The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our times and is proving to be one of the greatest challenges faced by humanity. It is wreaking havoc around the globe and has forced most of human work to shut down. However, these uncertain times have inadvertently helped the environment, with frequent sightings of...
Blog Posts: Urban Development
A slightly modified version of this piece appeared on Times blog on May 11.
Social distancing, isolation and locking down of cities and oneself is the norm in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. With this, inequality in cities has been laid bare, exposing the startling vulnerability of the urban poor. The current economic slowdown is being...
The COVID-19 health crisis and associated lockdown has thrown into plain view the fragility of existing systems, from healthcare and governance, to the gig economy and global markets. With people confined to their homes and restricted mobility, cities are working to not only manage and contain the spread of the disease but also ensure a consistent, efficient and reliable supply of basic services. While the struggles of providing equal access to efficient and reliable basic services is not new to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in India, limiting contagion and avoiding secondary health impacts...
Inequality is shaping how people are experiencing COVID-19 in cities to a startling degree. The vulnerability of the urban poor is striking everywhere, but the divide is more visible in some places than others.
This is where I live on Veera Desai Road in Andheri (K- West) ward of Mumbai. Though our ward has the third highest COVID-19...
Streets in the last century were primarily designed as a mode of transport for goods and services. This automobile-centric approach of street design stifled the human accessibility aspect, and eventually, cities forgot that every citizen is a pedestrian at some point in a day. But this scenario is changing, and cities globally are leading the movement to reinvest in their streets with a focus on pedestrian environment.
Mumbai is a city of pedestrians, with 51% of the total daily trips being walk trips, according to the...
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a disruptive new normal for everyone through shelter-in-place orders and social distancing guidelines. But for the billions of urban poor, these guidelines aren’t just burdensome; they’re essentially impossible.
Social distancing is a critically important response to the pandemic, but it also assumes that residents have adequate space, services and social safety nets to survive such an order. This is simply not the reality across cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The global spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) highlights the intensity of global interconnections, and social and economic interdependence between regions. The pandemic has reinforced the critical need for access to safe and assured water supply for all, as described in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, for preventing rapid transmission of the disease.
Since time immemorial, Indian cities have come up either on riverbanks or near surface waterbodies or over groundwater reservoirs, making the presence of water a founding feature of settlements. Historically, waterbodies played a vital role in defining the cultural heritage of a city. They provided public spaces for recreation, gatherings and religious activities, as well as a range of livelihood options, like fishing and boating. This dependence, in turn, ensured that these waterbodies were cared for and used by local communities, and fostered a water focused identity of the place....
This blog post originally appeared in WRI Insights.
Chennai, India faced a devastating flood in 2015 that killed hundreds of people and displaced many more. Today, the southern Indian city’s four main reservoirs are virtually dry.
This crisis is not only due to lack of water. Lack of proper management is exacerbating dry conditions in Chennai and many other...
The last two decades have seen a rampant rise in environmental challenges being faced by cities and countries globally. In India, too, challenges related to air pollution, waste management, scarcity of water, conservation of natural resources, and loss of biodiversity, amongst others have been increasing. This photo essay uses animations based on satellite images to show the effect these challenges have had on our country.
In the last two decades, India has urbanised at an unprecedented rate. This image shows the growth of Bangalore between 1990 and 2015....
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