introduce geospatial technology to professionals, Government officials and students. The course aimed to provide an understanding of Geospatial Technology and its applications, equip participants with a hands-on understanding of GIS software (QGIS) and the use of GPS hand-held devices, educate on the potential use of GIS technology for data creation, analysis, visualization and sharing, and sensitize participants to the use of GIS in their field of work for better decision making.


Urban Transport – Introduction to Planning Efficient City Bus Systems
7-8 July 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This 2 day course provided participants with an in-depth understanding of critical aspects of bus-based public transport systems namely, bus network planning, costs, revenue and bus fare structuring. At the end of the course, participants were better acquainted with the public transport scenario in India and its issues. They also had a better understanding of the data requirements and types of surveys to be conducted. Additionally, the course helped develop skills to identify city bus routes and plan networks. The course focused on costs, revenue and fare fixation. From the sessions on the second day, participants understood the basic approach to cost recovery, appreciated the concepts of fare discrimination and applied the techniques of fare revision without adversely impacting commuter base. During the course, participants were encouraged to implement the learning in their cities.


Systems Thinking and Urban Public Health Management – The case of Surat
28 July 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This Master Class distinguished systems thinking and its application in urban service delivery, urban public health in particular. It helped identify operational, situational and cultural enablers of such collaborations in the case of Surat. Understanding these enablers had significant policy relevance to help design ‘systemic interventions’ that nurture multi-stakeholder collaboration towards creating safer and healthier cities. Key learning outcomes included the distinction between Analytical Thinking and Systems Thinking, the role of Systems Thinking in Urban Public Health Management, understanding how Municipal Corporations could enhance service delivery through collaboration, and the enablers of multi-stakeholder collaboration in the case of Surat.


Workshop on Writing for Digital Media
5-6 June 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This course focused on writing for different electronic platforms such as Social Media, Blogs (personal blogs, institutional blogs), and Op-eds. It explored how learners could leverage the strengths of these platforms while also moving past the limitations of each. It helped learners understand the nuances of each type of platform, and how to tailor their writing skills to write across these different registers given the growing importance of the electronic writing space.

Pieces written in this course were featured at the proposed Sample media spaces for each type of e-writing:
Social Media: Facebook and Twitter
Blog: delhiwala.com
Opinion spaces: Scroll, Firstpost, Huffington post, Ladiesfinger, DailyO

The course was broken up into four sections: Social Media, Blogging (institutional and personal), and Op-Ed writing. The course was conducted through a mix of discussions and hands-on exercises. A critical review of examples taken from existing online content was done to understand whether the platform was used effectively or not. The results of the exercises were shared in the class and peer-reviewed.


SEMINAR: Power to the People? A study of Bangalore’s Urban Taskforces
12 June 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This talk focused on coalitions in Bengaluru, Karnataka in the form of taskforces that were set up by consecutive state governments to advise on urban policy, viz. the Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF) in 1999, that has since been dissolved, and the Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure Development (ABIDe) in 2008. These groups had no formal standing in government and yet had been given considerable power, especially in the creation of urban policy that would transform the structure and approach of city government. The argument was that increasingly, such coalitions shape Indian cities instead of the institutional frameworks that have been and are being set up by politicians, corporate leaders and civil society organizations.


Safe Access around Transit in Indian cities
19 June 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This interactive session was based on the recently released WRI | EMBARQ India publication the “Safe Access Manual: Safe access to mass transit stations in Indian cities”.

Over this master class, the learners discussed the concepts of accessibility to mass transit systems and how it has been implemented in Indian cities. The first half of the session discussed the complexity inherent in introducing such systems within the existing framework of urban transport. The second half of the session used the case of Yeshwantpur in order to discuss the fragmented and contested nature of policy implementation.

The session engaged and informed participants about the various processes involved in the planning, developing, implementing and enforcing safe access to and around mass transit stations. Participants in groups explored the challenges involved in developing a safe access plan for a station area through a role-playing game. The principles and processes of accessibility and integration of transport modes were then discussed within the context of Yeshwantpur.


Scaffolds, Layouts and Palimpsests: Comics and the Urban Imagination
19-21 June 2015 | IIHS Bangalore City Campus

This course examined the intersection between comics and the imagination of the city both in terms of representation and also how architectural concepts may offer a new way of understanding the formal properties of comics. The course introduced participants to a range of international and Indian comics via the tropes of architecture, dystopia and labyrinths.

