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‘Urban Observatory’ launched by NIUA and UK-India Joint Network on Sustainable Cities with important inputs by CSPA

Published on January 19, 2017

Chitkara University Punjab and its School of Planning and Architecture figured prominently as an important contributor to the Government of India initiative of setting up an “Urban Observatory”. The aim of the proposed Urban Observatory is to facilitate monitoring of urban dynamics in the Chandigarh-Tricity Region through a network of stakeholders who would be responsible for producing, analysing and disseminating data needed to support decision-making and formulation of evidence-based policies for urban development. The setting up of the “Urban Observatory” is an essential part of the government’s “Smart City Mission”.

The PAN-India initiative was launched in Chandigarh by the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and, the UK-India Joint Network on Sustainable Cities, at a Workshop held at the Hotel Mountview on 17-18 January 2017. Two of the major players in the Network are the University of Nottingham and the University of Nottingham-Trent, both of which already are partnering with Chitkara University in other areas.

The Workshop included a Keynote by Dr. Madhu Chitkara, Vice-Chancellor, Chitkara University Punjab, on “The Vision for Chandigarh Observatory as a Centre for Academic Excellence”, in which she emphasised the need for Universities to establish more meaningful links with the Industry and set up Incubation Centres to support and facilitate Start-Ups by the young, innovative minds.

In her presentation titled “The Growing City and its Urban Heritage – the Case of Chandigarh”, Professor Kiran Joshi, Head, Chitkara Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture, highlighted the peculiar case of Chandigarh’s historic zones and ways in which these could be integrated into the city’s future development plans.

Five more faculty members from Chitkara School of Planning and Architecture – namely Professor Antony Boity, Associate Professor Preeti Pahwa, and, Assistant Professors Deepmala Singh, Dilip Kushwaha and Damanpreet Chugh – organised and led Roundtables on issues of “Water Management in Smart City Chandigarh” and “Energy Management of the Built Environment in Chandigarh”.

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