A national think tank undertaking cutting-edge multi-disciplinary research, knowledge exchange and capacity development; Policy planning and advocacy.
We explore issues and challenges and generate awareness, build capacity through evidence based research, data analytics and policy advice.
Through extensive research and expertise in the urban sector, NIUA continues to build a rich knowledgebase for evidence based decision making.
We work with a number of partners, nationally and globally to enable peer learning through proliferation of ideas to strengthen our urban initiatives. Their expertise and support is instrumental in delivering the outcome of our work to the stakeholders
We offer distinctive network and exciting career opportunities to build an inclusive and sustainable urban ecosystem. We welcome your comments and feedback.
NIUA conducts state-of-the-art research on urban development that can be utilized towards transformative improvement in cities.
Capacity Building of officials in cities, states, institutions and industries, in addition to citizens’ is one of our key mandates. NIUA create, document and adopt standards, tools and best practices so that various policies can be implemented with best possible outcomes.
We extend our outreach through alliances with government organisations, academia, industry and citizen bodies for the welfare of one and all with the benefits accruing from urban development.
For more than 40 years since its inception, NIUA has been the vanguard for contributing to, and at times, building the urban narrative for a fast-evolving Urban India. The institution has been actively bringing forth key areas of concern to build the discourse at various urban scales.
NIUA focuses on research, knowledge management, policy, advocacy, and capacity building on urban development and management to address and develop sustainable,inclusive, and productive urban ecosystems in the country.
It has emerged as a thought leader and knowledge hub on urbanism in India through collaborations and partnerships with Indian and International organizations.
NIUA is committed to aligning its effort and programs towards achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
NIUA works on a wide array of projects. It delves into various aspects of urban development through these projects that support and augment the Institute’s vision of transforming the urban landscape of India.
These projects emcompass areas such as spatial growth, demographic trends, development of toolkits and frameworks, municipal finance, climate change, water, sanitation and hygiene.
It develops toolkits and frameworks, prepare city master plans and conservation plans.
Sanitation Capacity Building Platform(SCBP) is a platform anchored by NIUA and works as a collaborative initiative of experts and organisations committed to support and build the capacity of Urban Local Bodies, National Nodal Traiining Institutions, Academia and Private sector : to Plan, Design and Implement decentralized sanitation solutions. The Platform lends support to Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India, by focussing on urban sanitation and supports states and cities to move beyond Open Defecation Free (ODF) status by addressing the safe disposal and treatment of human faeces.
The Platform promotes non networked sanitation systems and has been operational since 2016. Over the last 3 years SCBP has developed as a credible platform including : 20 partners of the National Faecal Sludge and Septage Management Alliance(NFSSMA), 8 Nodal National Training Institutes and 9 universities partners. Together this Platform has developed a portfolio of standardised Faecal Sludge and Septage Management(FSSM) training modules, policy papers, technical reports and research.
SCBP Portal is a knowledge platform on decentralised urban sanitation.
With an overload of information on the net, this site provides a resource centre for Learning and Advocacy material, important Government orders and Reports, Training Modules, Workshop Reports and Publications produced under SCBP. We also share the most relevant work on decentralised sanitation from other organisations including Reports and Publications, Videos and learning material.
We invite engagement, suggestions and inputs for improving the content and reach of this platform. Kindly send your suggestions through the contact tab.
How does the Platform work
SCBP was conceptualised by NIUA in 2015 under a Gates Foundation Grant.
NIUA initiates and facilitates engagement of the SCBP Platform Partners at the State government level, for advocating and awareness generation for Faecal Sludge and Septage Management(FSSM). Followed by on demand support for capacity building and implementation of decentralised sanitation solutions at state and city level. SCBP promotes a four-module based Capacity Building support.
SCBP works at both state and national level. At state level the Platform is currently working through NIUA in the states of Rajasthan and Uttarakhand to create an enabling environment, undertake state wide capacity building and provide technical support for decentralised sanitation solutions. At the national level the Platform anchors Caapcity Building for decentralised sanitation, in partnership with nodal national training institutes accredited under national schemes. Developing appropriate Training Modules and supporting their delivery in over 10 states of India.
Why Decentralised Sanitation Solutions
Centralised sanitation solutions are not the norm in India. 68% of the urban population of India(2011 Census) relied on on-site sanitation, such as septic tanks and pits or open defecation. Decentralized sanitation solutions broadly classified as Faecal Sludge and Septage Management(FSSM), are critical for achieving the goals for urban sanitation under various national missions. Decentralized sanitation options are scientifically proven solutions to complement centralized systems or even replace them owing to their low operational cost, that have the potential to serve all urban and peri urban settelements and positively impact the lives and health for all.
FSSM is the collection and transportation of faecal sludge from the containment system, treatment of the sludge at a designated site, followed by safe disposal or reuse of the treated sludge.
All stakeholders ranging from National Missions, State and Town Officials(Public Health, Engineering and Administration), Elected Representatives, Private Sector Consultants and Vendors, NGOs, Academia, Masons and the Citizens at large.
The Platform provides a sharing and cross learning opportunity for SCBP Partners. To pool in their knowledge resources on all aspects of urban sanitation capacity building. Facilitates joint development of training modules, learning and advocacy material including developing Key Messages and Content. And a platform for sharing and dissemination of FSSM Research, Advocacy and outreach to State governments and Urban Local Bodies.