The course was divided into 9 sessions and covered the following topics:

DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3
Introduction to the course City and architecture City as labyrinth
Thinking through comic Form Allegorical cities City, realism and reportage
Archives of urban experience City as dystopia in Manga Drawing the postcolonial city

Course on Urbanisation in India
6-7 May 2015

IIHS conducted a course on Urbanisation in India as part of the 10th Mid Career Training Programme Phase IV for IAS Officers at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie on the 6th and 7th of May, 2015. Sessions on the Indian urban opportunity, providing basis services in urban areas, affordable housing, urban governance, urban finance and integrated planning were conducted. The sessions were team taught by IIHS faculty and senior IAS officers using relevant Indian and international cases. The critical role that urbanisation plays in delivering outcomes that are important for the nation and the planet came out during the sessions. 63 IAS officers were in this batch. IIHS faculty also handled three sessions on Urban Poverty for the IAS Professional Course Phase-I (2014 Batch). There were 183 officers in this batch, and the material developed as part of the Re-Framing Urban Inclusion project was used in the training.


Unpacking Urbanism Master Class on ‘Is there a “Southern Urbanism”?’
22 May2015

The “southern turn” in urban studies has challenged the canon of “urban theory,” arguing that cities of the south – from Sao Paulo to Shanghai, Mombasa to Mumbai – lie unexplained by theories written in Chicago, New York and Paris. Theorising from these cities, a range of authors have begun to argue for a “southern urbanism.” This Master Class explored some of the key conceptual interventions that underlie this challenge, introducing learners to the debate and encouraging them to see what it means to theorise the urban from “here.”


Seminar : Challenges to Sustaining Efficient Bus-based Public Transport Systems
29 May 2015

City bus services are the primary mode of public transport serving most of the commuter demand in Indian cities wherever they exist. The absence of bus services in most cities combined with inefficient bus services in other cities on the other is resulting in a rapid modal shift to privately owned vehicles in these cities. This seminar aimed to sensitize learners on the complexity of sustainably operating bus based public transport services. It highlighted the many challenges and trade-offs state run bus agencies face in delivering a good quality affordable bus based public transport services in India’s metropolitan cities.


Seminar : Corporate Environmental Sustainability
10 April 2015

This seminar provided a science-based view on corporate environmental sustainability, drawing on the speaker’s doctoral thesis where she interrogated a business’ ambition to become carbon neutral from a social-ecological systems frame.The speaker interrogated whether sustainability practices reflect the complex ways in which businesses are embedded in their geographical locations and regional economies. CSR Reporting indices were discussed, with a view to reveal the gaps that exist when capturing individual behaviour and leadership through primarily accounting techniques. The seminar encouraged attendees to reflect on ways in which businesses can take corporate environmental sustainability beyond business boundaries.


Unpacking Urbanism Course on Unpacking ‘Place’
11-12 April, 2015

What exactly is ‘place’ – say a neighbourhood in a city? How does one know its boundaries? Have boundaries vanished in a world where everything is interconnected through data flows? What lies beneath and between layers of history that make up the place? How do these layers change over time? Are places immutable? Can they change randomly? What laws govern this change? This intensive two day workshop gave learners two tools – maps and stories – to enter, read, understand and unpack a place in a city. The specific neighbourhood chosen for the course was Bholakpur, a historic neighbourhood in Hyderabad which has emerged as a scrap market over the last 25 years. In exploring Bholakpur through maps and stories, learners addressed three thematics – land, labour and waste.


Facade Design Optimization  – Using eQuest for Emergy Simulations
25 April, 2015

Energy and daylight Simulation techniques can be used to make informed design decisions and optimise building energy performance. This course covered the tools and techniques required to conduct energy simulations for optimizing the Facade Design using the software tool – eQUEST. Impact of design parameters such as location, orientation, massing, shading elements, wall and insulation selection, glass area and daylighting on whole building energy use were discussed using the simulation results.


Unpacking Urbanism Course on Geographies of Desire : Understanding the Urban Through Film
13 – 15 March, 2015

This course looked at the world of desire through films, as a way of understanding the urban. The many kinds of urban narratives present in films were looked at – not only their stories, but the many tiny narratives of desire and emotion inside these stories that tell us something about life in the city. Taking off from these insights about cinema/cinematic storytelling desire and the urban, through the course, the participants created multi-media narratives of our own with stills, tiny video clips, basic graphics and text using mobile phones and computers.


Unpacking Urbanism Master Class on ‘Is there a “Southern Urbanism”?’
16 March 2015 

The “southern turn” in urban studies has challenged the canon of “urban theory,” arguing that cities of the south – from Sao Paulo to Shanghai, Mombasa to Mumbai – lie unexplained by theories written in Chicago, New York and Paris. Theorising from these cities, a range of authors have begun to argue for a “southern urbanism.” This Master Class explored some of the key conceptual interventions that underlie this challenge, introducing learners to the debate and encouraging them to see what it means to theorise the urban from “here.”


