Future Cities link up with India

Mumbai skyline at dusk

Strathclyde has joined forces with two of India’s leading institutions to shape a vision of Future Cities for India.

The University has signed separate agreements with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai and TERI School of Advanced Studies (SAS) in New Delhi.

Five Scottish Government scholarships were also launched for Indian students to study on Strathclyde’s MSc in Global Sustainable Cities programme.

The aim is to help ensure India’s cities develop in a way that enhances quality of life, supports sustainable economic growth, delivers more equitable outcomes for citizens and protects the environment.

Major challenges

The agreements will see the institutions combine their expertise to tackle some of the major challenges faced by India’s cities as they continue to grow by making use of data to model potential solutions to a variety of problems.

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Strathclyde and TISS at a ceremony in Mumbai on Saturday 2 December was witnessed by Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney, who was visiting India as part of a Scottish Universities mission.

The MoU with TISS was signed by Dr CP Mohan Kumar, Registrar of TISS, and Professor Atilla Incecik, Associate Principal & Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.

The MoU with TERI SAS was signed by Captain Pradeep Padhy, Registrar TERI School of Advanced Studies and Professor Richard Bellingham, Director of the Institute of Future Cities at the University of Strathclyde.

Professor Incecik, said: “India’s cities are growing rapidly and with that comes a host of challenges – from urban planning to pollution to transport. India’s urbanisation also offers real opportunities to deliver better outcomes for Indian citizens and to lift millions out of poverty.

“Our partnerships aim to look at how India’s cities of the future can meet the demands and requirements placed on them through smarter approaches to policy and design.

Strathclyde is committed to useful learning and partnership. We’re delighted to be joining forces with colleagues at TISS and TERI in this important area for research and learning.” 

Richard Bellingham, Director of the Institute of Future Cities at the University of Strathclyde: “Cities consume most of the world’s energy and emit 85% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.  If we don’t change the way we live, work and invest in cities that will only continue to grow. 

“That is why it is vital we provide the next generation with the skills and understanding to become leaders in the design and delivery of sustainable city strategies. 

“We aim to develop a shared understanding of issues and potential solutions for Indian cities, and draw together key organisations to form transformative partnerships that can develop and deliver innovative research and demonstration projects that deliver tangible benefits for Indian cities and citizens.

“We also aim to play an important role in ensuring the decision makers of the future have the right skills to deliver the cities that we want for ourselves and for future generations. 

“That is why we are pleased to offer five scholarships that will help build further links between Scotland and India.  These scholarships will assist Indian students to take the Masters in Global Sustainable Cities at the University of Strathclyde and are jointly supported by the Scottish Government and the University of Strathclyde.

“The Masters course at Strathclyde is based on our real-world experience in helping cities to reduce significantly their environmental impacts.  It is therefore multi-disciplinary in nature – drawing together business, engineering, and social sciences.

“Helping its graduates to identify and understand the technical opportunities for cities; to create viable financial strategies; gain political and community support; and to develop their personal and managerial skills. The degree also offers the opportunity to apply the skills gained relevant work experience through two project placements in professional working environments.”

Mutually beneficial

Deputy First Minister John Swinney, said: “Universities in Scotland are developing closer relationships with universities in India, the Indian Government and with Indian businesses and industry. This is mutually beneficial for both of our countries and we can only reap benefits from greater ties with one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

“This agreement to take forward joint research and teaching on future cities is a shining example of our ever growing partnership working. I am confident that it will continue to go from strength to strength, as we share knowledge, data and expertise to tackle some of the most pressing problems faced by our growing cities. 

“The Scottish Government is also delighted to help develop our partnership with India by jointly funding with the University of Strathclyde, five scholarships for Indian students to come to Scotland and join the Strathclyde MSc in Global Sustainable Cities. I am looking forward to welcoming the Indian students to Scotland who will add to the growing academic links between our countries.”

Dr Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor, TERI School of Advanced studies said: “TERI SAS is dedicated to contribute towards creating a shared knowledge base that facilitates making our cities inclusive, sustainable and smarter. This collaboration shall be meaningful to enhance livability in cities.”

Dr Shaleen Singhal, Department of Energy and Environment, TERI SAS said: “TERI SAS is committed to create a new cadre of urban professionals with advance technological and managerial skill sets to create innovative solutions addressing both tangible and intangible challenges.

A partnership with the Institute for Future Cities at the University of Strathclyde, shall enable students and faculty members in both institutions collaborate for newer areas of research, teaching and building capacity of local institutions.”

A joint UK/Indian workshop was held at the Tata Institute for Social Sciences and the University of Strathclyde in Mumbai on Monday 4 December – involving stakeholders from many perspectives including the commercial sector; government; and academia. 

The workshop explored the significant issues faced by Indian cities and how they can achieve an improved quality of life; dynamic economies; resilient high performance infrastructure; and celebrate India’s vibrant cultural heritage.

The Institute for Future Cities at the University of Strathclyde brings together governments, businesses, academics and citizens to imagine and engage with the future of our cities, and explore how to make cities more successful, healthier, safer and more sustainable for us all.

Strathclyde already works with a number of leading institutions in India, including the Indian Institutes of Management in Kolkata and Bangalore, and Manipal University.