Urban ARC 2019 | City and the Region

IIHS Annual Research Conference, 10~12 Jan, 2019

The third edition of Urban ARC, the Annual Research Conference of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) will be held from 10 – 12 January 2019, at the IIHS Bengaluru City Campus. The theme for the 2019 edition is ‘City and the Region’.


Scholarship on the relationship between cities and their surrounding regions has a long history, dating back at least to MacKinner’s conceptualisation of London as a city-region in 1902. Since then, much research has been dedicated to understanding the linkages which exist between the two. Over time, these conceptualisations have been challenged, reimagined, and redrawn, particularly as studies of cities have extended to the Global South.


In recent experience, conventionally imagined boundaries between cities and their regions are shifting. Since Japan’s experience of building the Taiheiyo belt around the Tokaido-Sanyo rail corridor led to the creation of a mega-urban region, models of urban and industrial corridors have been extended to various parts of Asia (such as the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor). Along with corridors, other emerging spatial forms challenge conventional notions of cities and regions. These include Special Economic Zones, Industrial Townships, and Special Investment Regions.


In India, the cyclical flow of rural residents to and from urban areas for work has been recognised, reframing questions of urban housing, employment, social security, residency and citizen rights. Migration to cities allows for strong links to persist with certain regions, with new migrants utilising networks of families and friends to establish themselves in cities. Additionally, the spatial organisation of economies around nodes, originally emerging within economic plans, is now acknowledged by geographers, via ideas of hierarchic regional and locational systems[1]


In South Africa, the experience of re-imagining cities and regions post-apartheid has strongly influenced planning processes, culminating in the country adopting an Integrated Urban Development Framework or IUDF in 2016[2]. In South America, scholars are moving beyond the debates on growth pole and dependency theories of the 1960s and 70s to examine deeper questions of territoriality.[3] Brazil has witnessed increased emphasis on regional planning by state governments since 2005[4], as well as on scholarship of ‘non-planned’ and organic transformations of planned cities like Brasilia.[5]


In other parts of the world, earlier scholarship on splintering urbanism[6] has moved ahead to deal with new urban forms such as Smart Cities and consequent changing conceptualisations of infrastructure, policy, and governance[7]. Ideas such as planetary urbanisation[8] are not only being articulated by urban theorists but are also being contested as debated (as seen in a recent edition of Society and Space[9])


In parallel, urban practitioners and policymakers are contending with new impacts including transforming migration patterns, changing employment demographics, transitioning public infrastructure requirements and increasing demands of foreign capital inflows. Emerging policy is also beginning to focus on planned integrated spaces such as SEZs, and industrial corridors that cross city and state jurisdictions and are imagined as integrated regions. Additionally, calls for development via infrastructurally integrated regions have increased in international circles in recent years[10]. These changes are also being reflected in governance, with increased calls for Metropolitan governance bodies on one hand[11] and an increasing emphasis on Special Purpose Vehicles and Regional Development Authorities on another[12].


Quito Declaration on Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements for All involved the participation of mayors, local and regional authorities, civil society and community groups, the private sector and urban planners. The declaration made a key commitment to ‘supporting territorial systems that integrate urban and rural functions into the national and subnational spatial frameworks and the systems of cities and human settlements,’ thus highlighting how some cities have also transcended their surrounding regions by becoming political actors, forming global networks to work on common issues.


There is a need for scholars currently developing new knowledge to critically examine the complex inter-relationships that cities share with regions. Urban ARC 2019 seeks to be a space for such discussions and investigations.


Call for Papers

Urban ARC 2019 seeks to examine and unpack these themes around the city and region by examining a wide-range of intersections – sectoral, disciplinary, methodological and geographic. It offers a space for conversations on theoretical and methodological research interventions across disciplinary silos.