Unpacking Urbanism Master Class on Competitive Cities : Imaginations and Economics of Land and Real Estate
18 March 2015

Cities often act as critical sites that shape policies, discourses and aspirations that have regional, national, even global relevance and need to be examined as such. This seminar-style master class explored the idea of cities as competitive and strategic entities and focus on the importance that land and real estate have assumed in competitive urban dynamics in the Indian context. Urban land has become an important tool for negotiating with and attracting investment interest. Such land-based strategies affect the structure of the urban economy and restructure urban space. Real estate industry growth and peri urban parallel cities are some of the more visible outcomes. The class discussed the significance of urban land and real estate in terms of how the national economy is structured, how it is growing, the strategic importance that knowledge economy sectors have assumed and ultimately how land, labour and capital, the three fundamental economic building blocks, relate to one another, within the urban economy.


Unpacking Urbanism Master Class on Three Cities, Three Dharmas
20 February 2015

We tend to think of the Ramayana as the story of a forest exile, a trying period of tribulation and loss in a place where marauding rakshasas and rakshasis hold sway, where magical deer dance dangerously beneath the trees, where monkeys fly and speak fluent Sanskrit. But the story of Rama, our exiled prince, is studded with cities, three of them, in fact: Ayodhya, Kishkindha and Lanka, inhabited by humans, monkeys and rakshasas, respectively. It is because the cities exist that life in the forest and the forest itself, is thrown into relief. Because each of the cities is home to a different kind of being, each of them embodies and imposes a different kind of dharma upon its citizens, particularly its women. Each city persuades its people to behave in certain ways and in each of them, the dharma that the city holds within itself is pushed, pulled, challenged and eventually, transgressed. The cities of the Ramayana give us the opportunity to examine the way dharma is created, upheld and broken within the text. They are both a physical and a metaphorical location in which we can explore ideas of right and wrong, personal and public, male and female.


Unpacking Urbanism Master Class on Randomized Evaluations in Public Policy
19 February 2015

This class introduced participants to the concept of randomized evaluation, the kind of question it seeks to address and the ethical issues in carrying out these experiments. Participants were exposed to the methods which are being increasingly used to address important questions of public policy in developing countries.

2014

Working with Digital Maps : Leveraging the Power of GIS
15-17 December  2014

The 3 day GIS course aimed to equip participants with application-oriented knowledge of GIS in data collection, creation, and analysis to web presentation. It introduced the various components of GIS, its relevance to spatial data and how to implement it in the participant’s field of work.


Unpacking Urbanism Master Class – An Introduction to Economics of Climate Resilient Development
11 December 2014

The recent IPCC AR5 has unambiguously highlighted and emphasized the challenges posed by global climate change. Increasing climatic variability is poised to exacerbate existing multi-dimensional risks on human, natural, and social systems, especially in developing countries where policymakers and practitioners seek to balance development goals with climate change mitigation and adaptation. This class introduced participants to the economic dimensions of climate change adaptation (one of the policy responses to climate change challenges). The session gave an overview of current climate change impacts and set the context for the need for adaptation (with a special emphasis on the impacts observed/projected in South Asia/India). It discussed different economic tools that can be used to facilitate climate-resilient development and help countries move away from a business-as-usual development path towards a more resilient socio-economic pathway.


Unpacking Urbanism Master Class On Low Carbon Cities
9 December 2014

Global climate change has manifested itself in myriad forms such as negative impacts on certain key sectors like agriculture. Responding to the challenges posed by global climate change has been embedded in adaptation and/or mitigation actions/strategies. Cities, due to high concentration of economic activity & corresponding high energy input, contribute immensely to the global stock of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs). Cities in developing countries offer a unique opportunity to significantly alter the emerging high-trajectory GHG emissions profile and thereby contribute towards global mitigation efforts. Many ways/frameworks have been proposed worldwide towards changing the ways cities should function and contribute towards global GHG mitigation efforts. One of the emerging frameworks center around the concept of ‘low-carbon cities’. This class de-mystified, debated, and challenged the concept of low-carbon cities and probably, contribute towards an innovate framing of addressing conjointly the economic imperatives of cities and its contribution towards mitigating GHG emissions.


Unpacking Urbanism Master Class on Urban Informality
12 and 28 November 2014

Studying the cities of the global south appears impossible without grappling with the idea of “informality.” Yet what does “informality” mean and is it a useful concept to understand the complexity of our cities? This class sought to unpack the many lives, histories and meanings of “informality,” bringing together its spatial, economic, political and cultural conceptions. It posed informality against its others – “formal,” “unauthorized,” “corrupt,” “legal/illegal”— in order to ask what the concept allows us to do and, just as importantly, what distinctions it hides.


