A rapid economic growth of the country over the past two decades have seen to the rise in cities and the facilities demanded by the citizens at an unprecedented scale. There is a battle being fought on rapid urbanization while another battle is brewing on ageing and inadequate infrastructure bounded by physical and fiscal constraints.Multi-hierarchical researches in interdisciplinary fields are the need of the hour to address this growing concern related to the future of urban India. The solution to liveable cities lies in many different clusters. Planning for the urban space requires research in many broad areas, both for Greenfield and Brownfield, for inclusive and progressive development. Multidisciplinary convergence of initiatives and perspectives at different levels of hierarchy will be able to bring together the concerns of heterogeneous communities and consequently, help to ensure sustainability in urban environments. In order to achieve liveability, the cities need to come out of its existing way of unplanned development. A considerable effort is required to ensue design ideas and developmental framework in Urban Sciences and Engineering, Urban Management and Habitat Studies, at the institutions facilitating multidisciplinary research like the IITs, IIMs SPAs, TISS and NIDs.
India, as a diverse country with its massive population, gives rise to a unique challenge to address the need of liveability of the urban dwellers from various socio-economic segments. Future of Cities aims to be a platform to identify and address the concerns related to development of urban India. The objective of Future of Cities is to identify the current scenario of urban India and to enhance liveability in cities through research and recommendations from interdisciplinary ‘Schools of Thought’.
Mission Statement of IIT Kharagpur
With the vision of Future of Cities, the experts from IIT Kharagpur have identified four broad areas where ground-centric and people-centric research is an imminent need. These are:
• Design and Development
• Planning and Policy
• Habitation and Maintenance
• Governance
Specific research areas were also identified which urban India is in need of. Faculties from various departments and schools have come together to identify and address some of the major problems prevalent in urban India. The result of the identification of focuses on work gave rise to 28 specific research areas.