The 21st century will be an Asian century. But it will also be an urban century with much of this urbanization taking place in Asian cities, especially in India and China. Such urbanization carries with it tremendous potential for economic prosperity, the consolidation of middle-class aspirational lifestyles, growth of civil society and experiments with local democracy. But such urbanization also presents significant challenges including the degradation of urban poverty and inequality, the inadequacy of infrastructure, and the ecological impact of stifling pollution and increasing carbon footprints. India’s rapid urban growth thus presents a call to scholars, policy-makers, planners, and civil society activists to engage with these various potentialities and challenges.

In recognition of the urgency of these issues, we are pleased to announce "The 21st Century Indian City: Developing an Agenda for Urbanization in India,” conference, to be held on March 23-25, 2011 in New Delhi, India. This conference brings together 14 experts on Urbanization from Berkeley with experts and practitioners from India.

Using the themes of Globalization & Economic Growth; Infrastructure, Environment, & Planning; Democracy & Governance; and The Social Life of Cities as the four broad organizing principles, it is our hope that this conference will be successful in:

  • Setting an agenda for research and policy, perhaps jointly with Indian colleagues, such that the Indian city and its transformations can be better understood and better managed.
  • Introducing a new repertoire of analytic concepts, research methodologies and policy prescriptions attentive to the Indian urban condition.
  • Defining alternative visions of the Indian “good” city which are vital to India’s future.

For this to happen we need both experts on India as well as those who can bring to bear a comparative perspective on these issues.

Conference Participants

University of California at Berkeley Other Institutions 
  • Ashok Bardhan (Real Estate & Urban Economics)
  • Pranab Bardhan (Economics)
  • Teresa Caldeira (City & Regional Planning)
  • Robert Cervero (City & Regional Planning)
  • Pradeep Chhibber (Political Science)
  • Robert Edelstein (Real Estate & Urban Economics)
  • James Holston (Anthropology)
  • Cynthia Kroll (Real Estate & Urban Economics)
  • Alison Post (Political Science)
  • Isha Ray (Energy & Resources Group)
  • Raka Ray (Sociology)
  • Ananya Roy (City & Regional Planning and Global Metropolitan Studies)
  • Pravin Varaiya (Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences)
  • Richard Walker (Geography)

Center for Policy Research

  • Partha Mukhopadhyay (Senior Fellow)
  • K.C. Sivaramakrishnan (Chair)
  • Neera Adarkar (Architect and Urban Researcher, Mumbai)
  • Isher Ahluwalia (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations)
  • Amita Baviskar (Institute of Economic Growth)
  • Solomon Benjamin (National Institute of Advanced Studies)
  • Asher Ghertner (London School of Economics)
  • Renana Jhabvala, (National Coordinator, SEWA)
  • Lalitha Kamath (Tata Institute of Social Sciences)
  • Om Mathur (National Institute of Public Finance & Policy)
  • Dinesh Mohan ( Indian Institute of Technology)
  • Rakesh Mohan, (National Transport Development Policy Committee, Government of India; Indian Institute for Human Settlements)
  • Vidyadhar Phatak (formerly Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority)
  • Malini Ranganathan (University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign)
  • Govinda Rao (National Institute of Public Finance & Policy)
  • Vasanth Rao (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation)
  • K T Ravindran (Delhi Urban Arts Commission)
  • Aromar Revi (Indian Institute for Human Settlements)
  • Dunu Roy (Hazards Centre)
  • Sanjeev Sanyal (Sustainable Planet Institute)
  • Somini Sengupta (Journalist)
  • Paranjoy Guha Thakurta (Journalist)
  • Chetan Vaidya (National Institute of Urban Affairs)
  • R.V. Verma (National Housing Bank)


Center for South Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley
The Center for South Asia Studies (CSAS) supports teaching, research, and outreach activities relating to South Asia at UC Berkeley. The only US Department of Education-funded National Resource Center for South Asia in California, CSAS is committed to enhancing knowledge of the region among students, academics, and the public at large. UC Berkeley has been a premier site for the study of South Asia in general, and India in particular, for the past century (Sanskrit courses date back to 1906). With over 40 faculty members conducting research in the area of South Asia studies, Berkeley offers 85 to 120 courses with significant India content every semester, and instruction in over six Indian languages. The University of California, Berkeley, is recognized as one of the top universities in the United States and was recently ranked as the second greatest university in the world by the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Center for Global Metropolitan Studies
The 21st century will be an urban century with more people around the world residing in metropolitan regions than in any other form of human settlement. This urbanization is taking place in both the global North and the global South. Its implications are widespread: from environmental challenges to entrenched patterns of segregation to new configurations of politics and social movements. The Global Metropolitan Studies Initiative is concerned with this urban condition. Bringing together numerous faculty, this multidisciplinary endeavor supports research and houses graduate and undergraduate curricula. It is one of a handful of “strategic” initiatives selected by the UC Berkeley campus to mark a new generation of scholarship and to consolidate an emerging academic field.

Global Metropolitan Studies (GMS) is co-directed by two faculty members from among the faculty affiliates. The directorship rotates every two to three years. The current co-directors are Ananya Roy (City and Regional Planning) and Richard Walker (Geography).

Policy direction for GMS is established by a broad-based steering committee. In addition, the deans representing the founding departments of GMS (City and Regional Planning, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, Political Science, Geography, and Civil and Environmental Engineering) and the director of the Institute of Urban and Regional Development, the host research unit, are invited to participate in GMS ex-officio. Additional faculty members serve on search committees and educational program committees. See our Governance page for details.

Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics
The mission of the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics (FCREUE) is to educate students and real estate professionals and to support and conduct research on real estate, urban economics, the California economy, land use, and public policy.

FCREUE is many things to many people.

  • Students and alumni from the Haas School of Business, the College of Environmental Design, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and other schools and programs across the UC Berkeley campus are able to take advantage of the resources available through the center. FCREUE provides academic resources, serves as a liaison to industry leaders, and is a resource throughout their professional careers.
  • Real Estate Faculty and faculty associates, from many disciplines across campus are given financial support and a forum to present their research to industry professionals. The Center's staff researchers share applied economic research on real estate, urban economics, and California policy issues with colleagues at the university, the real estate industry, and the general public.
  • Critical to the success of our efforts is our partnership with our Policy Advisory Board (PAB). For over thirty years real estate and finance leaders have provided the primary financial support for all the Center's activities. The Fisher Center provides the PAB with timely economic, financial and real estate market updates. The PAB also actively participates in FCREUE research and classroom and executive education.
  • For real estate practitioners we produce timely, practical, and relevant executive education conferences.

FCREUE recognizes each relationship adds value to the others, and is critically important to fulfilling the Center's mission.

Center for Policy Research 
CPR is an independent and non-partisan research institute and think tank. Its main objectives are to provide thought leadership and creative solutions to address pressing intellectual and policy issues. It is one of the 27 national social science research institutes recognized by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Government of India. It is set apart by its multi-disciplinary approach and unique blend of scholarship and practical expertise. CPR’s faculty have considerable impact on policy and public debates.

The main objectives of the Centre for Policy Research are:

  • To develop substantive policy options for the improvement of policymaking and management;
  • To carry out policy studies of various sectors of the policy, economy and society with a view to promoting national development;
  • To provide advisory services to governments, public bodies or any other institutions including international agencies on matters having a bearing on the performance and optimum use of national resources for social and economic development; and
  • To disseminate information on policy issues through publication of journals, reports, pamphlets and other literature including research papers and books.