Over the last two years the Platform has produced Training Modules and Lerning Content on Decentralised Sanitation solutions, that is now accessed by a larger audience nationally and globally. Technical Assistance from SCBP has resulted in the first Assessments/DPRs for Faecal Sludge Treatment Plants for the states of UP and Bihar. Policy Advise has resulted in the frst Draft FSSM Policy of UP and Rajasthan. Research work has prodiced 4 Reports on sanitation status and challenges for towns of 4 states.
State Level & National Capacity Building Support : Policy Advise, Training of ULB staff, Research and Advocacy
Institutional Capacity Building : Nodal AMRUT Agencies and State Training Institutes Capacity Building and Trainings Support
Acadmeia and Private Sector Capacity Building Support and Engagement
Capacity building strategy at state level : 4 Modules
Sensitization/ orientation training for all ULBs (Elected Representatives, Engineers from ULB and Parastatal, Commissioner/EO)
First Specialized Training for Commissioner/EO and Engineers:
ODF and ODF++ City and exposure visit to Wai/ Sinar (selected SBM cities)
Integrated waste water management and exposure visit in Pune (selected AMRUT cities)
Technology option for FSM and exposure visit to Devanahalli (ten selected cities where detailed engagement is planned for supporting incremental changes/ preparation of DPR)
Second Specialized Training on planning and financing of FSM projects for Commissioner/ EO and Engineers from 10-15 selected cities where detailed engagement is planned for supporting incremental changes/ preparation of DPR
International Exposure visit for state officials, Elected Representatives, Engineers from ULB and Parastatal, Commissioner/EO (five selected cities for which support is to be provided for preparation of DPR for FSTP)
SCBP is now undertaking a Review of all Training Modules developed in the last 2 years on FSSM, with the aim of improving their content, structure and effectiveness. SCBP is also exanding its engagement with the Nodal Training Institutes and with the Acadmia to integrate FSSM into their course curriculum for wider outreach and impact.
The broad objective of this project is to promulgate sustainable urban development that makes judicious use of vital natural riverine resources. The project will seek to demonstrate that maintaining healthy rivers in the Ganga River Basin is crucial to enhance liveability in urban areas of the basin.
The project targets three unique (but interrelated) elements of river management within the urban context. The first is related to mainstreaming sustainable river health management into a city’s larger long-term vision. The second is associated with developing a dedicated river-specific management plan for a city. The third is to build capacities of multiple levels of stakeholders on aspects relating to the first two elements, as well as other pertinent matters related to river health management.
A stakeholder consultation was organized in September 2018 to seek advice on framing the Divyang Friendly Measures and Policy Recommendations that can be implemented through the Smart Cities Mission. National Institute of Urban Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs invited relevant stakeholders for this focus group discussion. The key recommendation that emerged from the consultation was the need for technical assistance at all levels of governance, in the accurate and successful adoption of Divyang friendly measures in Indian cities.
It is in this context, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) has set-up a Technical Support Unit with support from Department for International Development (DFID) with aim to make Indian Cities more Accessible, Safe and Inclusive for all (especially people with disabilities).
Since June 2018, NIUA initiated an engagement with key relevant stakeholders through series of consultations. Objective to define the strategy for digital interventions under MoHUAurban programs. One of the key recommendations of these consultations is a new institutional ecosystem to curate an ecosystem of innovators globally who are interested in India’s urbanization and who already have or are devising solutions appropriate for India’s cities. Such institution would facilitate the ecosystem through Physical and Virtual interventions. The virtual hub shall be powered by a technology solution 'National Urban Innovation Stack' (NUIS).
National Urban Innovation Hub (NUIH) is proposed as the Foundational Institution to Catalyse the Ecosystem for Urban Transformation. Detailed business plan for restructuring NIUA into NIUH has been prepared and is under review with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India. As the current urban programs are towards the end of mission period, there is established need to initiate activities related to capacity building, collaboration, knowledge sharing and exchange to prepare cities for the next way of urban interventions. Hence the work related to Virtual Hub is being perused on priority.
This scope of the project funded by Department for International Development (DFID) is to develop and manage the learning platform of the Virtual Hub under National Urban Innovation Hub (NUIH). The 'National Urban Learning Platform' is identified as a priority during consultations with Ministry and other key stakeholders.
Smartnet is an initiative of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to support the development of cities across India by creating a resource-rich ecosystem of learning, sharing, knowledge dissemination and solutions exchange for city managers and primary stakeholders in the urban transformation of India. Smartnet encourages Government to Government (G-to-G) and Government to Business (G-to-B) and Business to Government (B-to-G) linkages for the urban sector in India enabling transparent and structured interactions between cities, businesses and institutions. Over the years, Smartnet has supported in: • Providing a horizontal learning and knowledge sharing platform for exchange between cities, practitioners, academia, researchers and technologists • Evolving a comprehensive framework to visualise and articulate the government's urban sector missions. Through its features, SmartNet provides cities and key stakeholders in the urban forum an opportunity to share their training programmes, key events, knowledge products and tender documents. It also supports private sector stakeholders by providing a platform for the industries to showcase their ideas and innovations developed for cities. At City level, city-wise web enabled GIS application for geotagging of projects is also facilitated through this project. The platform also shares weekly updates with its users showcasing various events activities happening under the Smart Cities Mission.
