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Understanding How Indian Cities Work

If you are reading this, chances are, you live in a city. And if you do, you’ve probably spent a lot of time dealing with the garbage, the noise, the traffic, the pollution, and the lack of parks. You’ve probably also enjoyed having access to restaurants, malls, neighbourhood cafes, and your favourite shops. What makes a city great? And What makes it terrible? What does YOUR city do for you, and what can YOU do to make it better? 

Urban Management Centre has been working to make cities better for over 25 years. In this time, we have been a part of many ‘firsts’ in India’s urbanization story. Our work across diverse contexts have given us insight into urban challenges, and strategies that have been adopted to solve them. 

Our Founder and Director, Manvita Baradi first conceived of this course in 2005. It has subsequently been run in many forms and with different pedagogies, including at CEPT university and recently at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) as part of the 96th Foundation Program. 

This iteration of the course is dedicated to in-service professionals, from both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, as well as students and government officials. The course uses narrative elements and case studies to introduce the various technical, administrative, and governing structures that make Indian cities what they are. They help learners relate to their lived experiences, while also absorbing the bigger picture and contextualizing some significant experiments in urban development. 



Manvita Baradi is the Founder & Director of the Urban Management Centre. She is one of India’s leading voices advocating for the development of better cities.


Week 1: 4-5 March 2022

Week 2: 12-13 March 2022

Week 3: 2-3 April 2022

Week 4: 9-10 April 2022
Saturday & Sunday at 11am to 1pm


Course Enrollment Fee:      ₹4,500/-

Last day to enroll: 1st March 2022 

Free registration available for government officials; Scholarships available for students and other young professionals; apply below

All successful participants will get a certificate!

Enroll now


After completing this course, you will be able to –

  1. Know the functions performed by local governments and other agencies in India, understand the legal & administrative frameworks within which cities operate.

  2. Identify the challenges and limitation that serve as barriers and affect your quality of service.

  3. Identify professional and business opportunities in urban service delivery and urban systems.

  4. Communicate your ideas persuasively to relevant government authorities.

  5. Engage effectively with your local government and strengthen your cities & communities to contribute to a more inclusive society.



Week - 1/ 

4-5 March 2022

The Streets Are Covered In Trash, Who’s To Blame? (Solid Waste Management)

Week - 2/

12-13 March 2022

Where Does Heritage Begin And End?
(Heritage Management)

Week - 3/

2-3 April 2022

Slums Are Illegal, Why Can’t We Evict Everyone? (Affordable Housing and Public Transit)

Week - 4/

9 - 10 April 2022

Can You Have Your Gol-Gappa and Eat It Too? (Street Vending and Vendors)


Each module consists for 3 elements:
Part 1 and 2 contains narratives, that capture an everyday incident. They are paired with questions that prompt the learner to reflect upon their own biases and to think critically about their priorities. 
Part 3 contains case studies, which succinctly explain some experiments or ideas that were proposed to these urban challenges. It also contains a prompt, for the learners to put themselves in the shoes of one of the stakeholders and consider what they would do when in this situation. 

Be a part of this course and learn to see your home differently.

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