There are five interdisciplinary Schools at IIHS, each of which will transition into the proposed IIHS IOE. Each School has a particular transformational theme, a concrete pathway to impact, and a set of teaching, research and practice projects and programmes within it. The key imperative behind the Schools is to ground knowledge creation and pedagogy in the Indian context and for developing countries across the world. Collectively, the five schools systematically address a wide range of urban issues, from questions of livelihood and economic development, access to basic infrastructure, affordable housing and healthcare for all to tackling climate change and land governance.

The School of Governance engages with questions of how, where, when and why settlements are governed. The School has systemic orientation, interdisciplinary reach, and spatial focus which are unique to this country, and will lead nationally on new and cutting-edge work on urban governance. Drawing on and bringing together disciplines such as law, political science and policy, research, teaching, and practice, the School speaks to issues around urban governance that are central to both international as well as domestic urban policy.


Teaching at the School will locate the urban in India within a larger constitutional governance framework to enable learners to understand how, by whom, and on what basis Indian cities and urban regions are governed and managed. It will do so through an engagement with the State and its institutions at multiple scales, as well as the relationships that State actors have with the market, the private sector, and other non-State institutions. Within proposed degrees at the IIHS IOE, the School will be the primary location of the Concentration in Law, Policy and Governance. It will also be linked to Concentrations in Land and Housing, Planning, Human Development, Economic Development, and Systems and Infrastructure, among others.


Key focus areas:

  • Law and Politics
  • Spatial Justice and Governing Complex Geographies
  • Political Infrastructures
  • Land Governance and Land Systems
  • Environmental Law and Governance



The School of Economic Development focuses on the economies and economic transitions of urban settlements and regions, and understanding economic flows and networks across urban and rural places. The urban economy makes up two-thirds of the current global economy and in a few decades, will be more than 75%. Much of this economic growth will come from urban regions in Asia and Africa. The School draws upon and bring together work from a range of disciplines including management and finance, economics, area studies, sociology, anthropology, development studies, and gender studies to build theory, develop pedagogy, and inform practice and policy on the urban and regional economy, and economic development.

Teaching within the School will include courses across on the urban economy, disciplinary courses in urban economics and political economy, as well as a range of courses on the key focus areas listed below. Within the degree programmes of the proposed IIHS IOE, the School will be the primary location for the Economic Development concentration, and will co-anchor the Human Development, Planning, Urban Management and Land and Housing concentrations along with other Schools.


Key focus areas:

  • Urban and Regional Economics
  • Urban and Public Finance
  • Development Economics
  • Economic History
  • Economic Governance and Institutions
  • Emerging Economic Settlements (such as industrial zones, corridors)



The School of Human Development focuses on aspects of social transformation, concerned particularly with questions of social and economic inequality. It brings together economic, social, political and spatial dimensions of inequality, and draws on multiple disciplines ranging from economics, planning, development studies, social work, public health, and education to gender studies, dalit studies, psychology, and sociology.


Within the degree programmes of the proposed IIHS IOE, the School will be the primary location for the Concentration in Human Development. It will also be linked to Concentrations in Land and Housing, Policy and Governance, Economic Development, and Systems and Infrastructure across other proposed IIHS IOE Schools.


Key focus areas:

  • Urban Inequality
  • Affordable Housing
  • Food Security
  • Urban Health
  • Social Protection and Social Policy
  • Education



The School of Environment and Sustainability brings together academic, research, and practice-based engagements with questions of sustainability and the environment across a wide range of perspectives and disciplines, from law, history, political science, and philosophy to climate science, hydrology, and forestry. This speaks directly to global and domestic policy imperatives: India has renewed its commitment to the Paris Accord, as well as National Missions on Solar and Renewable Energy and the National Action Plan on Climate Change.


Within the degree programmes of the proposed IIHS IOE, the School will be the core location for the Concentrations on Environment and Climate, and Disaster Risk Reduction. The School will also teach courses on ecology and environmental geography, sustainable regions, environmental law and policy, and energy.


Key focus areas:

  • Environmental Law, Policy, and Governance
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Urban Science and Data
  • Human Ecology
  • Sustainability Transitions and Development Pathways



The School of Systems and Infrastructure is particularly identified with the ‘spatial and physical/material terrain’ of urban research and practice including its social, economic and political dimensions. Cities consist of various overlapping systems, such as mobility, water, sanitation, solid waste management, energy, food and land. These systems are the central concern of the School.


Within the proposed degrees at IIHS IOE, the School will be the core location for the Concentrations on Planning, Housing, Infrastructure, and Urban Design. It is also envisaged that specialised Concentrations in each of the infrastructure systems will be offered separately, including mobility, energy, and environmental services.


Key focus areas:

  • Settlement Planning
  • Energy
  • Environmental Services
  • Urban Transportation and Mobility