The CapaCITIES project endeavours to understand the climate change implications, strengthening capacities of the city authorities, formulating the climate action plans and strategies across priority sectors to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and build resilience in selected four partner cities (Coimbatore, Rajkot, Siliguri and Udaipur). The project is funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) under its Global Programme on Climate Change. A consortium consisting of ICLEI South Asia, South Pole Carbon Management Ltd and e-concept AG are implementing partners for the project whereas Municipal Corporation and City Level Authorities of partner cities are public sector partners. NIUA is the Knowledge Aggregator and Disseminator for the project.
The CSC Project aims at anchoring climate-friendly solutions for urban infrastructure provision, in the planning and implementation of projects under the Smart Cities Mission; through three partner cities i.e Kochi, Coimbatore and Bhubaneswar with simultaneous upscaling to all 100 smart cities.
With four main components
1. Support to implementation and monitoring of smart solution contributing to reduction of emissions
2. Capacity development for cities to plan and implement such measures
3. Exchange Platform among cities for peer-learning and upscaling of solutions
4. Indo-German Working Group on Urbanisation supports in planning and implementation of smart solutions with international experience; the project works in partnership with GIZ, TU Berlin and Difu.
Climate Smart Cities Project- Capacity Development and Joint Working Group (with GIZ and Difu)
ClimateSmart Cities Assessment Framework (with GIZ and MoHUA) – not part of the original Project Agreement
NIUA received a grant from the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF) in October 2017, for taking forward the research project (and many definitive knowledge products) on Transit Oriented Development (TOD) done by NIUA in early 2017. The focus was proposed to be on financial mobilization (through Value Capture Finance mechanisms), land assembly, legal reform and institutional arrangements. Hence, the project objective was to assist an implementing agency in taking forward the TOD proposal to a ‘ready to implement stage’ by addressing the above focus-areas. After much reconnaissance and deliberation, an MoU was signed with the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) to assist them on TOD implementation along the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS) corridor, in line with the SSEF objectives.
Third Party Audit (TPA) of Online Building Plan Approval System (OBPAS) of Delhi and Mumbai for Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) NIUA has been asked to lead the Third Party Audit of Online Building Plan Approval System (OBPAS) of Delhi and Mumbai. This is following earlier proposals for the same, and has dual focus: - Reforms agenda of improving service delivery with lesser human interface and more accountability, and to ensure that full realization by the beneficiaries of the system - Improvement in India's performance and rank in the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) report of the World Bank, under the indicator 'Construction Permits' which is under MoHUA The audit involves understanding of the Regulations, procedures and process flows within and outside the Corporations, regular checking of the OBPAS system, progress on reforms, checked against constant feedback from the users and own access to system, and removing bottlenecks for further improvements. All this done while keeping in mind the methodology of the Doing Business report of the World Bank. As per the Doing Business 2017, India stands at 130th position in the ranking of 190 economies across the Globe, while with respect to construction permits, India stands at 185. Doing Business methodology for construction permits measures the quality of regulations and efficiency of the process for completing all the formalities to build a warehouse under given parameters, under four sub-indicators: Procedures (number – from either side; submitting, processing and receiving counted separately) Time (days for permit process only – not counting the construction time in between) Cost (fees to be paid for permits, fees & municipal services only, not related to construction itself) Quality (Building Quality Control index based on supervision aspect before, during & after construction and insurance regimes in place) The TPA team has to: - On continual basis, do the work of auditing, making recommendations and setting timelines for action, presented with proofs, in weekly or fortnightly presentations to the Task Force constituted for the purpose, at MoHUA. - To Lend support to the corporations in their interactions with vendors, NOC agencies, other departments, stakeholders, etc. as and when required to match the above recommendations and outcomes with efforts - To support MoHUA with interactions with State Governments, Stakeholders, DIPP, WB, etc. to ensure that work is on target and as per expectations In addition to the above work and material, to support MoHUA on any analysis and doubts; and to submit mid-term and final work reports.
The EU aims to contribute to the sustainable urbanisation development and application of sustainable urban and energy policies. Increasing demographic and environmental pressure oblige Indian cities to transport and adopt resilient and sustainable ways of development, considering all the aspects. The EU promotes the partnerships in order to assure the exchangeson best practices, innovative solutions, technologies and long term planning for safer and more sustainable urban habitats.
Based on EU-Mumbai Partnership experience and lessons learned, the EU-India dialogue on sustainable urbanisation matured over 2016 and 2017 and in October 2017 a Joint Declaration was agreed to set up a Partnership on Smart and Sustainable Urbanisation to promote the cooperation between EU and India on sustainable urban development. The Partnership considers the respective capabilities of India and the EU for implementing the global commitments in the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the Paris Climate Change agreement, as well as Indian flagship programmes as Swashh Bharat, the 100 Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT. The Partnership will provide opportunities in water, air quality, resource efficiency and circular economy, clean energy, energy efficiency, greening urban transport, ICT solutions, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in cities.
