Track 1 : Sustainable Habitat

The track focuses on innovative research in energy efficient, sustainable, resilient, affordable built environment and infrastructure systems to provide vital services accessible to all that support healthy, prosperous, beautiful, and cohesive communities. Given the unbridled consumption and rapidly depleting resources, continuing the status quo is not acceptable and thus there is an urgent need to seriously address issues of sustainable development in the context of human habitat. The track is developed on synergetic concept which is expected to leverage the individual strengths of the multi-faceted players it encompasses. It is expected to create an interdisciplinary platform where academia, industry, professionals, civic bodies and other stakeholders would participate in creating knowledge-based solutions to real world pressing problems of sustainable development. One of the prime aims of the track is to engage in translational research leading to solutions to rural & urban problems, development of state-of-art knowledge modules to be disseminated to the civic bodies and other stakeholders and to engage in defining the emerging paradigms of holistic development. With its interdisciplinary, and creative spatial problem solving aptitude, urban design and planning unfolds a dynamic process, which can only be tested with time. It deliberates over the traditional topics on built environment, planning and development relevant to the needs of today‟s world. Going into the future and keeping pace with the rapidly evolving technological evolution and emerging network of global creativity and knowledge; the track also buoys up itself to be the leading urban knowledge and expertise repository. It intends to enhance its intellect from national to global and from spatial domain of built environment to policy domain and contribute in developing emerging policy discourse of the country. The knowledge capacity enhancement and expertise created as a result of activities of the track would contribute greatly towards ongoing government initiatives and programmes such as Smart Cities, AMRUT, HIRDAY, PMAY, etc.

Track 2 : Sustainable Transportation Planning

Unprecedented urban sprawl coupled with private automobile dependence has adversely affected the quality of life in the cities. Public transport and facilities for non-motorized modes are neglected sectors in the transport provisions. Lack of planned and organized development is visible through land use-transport dis- integrations in different areas on the cities, leading to road capacity mis-matches, conflicts, delays and jams, etc. As a consequence, transport sector has emerged as a major agent of greenhouse gas emission. About 15% of Indian CO2 emissions stem from the transport sector, and its contribution is increasing at more than 6% per annum. The primary reasons for increasing vehicular CO2 have been the lack of traffic and transportation plans or mobility plans, inadequate transport system management strategies, faulty road geometry, ad hoc parking policies, absence or inadequacy of facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists, distorted fiscal policies, etc. Though the National Urban Transport Policy 2006 provides guidelines and mechanisms for planned transportation system for the cities to objectively cut the vehicular emissions, but the desired results are far for vision. In nothing done situation, of the 0.82 million urbanites about 65% of them living in mega, large and medium sized cities would require planned transportation facilities by 2030. Else, exposure to vehicle exhaust would aggravate the climate and health issues such as significant increase in respiratory symptoms and lung function impairment, cancer and plethora of other ailments. Shifting to clean vehicle technology, green fuels and fuel efficient vehicles is on the cards. Longer delays addressing these issues would increase the urbanites‟ sufferings caused by toxic vehicular emissions. Research conducted in transport sector through this track shall be geared towards models and typologies of mobility plans to cut down on use of private vehicles.

Track 3 : Water Management

Water has been a major issue and cause of concern since mid-80s because its brutal exploitation, rapid depletion and neglected rainwater harvesting for recharge or direct use caught global attentions. Water crisis is not only urban but rural concern as well, as rapidity of urbanization has created huge urban water shortfall and dependence on tube well irrigation for unplanned multiple cropping pattern has led to fast depletion of ground water. Providing clean and safe drinking water to all the citizens has been a daunting challenge for the urban local bodies. Also, rapid industrialization had turned most of the natural water bodies i.e. rivers and streams into sewers, making the task of supplying safe drinking water extremely difficult for already fund starved municipalities. Policies and programmes for pollution control look at water use, waste generation and pollution in isolation and this piecemeal approach towards river cleaning based on creating expensive hardware for waste collection and treatment has not worked. In-depth research on India’s rich traditions in using rainwater for a sustainable, participatory and equitable management of water is the need of the present times. Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi has been advocating decentralized wastewater treatment options since long and can be undertaken by institutions and individuals at local levels. It propagates India’s traditions in community- based water harvesting techniques and design options. Still lot of research options need to be attempted to collect comprehensive information on rainwater harvesting at different levels in different regions along with their water crisis, conflicts, solutions, technologies, water crusaders and policy, including different technologies for rural and urban contexts. The vibrant state of Punjab is known for its water resources and the North-Western India is greatly influenced by Punjab and its waterways. The sharing of water resources between Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan and its related intricacies are part of the news every now & then. With every passing year the conflict between the sharing partners is increasing to the extent that the repeated intervention of legislature and judiciary is a common story. As such with changing weather patterns the ecological conditions are altered and rich water resources are being lost rapidly. Water of rivers, wetlands and canals is just not used for drinking and irrigation alone but is also very rich resource of biodiversity that has supported people’s social, economic and cultural pursuits. Therefore, the track strives to understand the dynamics of water resources in the region and invest efforts to document the possible impacts on engineering structures, public health, existing floral and faunal diversity and socio-economic profile of the stakeholders. The recent finding that Punjab waters have river dolphins has put the geographical area on the important but fragile list of habitats. The track also focuses on conducting research on sustainable urban water management through urban lake management, water sensitive design and planning, green infrastructure, water efficiency and conservation techniques, rainwater harvesting technologies and design options, decentralized wastewater management.