Unpacking Urbanism Master Class on Understanding Urban Commons
27 November 2014

Urban commons appear very frequently nowadays in academic, activist as well as policy domains of discourse and practice. What can be considered commons within the urban and what is urban about the common in these discourses are often diverse and perhaps even divergent in their conceptual framing. Further, its relationship with public the private and the neo-liberal deserves examination. This class examined the urban and the commons separately and examined the range of frameworks used to put them back together as urban commons. The participants were encouraged to attempt to shape this conceptual domain in their own way.


Working with Digital Maps: Leveraging the Power of GIS
15-17 October  2014

The 3 day GIS course aimed to equip participants with application-oriented knowledge of GIS in data collection, creation, and analysis to web presentation. It introduced the various components of GIS, its relevance to spatial data and how to implement it in the participant’s field of work.


UNDP-IIHS Course for Municipal Officers on Building Resilience Through Integrated Development Practice
15-20 Sep 2014

In recent times, climate change and disaster risk have become formidable challenges facing India. If the floods in Mumbai, the quake in Bhuj, the Uttarakhand cloudburst and other natural disasters in recent memory have lessons to offer, it is that ‘Business-As-Usual’ is no longer tenable. The likelihood of increased weather extremes in future suggests that the number or scale of weather-related disasters will also increase.  They damage built infrastructure and natural assets, disrupt critical public services and economic activity, exposing livelihoods and human health to a range of discontinuous and longer-term impacts. Disasters undermine very quickly, developmental gains made on several fronts over extended periods of time, including poverty reduction, and improved education and health.

This course aimed to equip urban practitioners to build resilience through the integration of CCA and DRR practice with a human development focus. The objective was to design and implement CCA, DRR and development plans, policies and programmes across different sectors and scales such that they reduce the vulnerability of people, assets (natural and built) and businesses to climate and disaster risks.


Working with Digital Maps: Leveraging the Power of GIS
25-27 August  2014

The 3 day GIS course aimed to equip participants with application-oriented knowledge of GIS in data collection, creation, and analysis to web presentation. It introduced the various components of GIS, its relevance to spatial data and how to implement it in the participant’s field of work.


Training on Geospatial Technology
24-26 July 2014

GIS provides many basic functions for the appropriate and efficient management of geo-information. The course on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an application-oriented course designed to introduce geospatial technology to the participants. The course aims to:

  • To provide an understanding of components of Geospatial Technology and its applications
  • To equip participants with a hands-on understanding of GIS software (QGIS) and GPS hand-held devices
  • To educated participants on use of GIS software for Data creation, Enrichment, Analysis, Visualization, Management and Sharing using web platforms
  • To sensitize participants to the use of Geospatial Technology in their field of work for better decision making

Management Development Programme in Affordable Housing : State Policies and Actions
22-23 July 2014

The Management Development Programme aimed to familiarize participants with emerging state policies on affordable housing, evaluate their achievements as well as the challenges ahead and share updated information regarding their status. The programme was intended for housing professionals in the public sector who are involved in the conception, design, management and delivery of public sector urban social housing schemes.


Data Visualisation for the Tamil Nadu Corporation for the Development of Women
3-5 July 2014, 7-9 July 2014

Understanding and building narratives using various forms of data is a critical component of practice. However, practitioners often face challenges in the process of collating, translating and effectively communicating the complex information, using diverse media. This course highlighted the importance of using data in the context of urban and development sectors, and trained learners to build and share narratives around it, using a structured process.


Social Venture Design
1 – 7 June 2014

Social Venture Design was an intense workshop for emerging social entrepreneurs. Venture teams came with early stage venture models and left ready to attract seed funding and resources to successfully pilot and launch. The SVD aimed to bring the best practices from experienced corporate leaders and entrepreneurs to the participants.


Ways of Seeing- Explore the Urban through Film-making
21 – 25 May 2014

Using the city as a canvas, ‘Ways of Seeing’ is designed to help you effectively use the visual medium. ‘Ways of Seeing’ was a 5 day course that will explore the relationship between creating images and the city we live in. This course enabled the participants towards creating distinct content, irrespective of their disciplinary background. It aimed to equip them with skills that will help them in their domains of practice – whether they are researchers, designers, architects, activists or are just looking to express themselves creatively.


Passive Solar Design
24 – 25 April 2014

The course on Passive Solar Design, Daylighting and Simulations for Green Buildings was an interactive and application-oriented programme that covered the fundamental concepts of solar geometry, and shading strategies using quick calculations and rules of thumb. Moreover, participants were introduced to software tools which further strengthened the concepts of passive solar design. The participants worked on exercises using custom worksheets, physical models and software tools switching between the pen-paper media and the computer. The course had a rigorous mix of theory and practica, along with the introduction of fresh perspectives using new software tools. This program was supported by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.