As tested at pilot Metropolitan Labs in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, its further development will contribute to timely implementation of actions outlined as priorities in the Work Plan for 2018-2020 based on Joint Declaration.These actions will allow linking the best practices and experience from various projects related to smart cities and the urban sector like the EU-Mumbai Partnership, the International Urban Cooperation action, the ICT standardisation action, the Air quality Initiative and others, generalising the results to feed into the national policy agenda. The preparation towards the Partnership was supported in 2016 and 2017 by a services contract funded by the Partnership Instrument through its Policy Support Facility (PSF).
The Project will closely work with the other EU-funded projects such as International Urban Cooperation project; India EU Water Partnership project; Clean Energy and Climate Partnership project, Resource Efficiency Initiative project, Business support to EU-India Policy dialogue project.
Strategy / Approach:
The following strategy is proposed for contract implementation and includes a description of the activities necessary to achieve the following specific objectives:
► To facilitate a coherent involvement of the EU and its member states, jointly with the relevant Indian authorities, to further develop and implement the work programme 2018-2020;
► To allow the replication of EU policies, approaches and best practices, including those from EU-funded projects in India, and facilitate opportunities on urbanisation issues for EU companies; and
► To engage the EU-India urbanisation dialogue in new sub-sectors such as mobility.
The above specific objectives will contribute to the overall objective of the action: to support the implementation of the Smart and Sustainable Urbanisation Partnership for India and the EU as per the agreed work programme 2018-2020.
The new project will encourage synergies with the International Urban Cooperation Project; India-EU Water Partnership Project (urban water management in cities); Clean Energy and Climate Partnership project (innovative solutions for cities); Resource Efficiency Initiative Project (urban flows of resources and circular economy); Business support to EU-India Policy dialogue project (inclusion of EU companies and SME’s solutions and technologies); The initiatives of specific EU Member States.
And will consider the results and lessons learnt from the following projects: The EU Technical Cooperation for Environment in India Project (which focuses on capacity building regarding waste and wastewater management); The EU and International Finance Corporation Eco-Cities Programme; The “Preparation for an EU-India Sustainable Urbanisation Partnership - Technical assistance” that was successfully carried out by the main part of the team members in 2016-2017;
Tracks and Activities under each:
Track 1. Support to the EU and the MoHUA to implement the Urbanisation Partnership through TA:
In order to support the EU and the MoHUA the following activities will be implemented by the Consultant:
► Coordination and administrative services for the Partnership on smart and sustainable urbanisation;
► Regular update and definition of a 3-year rolling work programme for the Partnership;
► Support to the 1st meeting of the EU-India Urbanisation Joint Working Group;
► Exchange of experiences, views and positions between EU and Indian government stakeholders in the areas of smart and sustainable urbanisation;
► Support policy development and implementation and capacity building of Indian stakeholders (e.g. through studies, training, speakers’ events, webminars, and workshops presenting EU best practices in smart and sustainable urbanisation);
► Development of content for the brochure on EU-India Urbanisation Partnership.
Track 2. Coordination of stakeholders and development of an EU-India platform of exchanges:
This component will be based on the following activities:
► Regular coordination with the EU MS;
► Coordination with other EU and EU MS’ initiatives in India to feed into the high level urbanisation dialogue and other EU-India dialogues, namely in the field of water, air quality, resource efficiency and circular economy, clean energy, energy efficiency, greening urban transport, ICT solutions, and climate change mitigation and adaptation in cities;
► Update stakeholder mapping, including with SCOs and the private sector.
Track 3. Organisation of Sustainable Urbanisation Planning workshops (Metropolitan Labs) in 4 different cities in India (cities will be determined during the Project activities):
The following activities will be undertaken within this component:
► Development of a specific curriculum for the events;
► Organisation of 4 workshops of 1 day each for 20-30 participants from relevant entities in each of the 4 selected cities;
► Recruitment of relevant non-key experts as resource persons for the workshops in India in a close consultation with the EUD first and some other stakeholders as well. However, the first possible candidates that are very interested in this action, and some of them already participated in the previous stages (“Preparation for an EU-India Sustainable Urbanisation Partnership – TA”), signed the statements of availability and are already presented in the present offer;
► Capitalisation of experience.
Track 4. Support the development of the EU-Mumbai Partnership:
► Identification of 1 to 2 priority areas and the subsequent formulation of possible projects in the identified priority areas;
► Support to implementation of the Partnership.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and Ahmedabad World Heritage City Trust approached (NIUA) in December 2018 with the work of preparing the Heritage Conservation Plan/LAP for the walled city of Ahmedabad. The objective of Heritage Conservation Plan is to safeguard the physical, social, cultural and economic fabric of the city, its tangible and intangible heritage with particular emphasis on the preservation of the Outstanding Universal Values (OUVs). The Conservation Plan is a significant document that can materialise into a statutory instrument through a Local Area Plan (LAP) for the walled city, to be eventually integrated in the city’s Development Plan.
The study supported by the UNICEF was initiated in August 2018 and involves in depth assessment of urban vulnerability and the social protection system in the three study cities of Mumbai, Kolkata and Bhopal. The findings and recommendations of this study would be useful in building a much needed urban narrative/discourse for India and Maharashtra which will guide the strengthening of the social protection system and thereby the social framework that should be mainstreamed into the urban planning and development mechanism of the country.
