Much of the world’s new city building and settlement transformation will take place in India, China and parts of Africa in the early 21st century. However, most of the institutional experience of enabling large-scale urban change is concentrated in the Americas, Europe, East Asia and parts of Africa. Active networks between knowledge institutions of the global South and the North are crucial to address this asymmetry between opportunity, grounded knowledge and institutional capacity. It is necessary to create contextual knowledge and draw from comparative experience that can enable network platforms.
Over the past fives years, the IIHS has sought to build such network platforms through partnerships built around curriculum and case co-creation, joint research, education and practice. In doing so, it draws together a global network of knowledge and praxis partners: universities, firms, think tank and civil society organisations, to address the critical challenge of creating sustainable human settlements in South Asia. These partners include:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( School of Architecture & Planning)
- SDSN Thematic Group 09
- Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)
- University College London ( Development Planning Unit at UCL)
- University of Cape Town (African Center for Cities – ACC)
In addition to institutional partners, the IIHS also used the curriculum development process to design its proposed flagship programme – the Masters of Urban Practice – to bring together over 180 leading academics, practitioners, policy makers, activists and civil society leaders from across India as well as globally.
The two year curriculum development process has resulted in a unique, inter-disciplinary curriculum aimed at producing urban practitioners that can leverage both theory and practice towards the challenges of Indian cities.