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Fast paced urbanisation is one of the mega trends across the globe. Rapid urbanization has a very strong interconnect with the overall economic growth, infrastructure development and the quality of life of people who come to occupy the urban spaces. However the urban growth story is different for different countries. In India, while it accounts for 70% of the GDP, the urban form, structures and the ecosystem as it has grown, has presented some deep rooted issues and challenges. The urban inequality, poverty, pollution and lack of services and infrastructure on the one hand impact seriously the quality of life of the residents, while on the other hand it greatly impairs the ability of the cities to become engines of growth

While the Indian cities today present us with a huge set of challenges, it provides for an equally great opportunity. This has been realised by MOHUA, GoI and various state governments, and therefore many important schemes like Smart Cities, Swachh Bharat Mission, HRIDAY, AMRUT, and Urban Transport are being implemented and a very large amount of investment, both by the government and by the private institutions is being done today. However the two factors which might prove to be the biggest constraint to equitable and sustainable urban prosperity and development are: • Lack of institutional capacities at different levels of governance • Lack of knowledge and research in the complex and multidimensional urban issues