Institute for Social and Economic Change

Established in 1972 by Professor V K R V Rao, ISEC is an All-India Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Training in the Social Sciences

Centre for Research in Urban Affairs – isec

Centre for Research in Urban Affairs

Academic Centers

Centre for Research in Urban Affairs (CRUA)

The Institute for Social & Economic Change established the Centre for Research in Urban Affairs in March 2014, keeping in view the growing challenges with more than half of the world’s population starting to live in urban areas in 2007; this is a unique part of the social and economic change taking place globally. CRUA has been created at ISEC, recognizing the need for research on urban policy so that they translate into tangible urban reform outcomes and for integrated and interdisciplinary research to be conducted in the urban context with the forthcoming challenges. The Centre focuses on understanding the science of managing cities in the context of emerging challenges and competition in new research to maintain innovativeness.
The Centre has expertise in the field of urban development, regional policy and growth, urban environment, urban finances, urban governance, with the faculty in the Centre having extensively worked and published several books and papers on urban issues and are internationally renowned.

Goal And Mission

The goal is to make CRUA a centre of excellence in Urban Studies with the aim to develop sustainable solutions to urban concerns and policy frameworks at various levels of urban governance.

Research Perspectives

Keeping in view the overall focus on Urban Studies, CRUA’s themes of focus are as follows:


We focus on certain themes which are of policy relevance for urban and regional development–urbanization and economic growth, regional and gender disparities, urban poverty, evaluation of basic urban services such as sanitation, urban governance, and urban environmental sustainability. Cutting edge research has been published by faculty of the Centre as it relates to land use regulations which has been extensively discussed and debated in academic and policy circles in the country. Some proposed themes to be focused by the Centre’s research are elaborated below.

  • Urban Development and Policy

Pioneering work has been done by faculty of the Centre with internationally well-renowned economists regarding the effects of urban planning in Indian cities. Urban planning has impacts on urban form, as well as impacts the city’s spatial size, both of which have been the focus of the faculty’s research thus far. This has drawn the attention of policy makers nationally and multilateral funding agencies such as the ADB and the World Bank. Current work of the faculty focuses on understanding the urban form of Indian cities and urban primacy.

  • Urban Environment

Urban environment aims to understand how human beings and environment can coexist in human-dominated systems and help societies with their efforts to become more sustainable. As studies in the Indian urban context are limited, CRUA will focus on this theme with specific reference to water and sanitation, waste management, climate change in cities with a view to making them sustainable.

  • Urban Finances

Extensive research has been done by faculty of the Centre with respect to urban finances, given the poor condition of city finances in India’s cities. Research of the Centre on the role of land as a financing tool in India’s cities, has been acknowledged in important policy documents of the Government of India. Research of the Centre will continue to focus on this important area, in view of the huge investment requirements of financing cities in India and globally.

  • Urban Governance

Under the theme of urban governance we will focus on aspects related to urban institutions, structures, programs, policies and related challenges such as how policy applies differentially to gender in urban areas. We will also address the issues concerning data availability and access, quality of data to enable and identify the lacunas. This would aid in establishing specific requirements in this arena and need for establishing databases for better decision making. We will explore the role of technology in improving governance with GIS, big data in the fore. We intend to work closely with the government to understand their requirements so as to influence policy decisions.


Centre for Research in Urban Affairs
Institute for Social and Economic Change
Nagarabhavi, Bangalore – 560 072, India.
Tel. : 080- 23215468, 23215519
Fax : 080-23217008

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