Indian Institute for Human Settlements

Bangalore, India

Indian Institute for Human Settlements

Bangalore, India
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Singh C.,Indian Institute for Human Settlements | Daron J.,University of Cape Town | Bazaz A.,Indian Institute for Human Settlements | Ziervogel G.,University of Cape Town | And 4 more authors.
Climate and Development | Year: 2017

Developing countries share many common challenges in addressing current and future climate risks. A key barrier to managing these risks is the limited availability of accessible, reliable and relevant weather and climate information. Despite continued investments in Earth System Modelling, and the growing provision of climate services across Africa and India, there often remains a mismatch between available information and what is needed to support on-the-ground decision-making. In this paper, we outline the range of currently available information and present examples from Africa and India to demonstrate the challenges in meeting information needs in different contexts. A review of literature supplemented by interviews with experts suggests that externally provided weather and climate information has an important role in building on local knowledge to shape understanding of climate risks and guide decision-making across scales. Moreover, case studies demonstrate that successful decision-making can be achieved with currently available information. However, these successful examples predominantly use daily, weekly and seasonal climate information for decision-making over short time horizons. Despite an increasing volume of global and regional climate model simulations, there are very few clear examples of long-term climate information being used to inform decisions at sub-national scales. We argue that this is largely because the information produced and disseminated is often ill-suited to inform decision-making at the local scale, particularly for farmers, pastoralists and sub-national governments. Even decision-makers involved in long-term planning, such as national government officials, find it difficult to plan using decadal and multi-decadal climate projections because of issues around uncertainty, risk averseness and constraints in justifying funding allocations on prospective risks. Drawing on lessons learnt from recent successes and failures, a framework is proposed to help increase the utility and uptake of both current and future climate information across Africa and India. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Simon D.,Mistra Urban Futures | Simon D.,Royal Holloway, University of London | Arfvidsson H.,Mistra Urban Futures | Anand G.,Indian Institute for Human Settlements | And 17 more authors.
Environment and Urbanization | Year: 2016

The campaign for the inclusion of a specifically urban goal within the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was challenging. Numerous divergent interests were involved, while urban areas worldwide are also extremely heterogeneous. It was essential to minimize the number of targets and indicators while still capturing critical urban dimensions relevant to human development. It was also essential to test the targets and indicators. This paper reports the findings of a unique comparative pilot project involving co-production between researchers and local authority officials in five diverse secondary and intermediate cities: Bangalore (Bengaluru), India; Cape Town, South Africa; Gothenburg, Sweden; Greater Manchester, United Kingdom; and Kisumu, Kenya. Each city faced problems in providing all the data required, and each also proposed various changes to maximize the local relevance of particular targets and indicators. This reality check provided invaluable inputs to the process of finalizing the urban SDG prior to the formal announcement of the entire SDG set by the UN Secretary-General in late September 2015. © 2015, © 2015 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

Kulkarni S.,Bharathiar University | Dhanamjaya M.,Bangalore University | Balaji B.P.,Indian Institute for Human Settlements
Library Hi Tech News | Year: 2017

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between public libraries, literature festivals (litfests) and reading habits in Chennai and Bangalore to understand publishing, reading and the role of public libraries to improve reading and learning among public. Design/methodology/approach: A field visit to select book fairs and litfests in Chennai and Bangalore was undertaken in 2015 and 2016 to collect data. A predesigned questionnaire was used for data collection at the festivals to establish the correlation among the libraries, bookshops, book fairs and litfests. A sample of n = 445 responses were received. Findings: The findings suggest that 47 per cent of the respondents do not have any kind of library membership, and most (n = 154) of the respondents say they own an electronic device for reading. In total, 25 per cent say reading books is one of the top leisure activities, and distance (31.7 per cent) hinders people from visiting libraries for reading. Eighty per cent agree that visiting litfests influences and improves reading habits. Further, 48.4 per cent read books several times a week, and 46.7 per cent read 5-20 books in any given year. In total, 84 per cent agree that there is a significant link between a family’s reading habits and a child’s future attitude toward reading. Also, 74 per cent agree that people who buy books from bookshops also borrow books from libraries and vice versa and endorse the fact that there is a strong relationship between book buyers and library visitors. Social implications: Litfests are booming to promote literature in India. There is a lot to be done to promote public libraries as a public good for people in India as a third space for reading, inclusion and diversity. Innovations in social media and networks, information and communication technologies and internet give an opportunity to the library sector to tap the litfest phenomenon to celebrate reading to reach a large section of the society. Originality/value: This is a unique exploration to connect the stakeholders – policy makers, publishers and libraries – associated with reading, as studies of this nature are rarely reported in India, when print and digital publishing is flourishing. © 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited.