SHLC project is funded by the GCRF- Research Councils UK Collective Fund. The projects aims to build research knowledge in the UK, Asia and Africa, to help address urbanization-related challenges in the developing countries. SHLC will conduct comparative studies of urbanisation with respect to formation and differentiation of neighbourhoods in 2 cities in India in order to address the challenges associated with urbanisation, migration, health and education. The project also seeks to strengthen research capacity among urban researchers and policy makers. The project is conducted simultaneously in 14 cities, two in each of the seven countries of South Africa, China, Rwanda, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Philippines and India.
The focus of the Morgenstadt Initiative is on the identification and implementation of sustainable cross-sectoral solutions and transformation processes, such as the optimization of urban infrastructures, processes and services. The measures are subject to a socio-economic assessment and are examined from an investment (technology / financing) perspective. As a result, pilot cities will be provided with replicable and affordable solutions that will be bundled for implementation in a local investment strategy or roadmap. Collaboration with local partners is closely linked to the development of expertise and know-how transfer from the European Smart City consortia and already implemented City Labs. The Morgenstadt network provides the cities with expertise and solutions from 40 partners from industry, research and municipalities. The project cities benefit from comprehensive global expertise, which is implemented together with locally adapted strategies and solutions.
NIUA is the designated strategic partner of the MoHUA in capacity building to provide single window services to the Ministry, States as well as ULBs. The Institute is involved in facilitating the dissemination of information on training modules, documenting best practices, monitoring the progress of training, and, most important, evaluating the benefits of training after completion of each training capsule of four months. This evaluation is being carried out for all the individual municipal functionaries through each training period and results are shared with the training entities to enable them to review their training methods and modules, and if necessary, to make the training more appropriate and relevant for the municipal functionaries. The functional areas covered under capacity building are Administration, Public Health and Engineering, Town Planning, Finance, and Urban Social Aspects. 30 eminent training institutions empaneled through 4 rounds of empanelment for 4 categories. Training is designed to be carried out in four capsules: orientation, thematic training 1, thematic training 2, and national exposure. The functionaries for training come from ULBs, State departments, parastatal agencies and also any mission management units that have been set up. Since the launch of the Integrated Capacity Building Programme (ICBP), feedback on training modules of ICBP as submitted by various training entities and MIS of the training programmes have been compiled for the capacity building assessment reports.
The research project aims to Produce evidence based research Provide policy advice to the national agencies in line with SDGs Develop bilateral partnership between India and Germany to explore issues and challenges of urbanisation Develop a comparable picture of the spatial structure and trend of urbanisation in India and Europe/Germany Contribute to making global data sets comparable through a common data oriented language, based on national and supranational data sources
The India Smart Cities Fellowship Programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) under the Smart Cities Mission to cultivate youth leadership and usher vibrancy in the design of India’s urban future. National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is involved in developing and maintaining managerial control of the Fellowship on behalf of MoHUA. A total of 57 Fellows were inducted into the second cohort of the Fellowship.
Environment and Urbanization ASIA journal is prepared by NIUA and published by SAGE Publications. It aims to support the exchange of ideas and information in the fields of human settlements and the environment across Asia. Its audience is researchers, academicians, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), activists and students particularly in Asia. The journal hopes to stimulate conversation among this audience and international agency staff, students and researchers in the developed countries. Six core themes have been identified, based on recent trends in Asia: development, governance, poverty and pro-poor development, housing, finance and climate change. Environment and Urbanization ASIA publishes original research specific to Asian countries.
This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
Urban India is a peer-reviewed, bi-annual journal, published regularly by National Institute of Urban Affairs since 1981. Since inception, the journal has been publishing meaningful urban research and facilitating informed debates on India’s urban sector. The journal tries to bring forth to the readers new concepts, theories, policies, debates and methodological approaches related to urbanization, urban development, governance, housing and infrastructure, inclusion, municipal finance, climate change, transport and other related issues in India. In addition to research articles, Urban India also publishes book reviews and workshop proceedings.
The journal is listed in UGC-CARE List Group D.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India proposes to build National Urban Innovation Stacks (NUIS) – a collection of digital platforms - together with programmatic support to enable stakeholders across the urban ecosystem to adopt and scale up these platforms. MoHUA has designated the National Institute for Urban Affairs (NIUA) as the anchor institution for NIUS and released the NUIS strategy in February 2019. NUIS aims to provide stakeholders with digital tools and platforms, standards, specifications and certifications, and enable greater coordination and integration. It will strengthen the capacity of the urban ecosystem to solve complex programs at speed and scale by unlocking the power of urban data, build capacity among all actors of the quadruple helix, driving discoverability and collaboration between urban stakeholders, and enable responsive and data-driven governance. The stack includes a number of platforms; of these, the priorities for operationalisation are Citizen-Centric Smart Governance (CCSG), which focuses on municipal services delivery, and National Urban Learning Platform (NULP), which integrates learning, content, and collaboration for urban leadership.
