Author Archives: Mahak Agrawal

About Mahak Agrawal

Mahak Agrawal holds a Masters and Bachelors degree in Urban Planning and Physical Planning, respectively from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, India. She has been working on the issue of open defecation and sanitation deprivation with research institutions and local government since late 2013. She has worked, in different capacities, with the following institutions: Town and Country Planning Organisation, New Delhi; Irrigation and Flood Control Department, New Delhi; Directorate of Environment, New Delhi; Indian Institute of Human Settlements, New Delhi; Norway Institute of Transport Economics, Oslo; Dubai MUF-ISOCARP and World Bank Organisation, India. Currently working as an independent research analysist and climate consultant, she is also volunteering with the ISOCARP (International Society of City and Regional Planners) Review in the capacity of Correspondent. Since 2012, she has published with Springer Bulletin, International Society of City and Regional Planners or ISOCARP, Association of European Schools of Planning or AESOP, Institute of Town Planners, India and The European Journal of Development Research. She is the recipient of Prof. V.N. Prasad Best Thesis Award, for the best thesis in Master of Planning in India. Lately, she has been working on climate change and the resilience of mega cities of India, with key findings published in local news media.

Planning as a profession and course of study : A floundering Planner’s Perspective

The planning as a profession in India is synonymous with either party/event planning or smart cities, nothing more, nothing less. Only a few know what planning as a profession and course of study is in India. And when one does, the picture has varied shapes and colours for those who are either a part of this professional or academia pool and for those outside this pool. Continue reading

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Housing in India and government attitude towards it

Housing is an important aspect of city development. Population growth in a city is mainly attributed to two main reasons: migration from different areas in search of jobs and natural growth (birth rates exceeding death rates). However, the pace of housing provision, particularly by government agencies, is never able to keep up with the pace of population increase. Also, the National Urban Housing and Habitat policy-2007, which emphasizes “Affordable housing for All”, aims at ‘Forging strong partnerships between public, private and cooperative sectors for accelerated growth in the Housing Sector and sustainable development of habitat’. At the end of the day, it’s all about Roti, Kapdaa aur Makaan. Continue reading

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Development planning in post-independence India: Where did we go wrong? What can we do about it?

The term ‘Development‘ (physical development) may be defined as – carrying out of engineering, building, mining, quarrying and other such works in/on/under land. This is also called as material change in the use of any building or land. Development may also refer to change of land use. In some countries, demolition is also considered to be a form of development. Contemporary theory defines development as synonymous to ‘urbanisation’ and economic growth, but the question that arises is whether or not economic growth is sufficient for human development. For Amartya Sen and other scholars advocating for holistic development and capabilities of humans and society. He propagates the idea of development which extends beyond economic growth- it also concerns with better living conditions (safe drinking water, education, housing, etc.) for the population that is usually overlooked (i.e. the poor category unable to pay the taxes) with the larger goal of improving their capabilities Continue reading

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Open Defecation: A Coda of Geospatial differentiation by British India?

Swacch Bharat? A pan India mission launched with political support at the centre is a novel effort. But to eradicate open defecation from a society whose foundation is still influenced by Manu Smriti, sanitation pipes need to be dug deep.  Continue reading

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