We invite scholars, researchers, and practitioners who work on these themes to submit paper proposals studying the relationships and linkages between the city and region. Some examples of such research topics could include (but are not limited to):

  • Examinations of changing city-region dynamics in the Global South, given changing urbanisation patterns in the 21st Century
  • Impacts of growing cities upon resource and environmental conservation.
  • Transformations in land markets and land governance in the light of integrated regional planning in the Global South.
  • Histories of regional transport networks (such as railways and highways) in Asia and Africa
  • Impacts of local cultural factors upon regional planning processes
  • The evolving nature of media representations of Cities and Regions
  • Implications of regional economic development for federal political structures
  • The role of kinship and family networks in employment driven migration
  • Sustainable energy management in organically developed city-regions
  • Health impacts of regional-scale waste and wastewater management networks
  • Growing multi-lingualism and emerging conflicts in the City-Region.
  • The implications of changing rural-urban migration patterns for urban skilling programmes.
  • The implications of new city governance networks (Eg: coalitions of city governments for climate change) for administrative reforms under the 74th Constitutional Amendment.
  • The socioeconomic impact of transit-oriented development upon peri-urban spaces.
  • Linkages between real estate development in peri-urban regions and employment patterns in the city.
  • Incorporating ecological conservation practices into metropolitan development plans.


Please note that the examples listed above are illustrative of topics and are not categories under which papers could be submitted.


If you would like to propose a panel for the conference, please write to us at research@iihs.ac.in for more information.


Dates and Procedures

28 October 2018 | 11.59 pmDeadline for Submitting Abstracts
26 November 2018  Announcement of Selected Papers
7 January 2019 Submission of Completed Papers
10 – 12 January 2019Urban ARC 2019



Urban ARC 2019 will be held at
Indian Institute for Human Settlements’
Bengaluru City Campus (BCC),
2nd Main Road,
Sadashivanagar, Bengaluru – 560 080.


Financial Support

Limited financial support is available for early career scholars. Participants wishing to avail of support must contact research@iihs.ac.in



All copyright for original work will lie with the author. IIHS will use material only with prior permission.


About the Indian Institute for Human Settlements

The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) is a national education institution committed to the equitable, sustainable and efficient transformation of Indian settlements. More details about IIHS, its research, practice, and work can be found at iihs.co.in.



[1] See Bhat, ICSSR Research Surveys and Explorations: Economic Geography, Volumes 1 & 2.

[2] See http://www.cogta.gov.za/cgta_2016/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/The-Intergrated-Urban-Development-FrameworkIUDF.pdf

[3] See Irazabal, Revisiting Urban Planning in Latin America and the Caribbean (2009), UNHABITAT, for more details.

[4] See Pereira da Silva, Municipal and Regional Planning in Brazil (2009), 46th ISOCARP Congress

[5] See Irazabal (ibid.)

[6] See Graham, Steve Graham, and Marvin, Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition.

[7] See Guy, Marvin and Medd, Shaping Urban Infrastructures: Intermediaries and the Governance of Socio-Technical Networks (2010), Routledge

[8] See Brenner, Implosions/Explosions: Towards a Study of Planetary Urbanization.

[9] See Environment and Planning D, Society and Space, Volume 36, Issue 3, February 2018

[10] See United Nations ECLAC Bulletin (Issue No. 280, 2009); Koruda, Infrastructure and Regional Co-operation, Annual Conference on Development Economics (2006) for examples.

[11] Eg: Calls for the formation of the Bengaluru Metropolitan Planning Committee in Bengaluru, India.

[12] Eg: The Dholera Special Investment Regional Development Authority in Dholera, India or the Iskandar Regional Development Authority in Iskandar, Malaysia.