Urban Research Using Public Data Sources
28 – 30 March 2014

The course explained the nature of both the datasets, the types of variables for which data is collected, the processes of data collection, and explained how to go about analysing data from these sources. Learners were introduced to the concept of sampling, how to calculate population estimates from raw NSS data using multipliers, and were exposed to some of the critiques of working with sample data. They also discussed how the sampling frame has changed to reflect the changing realities of urbanisation in India.

At the end of the course, learners were able to analyse both Census and NSS data to address their urban research questions.


Ways of Seeing
26 – 30 March 2014

How does one then think about and utilize the impact that images can have? Using the city as a canvas, ‘Ways of Seeing’ was designed to help you effectively use the visual medium. ‘Ways of Seeing’ was a 5 day course that explored the relationship between creating images and the city we live in. This course enabled the participants towards creating distinct content, irrespective of their disciplinary background. It aimed to equip them with skills that will help them in their domains of practice – whether they are researchers, designers, architects, activists or are just looking to express themselves creatively.


Data Visualisation
25 – 27 March 2014

Understanding and building narratives using various forms of data is a critical component of practice. However, practitioners often face challenges in the process of collating, translating and effectively communicating complex information, using diverse media.This course highlighted the importance of using data in the context of urban and development sectors, and trained learners to build and share narratives around it, using a structured process. The course familiarised learners with human-centric theoretical frameworks as well as contemporary tools in data analysis and visualisation, with a diverse set of cases and examples. At the end of the course, learners were equipped to work with spatial, quantitative and qualitative data to create simple, comprehensible and compelling narratives.


Solar Design for Green Buildings
1 March 2014, India Habitat Centre, Delhi
8 March 2014, IIHS Bangalore City Campus

Designing with respect to climate and sun is fundamental to green buildings. Facade/envelope design has a big impact on building heat transfer, daylight ingress and energy use. Further, the facade is a critical aesthetic element. Therefore, it is important to optimize facade design to synergize energy, comfort and aesthetics. The software tool – eQUEST was used for comparative analysis of building design parameters such as location, orientation, massing, shading elements, wall and insulation selection, glass area and daylighting on whole building energy use. Further, solar renewable systems such as photovoltaic systems were also discussed in the course. An overview of solar thermal systems was given. At the end of this course, participants had an understanding of solar design concepts and its synergy with whole building energy efficiency.


Working with Digital Maps – Leveraging the power of GIS
24 – 26 February 2014

The 3 day GIS course aimed to equip participants with application-oriented knowledge of GIS in data collection, creation, and analysis to web presentation. It introduced the various components of GIS, its relevance to spatial data and how to implement it in the participant’s field of work. 


Passive Solar Design
16-17 February 2014 | 21-22 Feb 2014

The course on Passive Solar Design, Daylighting and Simulations for Green Buildings was an interactive and application-oriented programme that covered the fundamental concepts of solar geometry, and shading strategies using quick calculations and rules of thumb. Moreover, participants were introduced to software tools which furthered strengthen the concepts of passive solar design. The participants worked on exercises using custom worksheets, physical models and software tools switching between the pen-paper media and the computer. The course had a rigorous mix of theory and practica, along with the introduction of fresh perspectives using new software tools.

This program was supported by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

2013

Working with Digital Maps – Leveraging the Power of GIS

18-20 Jan 2013 | 22- 24 Feb 2013 |  23-25 May 2013

The short course on “Working with Digital Maps–Leveraging the Power of GIS” was a unique and intense programme for working professionals from diverse backgrounds working on different aspects of human settlements. It was blended with essentials of theory on Geographic Information Science and Systems and followed by hands-on exposure to practice with exclusive case studies. The short course equipped learners to appreciate the nuances of key concepts, enabling them to quickly learn, analyse and apply the techniques of GIS into their respective domains and eventually be able to produce desirable outputs. This also exposed learners to use/develop mash-ups based on popular web-based GIS applications like Google maps and open up learners to use volunteered geographic information and crowd-sourced knowledge in their respective use cases.


Media and the City
Date- 17-21 April, 2013

Our cities are intrinsically linked to different forms of media. Whether it is traditional or new, cities have always created space for representation in the audio-visual medium, especially cinema. This, to some extent has shaped how we look at and the way we think of our cities. With the advent of low-cost digital technology, the lines between who ‘produces’ the image and who ‘consumes’ the image have been blurred. The course ‘Media and the City’ explored multiple aspects of the city in our daily lives. It used media, and in particular, digital video, to engage with different features of the city as it figures in our poltical, cultural, economic and social realms.


