Cities

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All eyes are on the big bang education reforms in Delhi

Delhi, 22 September 2016 — The Delhi government has unleashed a slew of fresh measures to reform education in the State; however, piecemeal strategy and failure to recruit enough teachers might undo the good work.
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On community radio, music builds a shared space for the subaltern

Delhi, 16 August 2016 — Gurgaon, Delhi’s glitzy suburb, has been in the news lately for a gargantuan traffic jam triggered by faulty drainage and flooded roads during a heavy shower in the last week of July, unleashing a spate of fury over the city’s lack of planning and poor infrastructure. It’s not only the physical aspects like water supply, drainage and road design that was ignored, however, during Gurgaon’s exponential growth since the early ‘90s.See more.

Training and legal protection to strengthen unorganized workers

Delhi, 22 July 2016 — Sensitizing unorganized workers in garment factories in and around Delhi and offering them legal support is not enough to protect them from exploitative practices that deny them a living wage. An effort to reform the legal architecture and give it teeth is the need of the hour, discovers Delhi-based NGO Society of Labour and Development.See more.

Offering concepts for a more inclusive Delhi: In the words of Gautam Bhan

Delhi, 9 June 2016 — Gautam Bhan teaches Urban Politics, Planning and Development at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore and has been an active part of urban social movements on sexuality as well as housing rights. His writing, research and practice look at the politics of poverty in contemporary urban India with a focus on urban displacement, access to affordable housing, and housing policy in India. Gautam speaks to Mukta Naik about how Delhi could have a more inclusive future, a topic addressed at length in his recently authored book "In the Public’s Interest: Citizenship, Evictions and Inequality in Contemporary Delhi" (Orient Blackswan, University of Georgia Press). See more.

How technology improved water access for Delhi’s poor

Delhi, 12 May 2016 — While India’s new urban policies glorify the smart city, the Delhi government has been working steadily since 2011 to use technology to provide water to underserviced areas in a transparent, efficient manner. The experience underscores that smart solutions can be about leveraging public and private sector capacities to provide citywide fixes to targeted problems. See more.

From car free Sundays to sustainable cities: Can Raahgiri catalyze long-term change?

Delhi, 12 April 2016 — When the car-free Sunday movement started on a small stretch of a well- frequented road in Gurgaon on 17 November 2013, citizens and authorities regarded it as a fun urban experiment. Wonder turned to incredulity as Raahgiri remained popular. Crowds kept turning out, on cycles, skateboards, with running shoes on, in dance gear, to paint and sing, to meet friends and discuss politics, to enjoy the outdoors and partake of a community life they realised had been completely missing—all of them, of course, leaving their cars home.See more.

Mobile app Safetipin bets on big data to push for women’s safety

Delhi, 10 March 2016 — In Delhi, parents insist that their daughters return home before sunset. Fear of sexual abuse is very real in this city. In a 2010 survey by NGO Jagori, nearly two out of three women reported facing sexual harassment between 2-5 times in the past year; and three out of five women reported that they were sexually harassed not just after dark but in the daytime as well. Verbal, visual, and physical forms of abuse, including rape, are not uncommon in Delhi. See more.

Lofty ideals, baby steps: Delhi’s experiments with participatory budgeting

Delhi, 16 February 2016 — In neighbourhoods across Delhi last week, elected representatives held public meetings to seek citizen feedback on a recent policy experiment that regulated the use of private cars in the city. Similar consultations were a key strategy used by AAP to formulate their election manifesto for the State elections last year. See more.

In peri-urban Delhi, experiments with decentralized sanitation

Delhi, 14 January 2016 — Water and sanitation in urban areas are clear priority themes for Habitat III. Ayanagar, an informal settlement on the outer edge of Delhi, has been the site of experiments that validate four key elements of a way forward in these areas – community self-organization and persistent local initiative, professional expertise, political will and sound government policy. See more.

Delhi's informal waste recyclers reduce ill effects of climate change

Delhi, 21 December 2015 — Instead of being victims, what if the urban poor were to become the frontrunners of solutions to combat the ill effects of climate change? What if they could become change agents for improving the quality of life for, not just themselves, but all urban residents? This is exactly the reversal of roles NGO Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group has explored through its support to informal sector waste-recyclers in Delhi. See more.