Day 1 | 10 January 2019
8.30 am – 9.00 amRegistration
9.00 am – 9.30 amOpening address
Session 1
9.30 am – 11.00 am
Panel 1: Governing the Urban
Governing the periphery of the Gauteng City-Region, South Africa.
Ngaka Mosiane, Gauteng City-Region Observatory
The exceptional millennial city? An understanding of the planning and governance of Gurugram
Sumedha Priyadarshini, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
Speculating Governance: The New Normal?
Triveni Prasad Nanda and Aparna Soni, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University
Community Governance of Urban Wetlands
Arjun Malhotra, Azim Premji University
BREAK: 11.00 am – 11.30 am
Session 2
11.30 am – 1.00 pm
Panel 2: Exploring Social Identity and Culture: Perspectives from Delhi, and Kolkata
Menus matter: examining class and Bengali cuisine culture through restaurant menus in Kolkata
Runa Das Chaudhuri, University of Calcutta
Fear, Activism and Formation of Counter-Urban Consciousness: Experiencing Delhi from the Margins, a Case of Kathputli Colony
Rajarshee Choudhury, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
Exploring Identity and Space through the study of Housing Rental Market in Delhi
Asaf Ali Lone, Centre for Public Interest Law, Jindal Global Law School
LUNCH: 1.00 pm – 2.30 pm
Session 3
2.30 pm – 4.00 pm
Panel 3: Infrastructure and the Urban Region
Challenging inert flows between the city and the region: The canals and the brick kilns of Gurugram and Sonepat.
Pratik Mishra, Kings College, London
Lost Opportunities: A Case Study of Khushkhera-Neemrana-Bhiwadi
Investment Region
Druti Gangwar and Ridima Kanwal, School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal
The rescaling of the state in the Dholera Smart City
Rakib Akhtar, University of Oxford
Citizenship at the Margins: Exploring slum rehabilitation in an urban fishermen settlement in Kerala
Aarathi G, Centre for Development Studies
BREAK: 4.00 pm – 4.30 pm
Session 4
4.30 pm – 6.00 pm
Panel 4: Urban Systems and Services
Poverty and transport accessibility in Bangalore: the need for a gendered perspective
Pooja Sastry
Commuter Railways and Development of City Region: A Study from Eastern India
Bhaswati Mondal and Gopa Samanta, The University of Burdwan
Consumption and waste metabolism: Determinant changes in consumption patterns impact the generation of solid waste in the peri-urban areas of Quito.
Adriana Mejía Artieda, FLASCO
Symbiosis or parasitism? Exploring the city-region relationship through the support capacity.
Oscar Mejía-Rivera, Carlos Cadena-Gaitán and Santiago Mejía-Dugand, Universidad EAFIT
Delivery of water and sanitation public services under Swachh Bharat Mission Urban (SBM-U) at New Delhi railways station
Deepak Kumar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
Day 2 | 11 January 2019
8.30 am – 9.00 amRegistration
Session 1
9.30 am – 11.00 am
Panel 5: Food Systems across Scales
Small farms around Bengaluru – growing money at the cost of food and environment
Sheetal Patil, Seema Purushothaman, Raghvendra Vanjari, Dhanya B and Shwetha A R, Azim Premji University
Remaking Town and Hinterland: Reshaping Palates and Transforming Diets in Western Awadh, Uttar Pradesh, India
Richa Kumar, IIT Delhi and Richa Singh, Sudha Nagavarapu and Surbala Vaish, Sangtin, Sitapur
The Data of Food: E-Commerce Business to Business Firms and their Shaping of Food Supply Chains in Karnataka
Natasha S K, Shwetha Govindan and Keerthana Jagadeesh, Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)
Millet trails, from market-town to city-region-Exploring Sustainable Food Narratives in Bangalore
Salila Vanka, R V College of Architecture and Dwijendranath Guru, The Millet Foundation
BREAK: 11.00 am – 11.30 am
Session 2
11.30 am – 1.00 pm
Panel 6: Land Use and Planning
Looking through the Towns and Cities of Calcutta in Kolkata.
Sarani Khatua, University of Calcutta
Speculating on Bangalore’s Urbanism: Land Transitions at the City’s Edge
Carol Upadhya, Hemangini Gupta, Sachinkumar Rathod and Priyanka Krishna, National Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS)
