Prospective IIHS University

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The IIHS will establish one of the first interdisciplinary Universities in India focused on its urban transformation. Its institutional structure is based on four major programmes:

  • An Academic Programme that will deliver three degrees i.e. Bachelors of Urban Practice (BUP), the Masters of Urban Practice (MUP) and a PhD programme.
  • Research Programme based on practice and field based innovation that supports action research, grounded theory building, case-based learning and provides the opportunity for reflective practitioners and researchers to engage with contemporary challenges in India, other parts of South Asia and the world.
  • An Urban Practitioners Professionals  (UPP) Programme that delivers training and capacity building support to public, private and civil society organizations and mid-career professionals. It delivered an 8-month interdisciplinary certificate Programme for Working Professionals in Urban Development (PWP-UD) for mid-career professionals in 2012-13. Over 1,000 public and municipal officials and practitioners from the private sector and civil society will be trained around a range of themes in 2013.
  • Practice Programme that supports government, public and private enterprises in the development and implementation of policy, programmes and projects in the human settlements sector with a strong emphasis on equity, sustainability and resilience.

The proposed IIHS University will build its first campus in Bangalore around five interdisciplinary Schools, as described below. Domestic funding for two Schools (Environment & Sustainability and Human Development) and faculty chairs have been secured and discussions are at an advanced stage for a third (Governance & Policy). The Schools are imagined in a productive conversation with each other where many faculty will hold joint appointments across Schools  to ensure the porosity of their borders. The proposed IIHS schools are:

School of Environment and Sustainability situates the built environment within the context of the environment and sustainability. It brings together theoretical and practice-based engagements with the environment across multiple perspectives and disciplines, examining pressing issues of the built environment and infrastructure, disaster and risk reduction, climate variability and change via ecological management, urban ecology and environmental design, vulnerability and resilience. The School will particularly engage across scales from addressing macro and global environmental change through regional processes to address local processes of environmental health and service delivery and pollution. It will put particular emphasis on the dependence of poor and vulnerable populations on ecosystems services and their vulnerability to shocks and disasters.

School of Human Development will focus on processes of human and social development that must be the central focal point of both economic and social transformations in contemporary urban India. The School will take a broad and inter-disciplinary approach to questions of human development that seeks to bring different political and disciplinary approaches to poverty, inequality, vulnerability, rights, entitlements and development into productive conversation with each other. It will do so across scale, working with both local level, community-led action as well as macro-policy and developmental debates.

School of Economic Development explores multiple scales of economic organisation from micro concerns of formal and informal livelihoods, employment and vulnerability to macro-level urban economic systems ranging from infrastructure, land markets to regional resource management. This School brings political and economic analysis as well as managerial decision-making to urban, regional and metropolitan economic development at all scales in order to holistically study and manage urban economies.

School of Governance and Policy represents a sustained engagement with the question of how settlements are governed. It will provide contextual and pragmatic understanding of political processes and the micro and macro political institutions ranging from the various scales of the state to the family, for example, that act as sites of governance. It will look centrally at how public policy, law and institutions function, govern and manage settlements of various scales, including million+ cities and metropolitan regions. It will seek to help learners understand the political, planning and institutional processes by which settlements are built, governed, maintained and transformed.

School of Settlements and Infrastructure locates itself on a broad geographic scale that examines not just cities but urban and regional systems and settlements, both urban and rural. The School will examine the role of planning and design at the local, city and regional level in response to the needs and priorities of multiple stakeholders and sectors and the challenges of scale, equity, efficiency, aesthetics, sustainability and culture. It will addresses the full cycle of conceiving, designing, planning and implementing integrated infrastructural and built systems across ecological services, mobility, energy, information and environmental management continuum including basic service delivery.