The DataSmart Urban 95 initiative is being undertaken by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation (BvLF) in partnership with the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA). The objective of this partnership it to mainstream the needs of infants, toddlers, and their caregivers by leveraging the Smart Cities Mission’s on-going work of creating an a data-driven decision-making ecosystem in urban India.
Since 2016, AMRUT Mission focuses on reforms and capacity building of the ULBs. The reforms aim at improving delivery of citizen services, bringing down the cost of delivery, improving financial health, augmenting resources and enhancing transparency. One of the reforms is Online Building Permission System specially in the North East States of India. The computerised, automatic, building permission system serves citizens better with transparent, speedy, hassle-free and user-friendly procedure for those seeking permission for construction of building.
In the context of India’s complex urban challenges and in addition to increasing climate risks, sustained actions ensuring cities prepare for and develop the ability to thrive in a varying climate is crucial. Given the rate of investments which are being diverted towards urban sectors in India the need for incorporating climate action within existing and future investments towards physical, social and environmental services is paramount to ensure sustainable development. Urban development informed by climate resilience is important for not only steering the growth towards a 5 trillion economy but also improving the quality of life of urban residents. This Centre aims to achieve that by creating a one stop shop for climate informed urban development actions facilitated by multi-stakeholder collaborations.
“Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Pilot in India” is one of the Child projects under GEF’s Sustainable Cities Programme in the GEF 6 cycle. The participating cities include Bhopal, Jaipur, Mysuru, Guntur, and Vijayawada. The aim of the project is to integrate sustainability strategies into urban planning and management to create a favorable environment for investment in infrastructure and service delivery, thus building the resilience of pilot cities.
The three main project components comprise- Sustainable Urban Planning and Management, Investment Projects and Technology Demonstration and Partnerships and Knowledge Management Platform.
National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) has been engaged to undertake the implementation of Component 3 – Partnerships, Knowledge Management and Capacity Building mentioned in the preceding section. NIUA will contribute towards building the multi-sectoral partnership platform to ensure the implementation of sustainable city strategies, by understanding various issues and challenges of technical, financial, political, and social and business stakeholders/partners. To solve these major issues and challenges, NIUA will prepare the integrated training curriculum modules (across three sectors Solid Waste Management, Used Water and Septage Management, Urban Water Management) for various stakeholders in the cities mentioned above. These modules will help in implementation of the projects in the pilot cities. The training program outcomes from these cities will then be scaled up to 25 Indian cities which share similar scale and complexity of issues in implementing sustainable strategies.
The CITIIS (City Investments to Innovate, Integrate and Sustain) program is conceptualised to assist Indian cities in implementing urban infrastructure projects that are integrated, innovation driven and sustainable. The selected projects will improve sustainable mobility, increase the amount of public open spaces, implement technology to improve e-governance and drive social and organizational innovation in low income settlements. The program combines financial assistance through loans and technical assistance through grants to the selected cities. This assistance focuses on strengthening institutions by committing resources to systematic planning (maturation phase) before implementation, by developing results-based monitoring frameworks and by adopting technology for program monitoring. CITIIS is supported by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the European Union (EU). The aim of the project is to provide financial assistance by way of grants and technical assistance through international and domestic experts. The project is being coordinated and managed by the Program Management Unit (PMU) at the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) in New Delhi.
The issue of hazardous entry of persons into sewers and septic tanks and resultant deaths because of such unsafe practices still prevalent among cities and towns. In order to stop this practice, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched a National Competition titled “Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge” (City Challenge on Manhole to Machine Hole Transformation) on 19th November 2020. This day is also commemorated as the World Toilet Day. The aim of this competition is to encourage more cities and towns to adopt Mechanized Cleaning of Sewers and Septic Tanks as a practice. Two hundred and forty two (242) cities from all States across India have pledged to participate in this challenge.
Based on NIUA's capacity building experience for the last few decades, MoHUA has nominated the institute for anchoring this challenge. The institute has been conducting a series of online capacity building sessions on the various themes of the competition. The contents of the workshop are curated based on the feedback received by the institute from the cities and the findings of a training needs assessment conducted on-line with the participating cities. Sessions have been delivered by experts on selection of appropriate technology, equipment and protective gear for empowerment of Safaimitras; IEC and public awareness campaigns; and use of IT related solutions regarding the challenge. Sessions were also conducted to assist cities in procuring the right equipment through online procurement platforms like the GeM portal and uploading information related to the challenge on the MIS of the Swachh Survekshan 2021. These workshops have also been promoting peer – to –peer learning by enabling cities to share their good practices and on-ground experiences.
To ensure continuous support to States and ULBs during the challenge, NIUA has collaborated with more than 30 organizations that have been contributing to city-wide sanitation through their ongoing activities.
The Centre for Digital Governance (CDG) at NIUA serves as the home for all programs and platforms under the National Urban Innovation Stack (NUIS). NUIS is envisioned to act as a digital public good in wide-ranging domains, including e-Governance, capacity building & leadership development, data-driven urban transformation, procurement, research and innovation.
The National Urban Digital Mission (NUDM) is offering an open-source national level platform to establish and improve e-governance municipal service delivery across the country namely, the National Urban Governance Platform (NUGP) for the benefit of State and Union Territories.