Passive Solar Design, Daylighting and Simulations for Green Buildings
Date: 2- 3 Feb 2013 | 4- 5 May 2013 | 14- 15 June 2013

Daylighting is of critical importance when thinking of green and sustainable buildings, especially since dependence on artificial lighting greatly magnifies the energy and cost inefficiency of a building. This is not only important for the sake of the environment, but is also critical to ensure low O&M costs and healthier working and living environments.

This short course focused on integrating theory with practice – basic concepts were first explained using manual exercises such as generating shadow masks with a 3D protractor, using rules of thumb to size shading devices and many other interactive exercises. This was followed up by the use of simulation tools for designing shading devices and analysing daylighting to derive meaningful results with confidence.


Sustainable Site Planning
Date- 3- 5 May, 2013

While site planning by architects and facility managers is often done with short term aims in mind, it is important, if not critical for them to understand the long term implications of their decisions. Decisions around the zoning of a site, and the physical placement of buildings and facilities on a site need to be understood not only in terms of short term gains like access and services, but also need to be ‘future-proofed’ against exigencies of changing local environments and contexts. Water and energy cycles, need to be focused towards the creation of ‘Green Infrastructure’. It thus becomes imperative to introduce a total maturity/lifecycle approach to planning of sites in order to achieve higher standards in their overall performance parameters.

This course was about sustainable lifecycle-oriented planning of sites of between 10 and 200 acres, with a focus on greenfield residential development, as well as the re-imagination of existing corporate/institutional campuses. The course addressed these issues with a ‘mainstream green’ approach. It covered green building codes and certification systems, while at the same time highlighting traditional/vernacular methods of achieving these results.


Public-Private Partnerships in Urban Services – Lessons for Future Action
Date: 29 April – 2 May, 2013

The course provided an outline of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) framework. It took an in-depth look at urban sector PPPs in india and derived insights for future action in this space. There were focussed sessions on Urban Water, Urban Sewage, Urban Solid Waste and Urban Amenities like Markets etc. The distinctive aspect of this course was that in each of the above areas, the learner was equipped with a full systems perspective of the sector covering- technical, institutional, policy and regulation.

The learners were exposed to many case studies to ascertain the successes and failures of PPPs in urban development initiatives. They were encouraged to think through PPP models that are likely to work in the contemporary scenario.


Data Visualisation
Date- 28 May- Jun 1, 2013

Understanding and building narratives using various forms of data is a critical component of practice. However, practitioners often face challenges in the process of collating, translating and effectively communicating the complex information, using diverse media. This course highlighted the importance of using data in the context of urban and development sectors, and trained learners to build and share narratives around it, using a structured process. The course familiarised learners with human-centric theoretical frameworks, contemporary tools in data analysis and visualisation and a diverse set of cases and examples. At the end of the course, learners were equipped to work with spatial, quantitative and qualitative data to create simple, comprehensible and compelling narratives.


Social Venture Design
Date- 16- 22 Jun 2013

Social Venture Design – a short course on social entrepreneurship was organised jointly by Acara and IIHS. The Social Venture Design was an opportunity to Design, Develop and Pitch a social business idea to a panel of investors and incubator representatives. The course provided intensive, hands-on experience with entrepreneurship – particularly examples of social entrepreneurship and leadership in developing solutions to societal and environmental problems. This short course enabled learners to identify core issues and develop or redefine business model components of a proposed solution to address the identified challenge.


Protecting and Managing Living Urban Heritage
Date- 27-31 Aug 2013

The existing institutional and policy frameworks for heritage conservation are yet to fully embrace the notion of ‘living heritage’ that takes into consideration tangible as well as intangible values in cities – values that are associated with historic spaces and buildings of everyday use, that are of cultural significance, and are part of the traditional social and livelihoods systems that contribute to the vitality and sustainability of these areas.

This course aimed to enable an approach among urban practitioners that seeks to integrate living heritage approach in urban conservation and development, within the frameworks of existing regulations and guidelines. It aimed to build perspectives on how to identify, understand and relate to various aspects of urban heritage by re-examining the values associated with them and identify the opportunities provided by them for sustainable development. The objective was to understand how to address conservation issues in urban living heritage spaces, including protected monuments in certain cases, which are part of a range of social, economic and cultural inter-linkages.


Understanding Geospatial Technology
Dates- 10 Dec 2013

This 1 day programme provided an introduction to GIS, its components, multi-disciplinary involvements and provides a strong foundational education that delved into the real-world applications of GIS. It answered queries like: Do we really need GIS? What benefits does GIS bring? Do people really use GIS?