Jain G.,Indian Institute for Human Settlements
International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction | Year: 2014

This study is an attempt to investigate the role of private investment in large scale infrastructure projects in reducing disaster risk in India within the context of a regulatory environment. It attempts to identify gaps in the processes of planning, stakeholder incentives and the enabling environment for the inclusion of disaster risk reduction measures in the developmental processes of large scale infrastructure projects. The study is done in reference to four large infrastructure and real estate projects in Delhi, India.Key findings: There are gaps in the regulatory environment that drive lack of incentives for the private sector stakeholders to invest in disaster risk reduction measures in large scale infrastructure projects. The approval processes and capacities of authorities are not sufficient to ensure the inclusion of disaster risk reduction measures, which leads to developments built in disaster prone areas, increasing the exposure and thereby the risk to property, people, systems and economy.This study was commissioned by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk (UNISDR). 1 1The UNISDR terminology will be used for terms such as disaster, risk, reduction, capacity, exposure, hazard, mitigation, preparedness, prevention and risk transfer, unless otherwise specified. for the Global Assessment Report 2013 (GAR13) titled “From Shared Risk to Shared Value: The Business Case for Disaster Risk Reduction“. It is published in the context of increasing global losses owing to disasters, and an enhanced realisation by senior management in private sector regarding the role that disaster risk reduction methodologies play in reducing uncertainty, building confidence, cutting costs and creating value. © 2014.

King R.A.,World Resources Institute | King R.A.,Georgetown University | Rathi S.,HIGH-TECH | Sudhira H.S.,Gubbi Labs | Sudhira H.S.,Indian Institute for Human Settlements
International Journal of System of Systems Engineering | Year: 2012

The need for a more balanced spatial growth pattern in Karnataka is shown by applying Zipf's law to the Indian State of Karnataka, with the result demonstrating Bangalore's increasing urban primacy. The authors review the literature on promote more equitably distributed growth, primarily the European polycentric model, to conclude that it is a 'wicked problem' that requires multiple perspectives, including systems dynamics and institutional economics approaches as well as traditional regional and land use planning. This requires new participatory techniques, and simulation, computation, and games can provide increased opportunities for more diverse inputs and analysis. They argue for authorities to pursue their planning processes with a view of the region as a complex system with many interconnected parts, and to consider using computation as a means to enable participation and integration. Copyright © 2012 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Wankhade K.,Indian Institute for Human Settlements
Environment and Urbanization | Year: 2015

Urban sanitation in India faces many challenges. Nearly 60 million people in urban areas lack access to improved sanitation arrangements, and more than two-thirds of wastewater is let out untreated into the environment, polluting land and water bodies. To respond to these environmental and public health challenges, urban India will need to address the full cycle of sanitation, i.e. universal access to toilets, with safe collection, conveyance and treatment of human excreta. This paper outlines these concerns, and highlights the need for focusing on access to water and the full cycle of sanitation for the urban poor, as fundamental to addressing the sanitation challenge. Priorities for policy and financing for urban sanitation in India are discussed, and the paper concludes with an examination of key policy initiatives in the last decade, assessing the extent to which these priorities are gaining attention. © 2015, © 2015 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

Patel S.B.,Indian Institute for Human Settlements
Environment and Urbanization | Year: 2011

The purpose of this paper is to present a new form of chart, which clarifies the inter-relationships between six fundamental urban design parameters that affect the quality and character of any urban layout. These parameters are: built-up area per capita; public ground area per capita (which includes streets and parks); plot factor (the ratio of land area given over to private development to land area available for public use, including that needed for circulation and area available for sport, recreation and public amenities (schools, hospitals, public toilets); floor space index (ratio of built-up area to buildable plot area); net density (population divided by the sum of all buildable plot areas); and gross density (population divided by total area). Mapping these six parameters in a chart shows the complicated trade-offs between one desirable feature and another, including combinations that show that higher densities do not necessarily mean small accommodation and inadequate public space - but they do mean high-rise, and there are severe limits on how high densities can go. The paper also plots diagrams that show the values of these parameters for existing localities in New York, Mumbai (including Dharavi) and Delhi. These diagrams are examples. With more data and more diagrams we might reach a better understanding of what particular values or combinations of values for these parameters we should aim for when designing a new development or modifying an old one. We might also understand the values or combinations of values that we should avoid. © 2011 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

Singh C.,University of Reading | Singh C.,Indian Institute for Human Settlements | Dorward P.,University of Reading | Osbahr H.,University of Reading
Land Use Policy | Year: 2016

