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

Cities on the Move: Inclusive Transport and Mobility for South Asian Cities – isec

Cities on the Move: Inclusive Transport and Mobility for South Asian Cities


Institute for Social and Economic Change


Cities on the Move: Inclusive Transport and Mobility for South Asian Cities

13-14 October, 2022 at ISEC Bengaluru

Organised by

The Centre for the Study of Social Change and Development &
The EQUIMOB Project, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru


In recent years, South Asian cities have grown denser and broader due to the significant increase in population. However, evidence shows that the people have struggled to commute in these busy cities in their everyday lives. The inadequate and non-inclusive transport infrastructure unfavourably re-organise the urban transport landscape in the cities with significant implications for health, access to livelihood and services, and the overall urban wellbeing. The poor accessibility to transport services adversely affects the labour market participation and access to healthcare of vulnerable sections of the population in the cities of the Global South (Weber et al 2010, Fletcher et al 2017). The transport planning and policies often undermine socio-spatial inequalities thus excluding marginalised and vulnerable sections of the population (Lucas 2012). The World Bank estimates that South Asia accounts for more than 27 % of global traffic fatalities (Schafer and Diop, 2018). The proliferation of private vehicles, traffic congestion, high fossil fuel emissions and inadequate public transport system has posed numerous barriers to urban living.

Of late researchers have taken a keen interest in using an intersectional and people-centric lens to understand the mobility issues. They have initiated discussions on how people belonging to different groups based on class, gender, ethnicity, age, and disability could impact – the degree of ease, affordability, comfort, flexibility, and safety of their movement. Inline, the recent policy impetus such as smart cities, silent streets and green mobilities and their transport-related interventions need a critical rethink. This seminar offers a platform to connect such diverse, disparate urban scholarship that engage with transport from a humanities frame. The many mechanisms of economy, geography, ethnicity, demography, and their shaping of the mobilities and being shaped by the mobilities will be of special interest.

The seminar aims to elaborate on the nuances of urban transport and mobility experiences, inequities, and policymaking in South Asia cities. We invite urban scholars and practitioners to submit original and unpublished works related to the below-mentioned themes. However, beyond the themes listed below, there will also be space for papers which approach transport-related transformations in South Asian cities


  • Urban transformation and access to transport
  • Intersections of urban transport and inequalities of access (e.g., gender, class, caste, religion, age, disability)
  • Transport as a facilitator/barrier for access to health services, education and labour markets
  • Urban transport activism and interventions
  • Cultural, historical and media representations of transport and their transformations in cities.
  • Challenges of implementing /strengthening non-motorised transport and walking in safe environments.

The seminar will be conducted in physical mode at the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bengaluru, India.

Submission guidelines

Interested authors may send a 250-word abstract of the research paper to submission should contain details such as the paper’s title, the list of contributing authors, and their affiliations. The writers of the selected papers will be invited to present the full paper. The selected papers will be published in an edited volume. .

Travel grants

Funding for travel will be communicated on acceptance of the abstract.

Important dates

  • Call opens: 23rd August 2022
  • Abstract submission deadline: 20th September 2022
  • Notification of short-listed abstracts: 25th September 2022
  • Seminar date: 13th and 14th October 2022

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