The National Urban Learning Platform (NULP) is a program at NIUA, launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). NULP is envisioned as a means of digitally consolidating key skills and knowledge required by urban stakeholders and making these available to all actors on the digital channel of their choice. Built on the principles of societal platforms, NULP will include tools to enable and streamline content creation, content organisation and management, course building, course management, assessment and certification. These tools will enable the ecosystem of training institutions, urban experts and academia to rapidly digitise their existing course materials while creating new interactive and engaging types of multilingual content.
The NULP program is designed as an e-Learning platform which intends to meet the training and development needs of all the stakeholders in the quadruple helix- Governments, Industry partners, Academicians and Civil Societies. NULP aims to propagate solutions and innovations that are underway, and act as an enabler of the rapid development of diverse new solutions developed by cities and states.
Infant, Toddler and Caregiver-Friendly Neighbourhoods (ITCN) Capacity Building Programme has been designed to implement a structured multi-level ITCN training and capacity building activities with specific outcome areas for city officials and young professionals over a period of two years starting January 2021. The programme intends to utilize the vast body of knowledge developed by BvLF partnership program and NIUA under the CFSC initiative and develop knowledge products and training modules covering new aspects of ITC. The programme supported by BvLF, is focused on ensuring the aspects of ITC needs at neighbourhood level into mainstream government official work through the focused interventions at understanding their needs, skilling them with adequate tools and providing them with knowledge and ways to take these initiatives further. Also, embed ITCN elements within the existing academic curriculum and equip young professionals with ITCN framework and aspects as they join the urban professional workforce through a certified programme and courses. The capacity building will be conducted through training modules that will be run online through NIUA and MoHUA’s National Urban Learning Platform (NULP) and Integrated Government Online Training (iGOT) Platform. Up to 200 government officials and 250+ young professionals will be trained under the programme.
URGENT's aim is to promote green & blue infrastructure and nature-based solutions (GBI&NBS) for resilient, climate-friendly and liveable cities in INDIA & MONGOLIA (partner countries-PCs) through ICT-enhanced tertiary education linked to labour markets & wider stakeholder circles. The project is a collaboration between leading Universities, Organization and Institute across five countries.
National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) as one of the strategic partner of the project will contribute in nationwide dissemination of relevant URGENT deliverables. NIUA will create Sector Interaction Platforms (SIP) and the SIPs will peer-review URGENT curricula, and co-organise URGENT conferences during and after the project lifetime. NIUA will make use of its rich network in the region for establishing institutionalized links between the academia and the world of profession.
• 5 countries, including 3 European countries and 2 Asian countries
• 15 organizations, including 11 universities and 4 institutions
Partner Institutions are University of Bremen, University of Catania, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Martin Luther University, National University of Mongolia, Khovd University, Mongolian University of Life Sciences, Urban Planning and Research Institute, National Garden Park of Ulaanbaatar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Nirma University, Pondicherry University, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology of Kashmir, and Gujarat International Finance Tec City Company Limited (GIFT)
India has employed various Behavioral and Risk Communication strategies to improve the COVID-19 appropriate knowledge, attitude, behaviours to reduce the risk of transmission and delaying the spread of infection to the susceptible/high-risk population, in turn reducing the disease burden and mortality due to COVID-19. There is a need to assess the impact of these interventions in the community since containing a pandemic not only involves public health response but also requires inter-sectoral coordination and community participation. NIUA in collaboration with UNICEF has undertaken a field-based study to: • Assess the extent of awareness/knowledge and behaviour appropriate for COVID19 and their practice among the general population- both among the households and people in public places; • Find out reasons behind complacency regarding COVID19 appropriate behaviour across households in different types of settlements; • Apprise the perception towards COVID19 vaccination drive and individual attitude towards vaccine inoculation of self and other household members.
Following the successful completion of the first phase implemented across 4 Indian cities; Coimbatore, Rajkot, Siliguri and Udaipur, CapaCITIES Phase-II was launched in 2019 with the overarching goal of mainstreaming climate actions from the cities. A consortium comprising of ICLEI South Asia, South Pole, econcept and NIUA is implementing this project across 4 new cities; Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Tiruchirappalli and Tirunelveli.
The CapaCITIES Phase II project engages with national, state and city level governments, to enhance capacities of select Indian cities to plan and implement climate resilience actions by mainstreaming and integrating climate actions (adaptation and mitigation) into urban planning processes. The project is also supporting the city and state governments to access finance for scaling up the urban climate actions and will enhance knowledge on accelerating city climate action at the national and global level through its knowledge sharing, peer learning and capacity building activities.
Integrating climate change considerations into urban planning, development of a roadmap for climate resilient interventions
Signing climate change adaptation and mitigation actions; mobilising and scaling up finance for implementation; enhancing capacities by sharing knowledge at national and state level; and implementing demonstration projects
Replicate and Scale-up
Technical support to cities to enable large scale implementation and knowledge sharing at national and state level
The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially the goal of making cities safe, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable (SDG-11) firmly places urbanization at the forefront of the national development policy of India. This recognition goes beyond viewing urbanization only as a demographic phenomenon, but rather as a transformative process capable of galvanizing momentum for the holistic development of the country. Cities play an important role in driving global change by adopting a bottom up approach. Cities also have a unique capacity to implement and monitor SDGs at the local level. However, the role of cities in the achievement of national goals goes far beyond SDG 11. All the SDGs have targets that are directly or indirectly related to the cities. At this juncture, local governments need to realize that they are not mere implementers of the SDGs. Instead, they are catalysts of change with the ability to link the global goals with local communities.
