Institute for Social and Economic Change


Centre for Research in Urban Affairs (CRUA)




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Vision of the Centre

  • Achieving excellence in research in the fields of urban planning in terms of physical and financial investments, urban local finance, civic services and infrastructure development, governance; community participation, monitoring and Evaluation;

  • Imparting high-quality training in the above mentioned areas to Ph.D. students so as to offer a terminal degree (Ph.D.) in the field of Urban Studies (broadly defined);

  • Organizing training for capacity building and capability enhancement of organizations, institutional( law, rules and regulations) and human resources in the form of executive development programmes (EDPs) with unique holistic and systems approach in urban planning and development strategies for administrative, technical and executive staff, elected representatives and Directorates, Administrators of urban public utility organizations like water supply board; and

  • Translating research into relevant and applicable policy prescriptions and implementing strategies to the Central, State and Urban Local governments.

Core Disciplines

  • Urban political economy encompassing urban development – urban economic growth, demographic change, poverty, housing and habitat, migration, urban infrastructure and service delivery, urban governance including urban government structures and processes in the context of democratic decentralization, community participation, urban law and order, and elections;

  • Urban society including class and caste conflicts and mechanisms for conflict resolution and

  • Urban planning for environmentally sustainable development.


  • The main focus/aim of the Centre is to work with the government departments and other stakeholders to analyze key issues in urban planning, development and governance, identify solutions, help develop action plans, and support implementation of these plans. The Centre will act as a think tank and help translate government goals, objectives, and policy priorities into tangible urban reform outcomes.

  • The Centre will also focus on ways to improve urban planning and development as a principal means of enhancing economic growth and social development of citizens.

  • This will be a first-of-its-kind Centre in India focusing on urban planning and development for the 21st century.

Objectives of the Centre:

In consonance of the vision and focus of the Centre, the following are the specific objectives and mandate of the centre:

  • To undertake research on urban studies, analyze concepts, theories of urban planning, development and growth, generate empirical measures in terms of indicators of urban governance, and establish databases tracking provision of infrastructure and public services, patterns of migration, and the growth of urban political economy;

  • To study urban planning (broadly defined) and develop methods and techniques for policy analysis, implementation, and evaluation;

  • To integrate urban studies (broadly defined) into the Ph.D. program and offer courses and degree in urban studies;

  • To disseminate research findings through policy briefs and conferences, promote discussion of urban planning, urban development and urban governance;

  • To assist government departments in providing infrastructure, improving the quality of services to citizens, and simplifying the process of service delivery in urban planning; o To support government departments through innovative human resource and institutional development and management plans for urban development; To upgrade the skills of the government personnel and people’s representatives with cutting-edge training in urban governance and capacity building; To create a bank of best practices, methodologies and tools in urban planning analysis and urban reforms at city/town, state and national levels. To monitor training and research in urban planning, development and governance carried out within Karnataka and by other national research institutions, international agencies, and non-government organizations

  • Any other objectives incidental or related to the objectives stated above with in the broad frame work of the Constitution of the centre/ ISEC.


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