Track 4 : Waste Management

Changing production and consumption mechanisms in urban settlements have been posing serious challenges for managing the waste generated by them. The demand for packed products has significantly increased over the past five decades. Resultantly, solid waste generation per person has increased remarkably, which has been a major problem for many urban local bodies (ULBs) in India since a long time now. Waste management infrastructure has an important role in delivering sustainable development. Achieving sustainable development in India through municipal solid waste (MSW) management, while experiencing rapid population growth, is made more difficult with its diverse religions, cultures and traditions. Wastes are potential resources and effective waste management with resource extraction is fundamental to effective solid waste management. But nearly 90% of residual waste is currently dumped rather than properly land filled and the informal sector is extracting value from waste instead the ULBs play their role. There is an urgent need to move to more sustainable MSW management with newer and advanced waste management facilities and systems. Current SWM systems are inefficient, and have high negative impacts on public health, the environment and the economy. Even the compliance of Waste Management and Handling Rules, 2016 is variable and limited. Materials, energy and nutrient recovery must be the aim of future SWM infrastructure development in India. The track addresses the barriers and opportunities in institutional structures involved in waste management, treatment and disposal; helps build regulatory and technical capacities of cities in waste management; and highlights the role of the informal sector in India through in-depth research and advocacy. It shall investigate the global best models of at source segregation, decentralized waste management, and adoption of policy on integrated waste management to achieve effective and affordable waste management in Indian cities. Its research focuses on extracting high value from waste by devising best models of reduce, reuse and recycle by developing its research labs to produce fertilizer, energy, building material and new advances.

Track 5 : Sanitation and Septage

Inadequate sanitation is a major cause of disease world-wide and improving sanitation is known to have a significant beneficial impact on health both in households and across communities. Sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and faecel. It is important for all, helping to maintain health and increase life-spans. However, it is especially important for children. Around the world, over 800 children under age five die every day from preventable diarrhea- related diseases caused by lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene. Open defecation has been identified as a major global issue in public health. About 1.2 billion people practice open defecation all around the world, 55% of which are in India. About 52% of the rural population in India defecate in the open. Hence, it is important to indulge in excreta management to attain sustainability by promoting excreta (septage and sewage) flow analysis to inform sanitation programming through the service delivery assessment tool - Shit Flow Diagrams (SFDs), developed by Water and Sanitation Programme - World Bank. United Nations have also set sanitation as a goal in the „Reform 2030‟. India has been working seriously on this issue since past two decades and has launched Total Sanitation Campaign (1998), National Urban Sanitation Policy (2008), Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (2012), and Swachh Bharat Mission (2014) since then. In this light it is important to analyze the entire sanitation value chain (from containment to reuse/disposal) and its management for effective citywide sanitation. Excreta Flow Diagram (or Shit Flow Diagram-SFD), Sanitation Safety Plan (SSP), etc. have been identified as tools to map excreta in cities, which needs to be integrated in respective City Sanitation Plan (CSP). Research on effective faecal sludge and septage (FSS) management is very important to mainstream it in citywide sanitation. It involves an integrated approach that includes planning, designing & implementing effective septage management interventions. Importance and emphasis of septage management in AMRUT and status of regulatory Acts in different State of India needs exploration. Design of septic tanks, co-treatment of faecal sludge in sewerage treatment plants (STPs) and technological options for FSS treatment are other relevant interest areas in the direction of sanitation for all.

Track 6 : Green Energy

Increased population, industrialization and other matters of economic growth have raised the demand for energy in different sectors of production and consumption. The demand-supply gap through conventional sources has been widening day by day. Hence, research on other means of energy production is explored all over the globe. United Nations in its agenda has set global objectives of eradicating energy poverty by providing electricity services to villages and households in remote and far-flung areas that are not economically reached by electricity networks. Renewable energy sources have been tried locally and the results have been remarkably satisfactory. In India also policy, regulatory and project level efforts are being made to meet the energy challenges by large-scale deployment of renewable energy technologies in different sectors of the economy to meet the twin objective of combating climate change on one hand and energy security, on the other. Research and training on sustainable decentralized distributed generation in India will lead to benefits of different regions. Renewable energies as sources of clean, inexhaustible and increasingly competitive energy will be promoted through research and teaching, as they differ from fossil fuels principally in their diversity, abundance and potential for use anywhere on the planet, but above all in that they produce neither greenhouse gases - which cause climate change nor polluting emissions. According to International Energy Agency (IEA), the world electricity demand will increase to 70% by 2040, its share of final energy use shall rise to 24% in the same period. The track indulges in bringing out new avenues in renewal energy through sunlight, wind, rain, biomass, tides, geothermal heat and waste to energy