Examples of localization of SDGs are emerging in different cities across the world. Their experiences offer valuable lessons for wider dissemination for other cities. India is less than a decade away from the global timeline of achievement of SDGs. It is very timely to document these lessons as most of the cities lack institutional mechanism; capacities to implement and monitor SDGs and use appropriate methods to localize them in their respective geographies.
NIUA in collaboration with GIZ, India is preparing a “Compendium of good practices and innovative approaches in localizing Sustainable Development Goals”. The compendium will document national and international case studies, showcasing good practices of city level agencies and urban local bodies which have successfully integrated strategies for implementing, monitoring and localizing SDGs. The compendium will be used as a knowledge product to respond to the needs of cities, located in different regions at varying levels of socio-economic development. Further, the compendium will strengthen cross-learning across Indian states and also foster partnerships among cities across the world.
This project has emerged out of young people’s requests for improved livelihood options in their own urban contexts. It builds on established research partnerships and existing community initiatives, with longstanding engagement with youth in India and Brazil. Youth involvement in policy development is crucial, given the many challenges young people face, linked to urbanisation, economic opportunities, rights and participatory democracy.
Government of India’s Smart Cities Mission envisage to drive economic growth hand in hand with improving the quality of life of people by enabling local area development and harnessing technology, especially technology that leads to Smart outcomes. However, unprecedented growth may also lead to negative consequences for environment and well- being of its citizens. It is observed that nearly 44% of India’s rapidly growing carbon emissions have urban origins, emanating from transport, industry, buildings, and waste contributing towards climate change. This makes our cities vulnerable and imposes huge risks towards increased water stress, heat island effect, increased frequency, and severity of extreme weather events such as urban floods/ droughts. India is the sixth most vulnerable country facing extreme weather events as per latest climate index report. Further, curbing air quality deterioration pose serious challenges for city administrators as 43 smart cities in India are already facing poor air quality. To facilitate cities in understanding these challenges and where cities stands and may improve, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched ClimateSmart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF) in 2019. There are 28 diverse indicators across five categories namely, (i) Energy and Green Buildings, (ii) Urban Planning, Green Cover & Biodiversity, (iii) Mobility and Air Quality, (iv) Waste Management and (v) Water Management. The CSCAF is a step to adopt, implement and disseminate the best practices adopted by our cities and further to set standards in comparison to the international efforts towards the green, sustainable and urban resilient habitats. To achieve this goal, the Climate Centre for Cities (C-Cube) established at NIUA will create synergy across all climate actions which are being undertaken within the cities by various stakeholders. In addition, the Centre will also help ensure continuity of ongoing initiatives under CSCAF, and capacity building and knowledge retention for mainstreaming climate change action in all 500 Class-I cities of India. The Centre will focus on strengthening capacities of cities to understand, implement and monitor and actions needed for addressing climate change impacts in their local context.
The grant will support C-Cube to undertake the following set of activities:
1. Support for implementation of CSCAF 2021 and 2022 Cycles through
- Deployment of on-ground staff to provide technical and administrative support to cities and also facilitate C-Cube in orienting nodal officers on CSCAF. The on resolving technical queries and documenting good practices from the process.
- Resource personnel, stationed at C-Cube, to provide strategic and technical support for the overall implementation of CSCAF 2021 and 2022 cycles including validation, evaluation, documentation and publication of the assessment outcomes.
- Support in the development of the City Preparedness Report for the assessment years 2021 and 2022
2. Support in implementation of Data Wall at C-Cube
- Provide technical and IT support in customizing the data wall
- Improvement of User Interface and User Interaction of data wall including development of use cases
3. Training and Capacity Building on Energy & Green Buildings and Urban Air Quality Management
- Design and development of minimum 2 training modules in alignment with the CSCAF indicators and National Urban Learning Platform
- Develop a calendar of training events for the year 2021 and 2022
- Deliver training on thematic areas and indicators to city officials, partners and regional training institutions
4. Strategic and network support to CIFF
- Support city connect, hosting information webinars and handholding cities to join Race to Zero (R2Z)
- Help in structuring a challenge for the cities to apply for TA with the precondition of R2Z pledge, and identifying cities for program implementation
- Organizing an Investor Round Table for facilitating subsequent support for project implementation in cities
- Partnership and support to events including webinars, conferences and workshops
Our human resource are the key to our sustainability and productivity. They belong to diverse range of backgrounds and are focused on the Urban issues of the society. The strength of their ideas, planning, research and building capacity are the foundation of our success.
We produce a variety of publications reflecting our commitment to quality and informative products. NIUA is dedicated to communicating the ground level information to the society through its publications.
NIUA is working nationwide with various city and state officials on the urban issues through our projects.
The institute continues to support MoHUA on implementing the national urban missions across 4000+ cities and towns, 3000+ municipal bodies, 100 Smart Cities and 500 AMRUT Cities