Smallholder farmers operate within a risky and uncertain context. In addition to climate variability and climate change, social, environmental, institutional, and market-related dynamics affect their agricultural decisions and ability to cope and adapt. In this paper, we develop and apply a set of framing questions to investigate the factors shaping farmer decision-making and how these are situated in pathways of response. Drawing on a literature review of decision-making for risk management, five questions are posed to frame enquiry: what livelihood decisions are undertaken by households, who makes what decisions, when do households make decisions and why do they make them, and how do decision making processes evolve and response pathways arise. This approach conceptualises and explores household decision-making in a holistic manner, moving beyond previous studies that examine smallholder decisions through disciplinary boundaries (e.g. psychology, economics, risk management) or particular theoretical approaches (e.g. bounded rationality, theory of planned behaviour). The framing questions together with key insights from literature are used to design and interpret empirical evidence from Pratapgarh, a tribal-dominated rainfed district in southeast Rajasthan, India. The findings suggest that while resource ownership and access are the main drivers of decision-making, socio-cognitive factors such as perceived adaptive capacity and perceived efficacy to carry out adaptive actions are equally important factors mediating farmer responses. We also find that the holistic approach helps explain how personal motivations and individual perceptions of adaptive capacity interact with socioeconomic, climatic, and agro-ecological dynamics at local and regional scales to mediate risk perception and inform response behaviour. A typology of response pathways demonstrates how different households’ trajectories are determined. Making a case for mixed methods to investigate farmer decision-making holistically, this paper provides an approach that reflects the complex and iterative nature of real farmer decision-making and can be used by researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to better understand and describe decision making and to develop informed policies and interventions. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Bhan G.,Indian Institute for Human Settlements
Environment and Urbanization | Year: 2014

This paper explores the mechanisms through which democratic urban polities produce, maintain and reproduce inequality. It does so by looking at case law from 1990–2007 in New Delhi, where a seemingly relentless series of evictions of poor illegal settlements (colloquially known as bastis) were ordered by the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court of India in Public Interest Litigations (PILs). While the power of the claims of the “middle class” and the emergence of a new urban political economy are well documented in the analysis of evictions, the specificity of how subaltern urban residents have been displaced from a development imagination remains relatively understudied. Put simply: how have the claims, presence and resistance of a significant proportion of urban residents been managed and even evaded within urban politics? This paper argues that case law on evictions makes visible not only the claims to the city of an insurgent urban elite but also the simultaneous “impoverishment of poverty”, which together create a new calculus for the contestations of urban citizenship in contemporary Delhi. This impoverishment is marked by a reduction in the efficacy of poverty and vulnerability as the basis of claims made by subaltern citizens to the elements of citizenship, i.e. the determination and distribution of rights and needs, access to resources and entitlements as well as a place within narratives of belonging and personhood. Making visible the multiple and particular processes of impoverishment is a critical part of a praxis that seeks to formulate effective resistance and imagine different urban futures. © 2014 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

Singh C.,Indian Institute for Human Settlements | Deshpande T.,Indian Institute for Human Settlements | Basu R.,Indian Institute for Human Settlements
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2016

In countries like India where multiple risks interact with socio-economic differences to create and sustain vulnerability, assessing the vulnerability of people, places, and systems to climate change is a critical tool to prioritise adaptation. In India, several vulnerability assessment tools have been designed spanning multiple disciplines, by multiple actors, and at multiple scales. However, their conceptual, methodological, and disciplinary underpinnings, and resulting implications on who is identified as vulnerable, have not been interrogated. Addressing this gap, we systematically review peer-reviewed publications (n = 78) and grey literature (n = 42) to characterise how vulnerability to climate change is assessed in India. We frame our enquiry against four questions: (1) How is vulnerability conceptualised (vulnerability of whom/what, vulnerability to what), (2) who assesses vulnerability, (3) how is vulnerability assessed (methodology, scale), and (4) what are the implications of methodology on outcomes of the assessment. Our findings emphasise that methods to assess vulnerability to climate change are embedded in the disciplinary traditions, methodological approaches, and often-unstated motivations of those designing the assessment. Further, while most assessments acknowledge the importance of scalar and temporal aspects of vulnerability, we find few examples of it being integrated in methodology. Such methodological myopia potentially overlooks how social differentiation, ecological shifts, and institutional dynamics construct and perpetuate vulnerability. Finally, we synthesise the strengths and weaknesses of current vulnerability assessment methods in India and identify a predominance of research in rural landscapes with a relatively lower coverage in urban and peri-urban settlements, which are key interfaces of transitions. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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