A Study of the Mhalunge-Maan Town Planning Scheme: Juxtaposing the scope for public negotiation under land pooling with the use of eminent domain under land acquisition
Varun Panickar, Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS)
Inter-relation between landform characteristics and hierarchy of street network taking the case of Greater Bengaluru Metropolitan region
Jeeno George, BMS College of Architecture
LUNCH: 1.00 pm – 2.30 pm
Session 3
2.30 pm – 4.00 pm
Panel 7: Global perspectives on urban transformations
A cross-sectional and spatial analysis of the prevalence of multimorbidity and its association with socioeconomic disadvantage in South Africa: A comparison between 2008 and 2012.
Amy Weimann, University of Cape Town, Dajun Dai, Georgia State University and Tolu Oni, University of Cambridge
Urban Transformation in the Pearl River Delta Region
Chetan Kulkarni, University of Texas at Austin
Urban Public Finance- A case study of Kisumu
Liza Cirolia, African Centre for Cities
Urbanisation in Monsoon Asia and the Agrarian Question
Stephen Cairns, Future Cities Laboratory, ETH Zürich
BREAK: 4.00 pm – 4.30 pm
Session 4
4.30 pm – 6.00 pm
Panel 8: Knowledge-based economies, innovation networks, and regional development in India
Industrial Agglomeration in a Globalised Economy: The Case of Ahmedabad Metropolitan Area, India.
Anil Kumar Roy and Charmy Shah, CEPT University
Studying the Location Pattern of Knowledge Clusters and Networks and its’ Influence in an Urban Region.
Arindam Biswas and Hariharan Arun Natarajan, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
A regional variant of Silicon Valley?: Bangalore’s role in the innovation networks of the global information economy.
Balaji Parthasarathy, IIIT Bangalore
Indian Univer(c)ities: Knowledge and its Effects on City Regions.
Kala S Sridhar, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC)
Planning beyond Boundaries for Creating Smart Regions.
Vinita Yadav, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi
Day 3 | 12 January 2019
8.30 am – 9.00 amRegistration
Session 1
9:30 am – 11.00 am
Panel 9: Livelihoods, migration, and the urban economy
Networks, mobilities and segmentation in small city labour markets
Mukta Naik, Pranav Kuttaiah and Eesha Kunduri, Centre for Policy Research
‘Feet in both places’: Precarious Migrant Lives in a Global City
Swathi Shivanand, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Architecture and the Urban setting of Bazaar: defining Socio- Economic City- Region Linkages in the process of Urbanisation in India Case of Mullickghat Flower Market, Kolkata
Somrita Bandyopadhyay, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi
Planning Strategies for upliftment of Handicraft clusters and their workers: A Case of Lucknow Cluster of Avadh Region.
Amrita Rastogi, Institute for Spatial Planning and Environment Research (ISPER) and Pratyoosh Madhavi, Nirma University
BREAK: 11.00 am – 11.30 am
Session 2
11.30 am – 1.00 pm
Panel 10: Evolving urban economies, their impact on health and proposed solutions
The Challenge Initiative for Healthy Cities
Mukesh Kumar Sharma, Population Services International (PSI)
Building Healthy Cities
Damodar Bachani, John Snow India Private Limited
Ensuring equitable, accessible, and appropriate healthcare for the urban population: a technology- and innovation-driven model through a network of neighbourhood clinics (mohalla clinics) in Delhi
Anand Panjiyar, WISH Foundation India
PAHAL: An Ecosystem Approach
LM Singh, PAHAL, IPE Global
LUNCH: 1.00 pm – 2.30 pm
Session 3
2.30 pm – 4.00 pm
Panel 11: Smart Cities and Urban Regions
Planetary Urbanization, Region and India’s Smart Cities Mission.
Glen David Kuecker and Tristan Stamets, DePauw University
Smart Cities and Citizenship
Deepak Kumar, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
Smart Cities Programme, Schumpeterian Logic or Urban Entrepreneurialism?
Reading the Governmentality of Urban Futures in India
Purushottam Kesar, Radboud University
Strategies for Sustainable Neighbourhood Planning in a Smart City: A Case of Pattoor, Thiruvananthapuram
Vijaya Nhaloor, Marian College of Architecture and Planning
BREAK: 4.00 pm – 4.30 pm
Session 4
4.30 pm – 6.00 pm
Closing Panel
On New Urban Science

