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Some programmes of LSE Urban Age and other Urban Planning and Development research was supported by the India Observatory.

Urban Age India

The Urban Age Programme at LSE aims to shape the thinking and practice of urban leaders and sustainable urban development. The Urban Age Conference India, was held in Mumbai during 1st-3rd November 2007, in partnership with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). The conference examined how the largest democracy on earth negotiates considerable urbanisation and economic development. About 300 people from around the world participated in this conference. The pre-conference Uncovering Myths of Urban Development in Mumbai workshop was organized by TISS on 1st November 2007. This research workshop facilitated open interaction among academics from Indian and international universities on significant hypotheses emerging from recent urban-renewal discourses on Mumbai.

Capstone Project

LSE Masters in Public Administration (MPA) is an interdisciplinary degree devised to meet the needs of government departments and public agencies in many countries for highly skilled and professional policy-makers. It also meets the needs of people working with governments but in the private sector, for instance in consultancy, public-private partnerships, public affairs, media, nongovernmental organisations and interest groups. Three MPA students undertook their Capstone project on Urban governance in Mumbai on 2007 and were supported by the LSE – TISS collaboration. This and other research was presented at the India Research Seminar at LSE on 17th March 2008.

Globalisation and Cities: The Case of Culture

This research aims to develop a programme of work on the creative economy in Mumbai based upon statistical mapping, and industry case studies. On the one hand, it is planned that this could develop into a comparative analysis with London. On the other hand, it is hoped that this research might develop a foundation for research on the interplay of globalisation and culture in Mumbai. The lens will be the cultural economy. Chandan Sengupta and Abdul Shaban from TISS and Andy Pratt from LSE were involved with developing collaborative research on the impact of globalisation and the tensions created in social, economic and political terms, on the culture of cities, particularly the questions of cultural identity and cultural power.

Globalisation, Restructuring of Cities and Impact on Poverty

Sunil Kumar’s work to develop research on urban issues with a specific focus on poverty was supported through this programme. This research focused on Relocation and livelihoods: are trade-offs unavoidable? Other topics for future research include India’s urban policy: policy actors, policy processes and policy changes.

What does home mean to us?

Dr Sunil Kumar was invited to contribute to the BBC World Service programme The Forum presented by Bridget Kendall on 4th January 2012. The research that Sunil speaks about was jointly funded by a start-up grant from STICERD and the now disestablished Asia Research Centre.

The theme of this edition of The Forum was What does home mean to us?

How have globalisation and technology changed what home means for us? With a record one billion people worldwide now on the move, the poet Ruth Padel suggests that in many ways, home is not a stable concept; instead it is something people are always searching for. Urban housing and poverty specialist Dr Sunil Kumar looks at how a vision of 21st century cities without slums has created a difficult balance between home and the workplace for people in the developing world. Digital anthropologist Stefana Broadbent explores how technology has transformed our homes, leading us to retreat back into the home for our play.

You can listen to the programme, and more detail can be found in the programme synopsis, on the BBC iPlayer.

More information on Sunil's work can be found on his LSE Experts webpage.