Highlights of the Programme:

  • Introduction to GIS through interactive sessions
  • The application of GIS in data capture, creation, analysis and decision-making
  • Understanding and working with GPS
  • Hands-on sessions with the software
  • Certificate from Indian Institute for Human Settlements

Ways of Seeing- An Urban Centric Film and Photography Course
Date- 18-22 Dec 2013

‘Ways of Seeing: Image-Making and the City’ is a 5 day course that will explore the relationship between creating images (still or video) and the city we live in. This course sought to enable the participants towards creating distinct content, irrespective of their disciplinary background.  It aimed to equip them with skills that will help them in their domains of practice – whether they are researchers, designers/architects, activists or are just looking to express themselves creatively.

2012

UIES- Urban India and Environmental Sustainability
Date- 6- 10January, 2012

The five day short-course on ‘Urban Indian and Environmental Sustainability’ was meant as an interdisciplinary introduction to the key issues of environmental sustainability that Indian cities will need to address. The short-course introduced participants to the conceptual underpinnings of urban sustainability while grounding them in the realities of urban India. Critical challenges facing key sectors like transportation, energy, water and sanitation, land and shelter was examined with an emphasis on issues of inclusion and poverty.


Social Venture Design
Date- 4 -8 June 2012

Social Venture Design – a short course on social entrepreneurship is being organised jointly by Acara and IIHS. The Social Venture Design is an opportunity to Design, Develop and Pitch a social business idea to a panel of investors and incubator representatives. The course provides intensive, hands-on experience with entrepreneurship – particularly examples of social entrepreneurship and leadership in developing solutions to societal and environmental problems. This short course will enable learners to identify core issues and develop or redefine business model components of a proposed solution to address the identified challenge.


Integrated Urban Disaster Risk Reduction
Date- 24- 28 Feb, 2012

The Indian landmass is exposed to various natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, floods and cyclones. Major regions of the country are located in high risk seismic zones where earthquakes of magnitude six or above on the Richter Scale are distinct possibilities. Parts of the northeast receive the highest rainfall in the world whereas parts of the northwest have the scantiest. Also the long coastline of India faces high risk of storm surges and Tsunami. This wide variation in rainfall, climate and geography make rapidly urbanising settlements – especially large metros – highly susceptible to these hazards.

In order to make disaster resilient cities, it is important to adopt an integrated approach that takes into account multiple hazards and vulnerabilities for comprehensive assessment, mitigation and preparedness and integrate disaster risk reduction into sustainable urban development goals. This course sought to equip its learners with an integrated imagination of hazards and risks, and how to navigate them within a framework of burgeoning urbanization.


Working with Digital Maps- Leveraging the Power of GIS
Dates:  26- 28 Mar 2012 | 11- 13 May 2012 | 16 – 18 Nov 2012

The short course on “Working with Digital Maps–Leveraging the Power of GIS” was a unique and intense programme for working professionals from diverse backgrounds working on different aspects of human settlements. It blended the essentials of theory on Geographic Information Science and Systems and was followed by hands-on exposure to practice with exclusive case studies. The short course equipped learners to appreciate the nuances of key concepts, enabling them to quickly learn, analyse and apply the techniques of GIS into their respective domains and eventually be able to produce desirable outputs. This also exposed learners to use/develop mash-ups based on popular web-based GIS applications like Google maps and open up learners to use volunteered geographic information and crowd-sourced knowledge in their respective use cases.


Training Programme on GIS and Remote Sensing – Application in Irrigation and Water Resource Management
Date- 15-17 March 2012

As professionals and citizens of an increasingly globalised and interconnected world, how can we build urban futures that are rooted in local context and responsive to the culture and histories of a place? How can we apply universal norms and standards of sustainability to benefit particular places and communities? How can we understand the significance of cultural heritage for sustainable urban futures?

Dr. Jyoti Hosagrahar, Director of SUI, Columbia University, New York, and Bangalore India, proposed a comprehensive approach rooted in local context and responsive to the heritage, culture, and histories of a place. In a short course that integrated theoretical concepts with practical strategies, she explored ways to apply universal norms and standards of sustainability and heritage conservation to benefit particular places and communities. In contrast to the current divide between urban development aimed at modernisation and heritage conservation, Dr. Hosagrahar urged integrative solutions. She used both Indian and International experiences and perspectives, methods and tools, and field study to teach about place-based and community-oriented strategies for building urban futures.


Sustainable Urban Futures
Date- 23-24 March 2012

As professionals and citizens of an increasingly globalised and interconnected world, how can we build urban futures that are rooted in local context and responsive to the culture and histories of a place? How can we apply universal norms and standards of sustainability to benefit particular places and communities? How can we understand the significance of cultural heritage for sustainable urban futures?