On New Urban Science

Panelists: Aromar Revi, Susan Parnell and Michael Keith


Cities have become the epicenters of opportunities, as well as of challenges, facing a world in search of sustainable modes of existence. For instance, a majority of the global GDP (75%) is generated in the Urban areas, and so is a majority of carbon emission (75%) from global final energy use. Further, such areas are home to majority of the world’s population, including 863 million urban dwellers living in slums and informal settlements. As articulated in the Expert Panel’s report on the global state of the urban science-policy interface, titled ‘Science and the Future of Cities’, a complex systemic situation such as this calls for a ‘New Urban Science’, with an epistemic stance that is disciplinarily cross-cutting, is universal and inclusive in its sources of knowledge, and can bridge science and policy making across multiple sectors and scales of governance.


The Invited Panel at Urban ARC 2019: City and the Region, in keeping with the theme, attempts to build on ‘Science and the Future of Cities’ report and is a conversation on trends in urban/regional research, and their relationship to developing a New Urban Science. The panel includes eminent knowledge area experts and contributors to the ‘Science and the Future of Cities‘ report – Aromar Revi (Director, Indian Institute for Human settlements), and Susan Parnell (Chair in Human Geography, Bristol University); as well as Michael Keith – Director of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford. Aromar Revi, Susan Parnell and Michael Keith are also lead researchers on the PEAK Urban project funded by the UKRI’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). The PEAK project is grounded in the logic of urban complexity to develop an array of disciplinary perspectives that will address the challenges of the 21st century city. The panel members will be in conversation on trends in contemporary research on the Urban and the Region, their relation to the advancement of a ‘New Urban Science’ and the role of global projects such as PEAK Urban.


The panel will start at 4.30 pm on Saturday, 12 January 2019.

In addition to the panels and paper presentations, Urban ARC 2019 will feature additional events including special curated panels and art events. Additional information on special events are forthcoming.  Please email research [at] iihs dot ac dot in to get regular updates.


Discounted rates can be availed at the following area hotels (subject to availability). Please indicate participation at an IIHS event for discounts.

Tulip Inn Bangalore
Plot no: 104/1 RV Layout, Off Sankey Road, Opp. Palace Grounds,
Kumara Park West Extension, Bengaluru – 560 020


Tel: +91 80 4666 8888
Fax: +91 80 4666 8890


Mail ID: reservations.tibengaluru@goldentulipindia.com | sales1.tibengaluru@goldentulipindia.com

Contact: Abraham Raju | +91 91487 83356



Comfort Inn Insys
46, 1st Main Rd, Gokula 1st Stage, Nanjappa Reddy Colony, Mathikere, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 054


Tel: +91 80 4646 8000
Mail ID: sales@comfortinn-insys.com



37th Crescent Hotel
37, Crescent Road, Near Race Course, Opp Mallige Hospital, High Grounds, Bengaluru – 560 001, Karnataka


Tel: +91 80 4037 3737
Mail ID: sales@37thcrescent.in



Regenta Place Cunningham Bangalore
Near Indian Express, 11, Park Rd, Shivaji Nagar, Bengaluru – 560 051, Karnataka


Tel: +91 99020 00003
Mail ID: sales5@royalorchidhotels.com



Howard Johnson Bengaluru Hebbal
132, Thanisandra Main Rd, 5th Block, MS Ramaiah North City, Manayata Tech Park, Nagavara, Bengaluru – 560 077, Karnataka


Tel: +91 80 4646 7000
Mail ID: asm.sales@hojobangalore.com



Below is a list of additional hotels. Please note, discounted rates will not be available at these hotels.


OYO 6516 Chevron Hotels
9th Main Road, 6th A Cross, Sadashivnagar, Armane Nagar, Bengaluru


Tel: +91 70650 67404



Crest Hotel
12 Achaiah, Shetty Layout, Armane Nagar, Mekhri Circle, Bengaluru


Tel: +91 80 4099 8755



Treebo Orchard Suites
1st Main Road, Opp Jaatka Gaadi Stand Gutahalli, Bengaluru


Tel: +91 93228 00100