By 2030, 40 percent of India will be urban. Urban areas marked by high population density and interaction can foster innovation and productivity. But they can equally stress existing physical and social infrastructures - from transport and water systems to traditional livelihoods and forms of cultural engagement. Informal settlements and slum areas form a large part of most Indian cities; people in these settlements are typically the most vulnerable to climate and other shocks.
Technological innovation in urban areas can help create systems for more efficient resource consumption, as captured by the idea of smart cities, but this will also require a change in social behaviour and cultural values. Equally, it will be important to look at existing community-based adaptive mechanisms for resilience and innovation. Cities only reach their full potential when they became healthier places to live. Cities are fundamentally about people and their interactions. What kind of interactions do we want, and how do we facilitate them?
Our Future of Cities initiative focuses on three themes: Resilience, Technology, & Culture. How do we design cities that are resilient to shocks and changes; that represent an equitable distribution of technology gains; and that are thriving centers for cultural and civic participation?