Dr. Jyoti Hosagrahar, Director of SUI, Columbia University, New York, and Bangalore India, proposed a comprehensive approach rooted in local context and responsive to the heritage, culture, and histories of a place. In a short course that integrated theoretical concepts with practical strategies, she explored ways to apply universal norms and standards of sustainability and heritage conservation to benefit particular places and communities. In contrast to the current divide between urban development aimed at modernisation and heritage conservation, Dr. Hosagrahar urged integrative solutions. She used both Indian and International experiences and perspectives, methods and tools, and field study to teach about place-based and community-oriented strategies for building urban futures.

The method of instruction included slide lectures, reading material, seminar discussions, and field study based practicum exercise.


Sanitation Hackathon – Tapping Innovation in Sanitation
Dec 1-2, 2012

The Sanitation Hackathon challenged programmers to develop innovative software solutions that would address real-world problems in sanitation. Technologists teamed up with sanitation experts in an intensive marathon to find innovative solutions to challenges facing the sanitation sector.  The event, organized by the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program in partnership with the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) and Infosys in India, took place simultaneously in several cities around the world.

During the months leading up to the event, experts on sanitation and members of the public created, submitted and voted on “problem definitions” that highlighted specific sanitation challenges that could be mitigated by innovative ICTs. Then, during a weekend-long marathon event, teams of programmers in cities around the world developed innovative solutions to these problem definitions.

Source: http://www.sanitationhackathon.org/pune

2011

Reimagining the World-Class City
Jan 3-9, 2011 | Jun 14-18, 2011

As urban India emerges within an increasingly global world, the idea of the ‘World-Class’ City has captured the imagination of policy makers, residents, entrepreneurs and the media. Calls to make Mumbai into Shanghai or Bengaluru into Singapore abound. This course re-examined these visions and the critical questions of urban growth and development that underpin them. Given India’s challenges towards enabling inclusive development, social transformation, sustainable urbanism and livelihoods, this is an intensely contested and opportune debate. The course brought together theoretical debates with existing practices, enabling an interdisciplinary exploration of the systems, processes and values that drive the development of these cities. Using a rich mix of lectures, practica, charettes and cases, the course was a dynamic and an engaged learning environment with participation at every stage.


Integrated Urban Disaster Risk Reduction
Date- 17-21 Oct 2011 |24- 28 Feb, 2012

The Indian landmass is exposed to various natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, floods and cyclones. Major regions of the country are located in high risk seismic zones where earthquakes of magnitude six or above on the Richter Scale are distinct possibilities. Parts of the northeast receive the highest rainfall in the world whereas parts of the northwest have the scantiest. Also the long coastline of India faces high risk of storm surges and Tsunami. This wide variation in rainfall, climate and geography make rapidly urbanising settlements – especially large metros – highly susceptible to these hazards. In order to make disaster resilient cities, it is important to adopt an integrated approach that takes into account multiple hazards and vulnerabilities for comprehensive assessment, mitigation and preparedness and integrate disaster risk reduction into sustainable urban development goals. This course sought to equip its learners with an integrated imagination of hazards and risks, and how to navigate them within a framework of burgeoning urbanization.


Water Hackathon – Tapping Innovation in Water and Sanitation
Oct 21-23, 2011

The Water Anchor and the Water and Sanitation Program of the World Bank along with partners, Indian Institute for Human Settlements and India Water Portal (IWP) hosted Water Hackathon from 21 October – 23 October, 2011. The event aimed to develop prototypes in mobile applications to help address issues in the water and sanitation sector. The Water Hackathon is an intensive marathon of brainstorming and programming, where software developers and designers collaborate to create new tools for solving water and sanitation problems like access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, flooding and drought and environmental pollution.

The Water Hackathon was held in Bangalore from 21 October – 23 October, 2011. The event was also supported by Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, Hewlett Packard, Broadvision Group of India, NJS Engineers India and OnMobile.

Know more


Working with Digital Maps- Leveraging the Power of GIS
Dates: 29 Nov -3 Dec 2011

The short course on “Working with Digital Maps–Leveraging the Power of GIS” was a unique and intense programme for working professionals from diverse backgrounds working on different aspects of human settlements. It blended the essentials of theory on Geographic Information Science and Systems and was followed by hands-on exposure to practice with exclusive case studies. The short course equipped learners to appreciate the nuances of key concepts, enabling them to quickly learn, analyse and apply the techniques of GIS into their respective domains and eventually be able to produce desirable outputs. This also exposed learners to use/develop mash-ups based on popular web-based GIS applications like Google maps and open up learners to use volunteered geographic information and crowd-sourced knowledge in their respective use cases.