Cities

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Mapping Bangalore's waste

Bangalore, 10 March 2015 — Bangalore's waste pickers normally recycle computer parts, but they are now using technology to track and trace trash in the city. I Got Garbage aims to revolutionize waste picking and, in doing so, better manage the city's 4,000 tonnes of trash produced every day. See more.

Bangalore-based NGO aims to give job opportunities to a million youth

Bangalore, 17 February 2015 — India has committed to providing skills training to 500 million people by 2022. A Bangalore-based organization has made a significant contribution to setting up a holistic vocational training in the city and has set its own goal of training a million youth by 2022. What are the keys to unlocking this significant potential for a new workforce, and what are some of the challenges? We'll explore. See more.

How a generation of young leaders is emerging from India's slums

On a recent Sunday afternoon in the tightly packed slum of Narela at the edge of Delhi, a group of children sat on a bright green rug amid broken tiles, bricks and bits of wood, engrossed in an animated discussion about their neighborhood. Hens and goats roamed around. Older women in the traditional Indian sari sauntered past. Plastic buckets, used to fetch water from the nearby standpost, lay stacked in a corner. A small child shrieked, trying to clamber aboard a push-cart. The children, roughly between the ages of 7 to 16, talked of the need for toilets, clean water, parks and street lights. The weekly meeting of their child club, known as Mannat, was in progress. Read more.

Solar-powered energy centers power more than Bangalore's slum households

Bangalore, 2 January 2015 — Many of Bangalore's poorest slums still lack access to regular, reliable energy. They are forced to use expensive, black-market kerosene to power everything from a mobile phone to a small cook stove. Two years ago, the rural-focused solar company Selco launched its expansion in urban India by opening Integrated Energy Centers — hubs of solar-powered activity for slum residents that go far beyond lighting up local households. See more.

Reaching India's poorest five percent

Bangalore, 8 December 2014 — Microfinance has seen great success across the developing world, but urban India's poorest continually remain forgotten. Bangalore-based Parinaam is one of the few organizations helping the ultra-poor gain access to financial services. Their model is an unusual break from the standard female-head-focused lending. See more.

Returning Bangalore to its reign as India's "Green City"

Bangalore, 20 November 2014 — Bangalore, once known for its parks and cool, fresh air, is being taken over by cars, pollution, and haphazard development. The unwieldy growth is leading to massive sprawl, making it difficult to reach new areas via public transit. The city's Master Plan is up for renewal, and the Green City has a chance to reverse this trend by designing development for a more compact city. Models for denser, more walkable cities aren't too far off either. See more.

Biking in Bangalore

Bangalore, 1 October 2014 — Commuting is one of the biggest headaches for India's urbanites. For the poor, who are forced to rely on under-resourced public transport networks, the obstacles are greater. In Bangalore, cycling is increasingly being tested as an answer to reducing major traffic and pollution issues and providing public transport commuters with last-mile connectivity. The few projects on the ground in Bangalore, however, have either failed or failed to take off fully. We'll explore what needs to be done to make green commuting an option in Bangalore and India's other major metropolises. See more.

Inspiring and training the next generation of India's urban leaders

Bangalore, 16 September 2014 — Although India is on the cusp of being predominantly urban, many of the country’s top leaders and city managers have no formal training in urban issues and practice. In 2011, a new university launched in Bangalore to fill this knowledge gap. The Indian Institute of Human Settlements — the first of its kind in the country — plans to lead the way in giving Indian urbanists a world-class education as they prepare to thoughtfully and carefully plan for massive urban growth. See more.

Make room for pedestrians on India's roads

Bangalore, 14 August 2014 — A recent study rated Bangalore as having some of the most errant drivers in the country. The bad road behavior mixed with poor roads and lack of footpaths has put residents at risk of injury and death. Ashoka Changemakers took notice of the need for improved road safety in India and launched an online, crowd-sourced ideas competition. The winner has the potential for widespread appeal across the country. See more.

The market at the bottom of the housing pyramid

Bangalore, 25 July 2014 — Like many Indian cities, Bangalore is in dire need of new housing options to meet the needs of its working poor. With an increasing ability to pay and new financing approaches available, families residing in slums have the means to pay for better conditions, yet few alternatives exist. Ramesh Ramanathan launched an affordable housing initiative to fill this growing gap, but found many unexpected barriers along the way. See more.