ESG Imaginaries To Make Cities Work

‘ESG Imaginaries to Make Cities Work’ is a webinar series co-organised by ESG in collaboration with Habitat Forum – INHAF in which key administrators, experts and activists from diverse disciplines and sectors reflected on issues and concerns systemic to urban governance and living, and articulated ideas and imaginaries towards constructing better urban futures. The report of these four webinars, organised during July and August 2022, can be downloaded here. Webinar  Reports in English & Kannada(

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Week 3 Of ESG Imaginaries To Make Cities Work: Mobility & Infrastructure

ESG has worked with street communities to reclaim streets as public commons, to protect street vendor rights, to promote pedestrian and cycling rights, to secure urban greenery – especially tree lines and heritage spaces, all to promote the idea of a  city that would ensure inclusivity is central to such public spaces and infrastructure. The argument has been and continues to be that there must be deep democratisation of decision making relating to mobility and infrastructure development so that the promise of Article 39 B – that ownership and employment of material resources best serve the  common good – is actually an argument for  protecting commons, ensuring good health, promoting environmentally viable and equitable livelihoods, and ensuring the city is a construct that is socially responsible, economically viable and ecologically wise.  

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Week 2 Of ESG Imaginaries To Make Cities Work: Challenges Of Securing Urban Commons

ESG has worked with this problematique of the commons and demonstrated how securing them can be a win-win for all. Working with communities to resist privatisation of commons, such as lakes, and then asking for a policy to protect them with Public Trust Doctrine and the principle of intergenerational equity  as the basis, has resulted in path breaking outcomes – rehabilitation of lakes as inclusive commons and as sacred spaces that deserve community and statutory protection to advance ecological and water security. 

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Week 1 Of ESG Imaginaries To Make Cities Work: Waste And Governance

For over two decades, ESG has focussed on the emerging urban environmental and socio-economic challenges and has been working with multiple communities, government agencies, academia, media, etc. The approach has always been about finding viable and inclusive solutions to vexatious problems advocating deeply democratic processes that draw on  intersectoral, interdisciplinary, intersectional experiences, knowledge and histories. Bangalore and other cities today are in a mess as they follow highly centralised governance approaches that drift from existing legal provisions in which the various local publics find no place to imagine their futures as part of a collective imagining of the city’s future.

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COVID-19: Why We Must Reorganise Cities To Deal With The Third Wave

There have been innumerable efforts in the past by civil society, trade unions, academia, public health experts and others who repeatedly stressed the crucial importance of strengthening local governance as key to mitigating and managing problems. These efforts have reached various High Courts and the Supreme Court too as Public Interest Litigations, trying to make local governance work. But the hubristic reliance and faith in centralised management has been such that even court orders directing public involvement in decision-making have all been disregarded. The whims and fancies of a few in power have prevailed with technology-based solutions for the pandemic.

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Interrogating Governance And Financial Implications Of ‘Smart Cities’ – Part I Report

In collaboration with Program on Science, Technology and Society, Harvard Kennedy School, USA & Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, Germany, as part of a project on Governance of Sociotechnical Transformation in this interrogating discussion on Governance and Financial Implications of ‘Smart Cities’.

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“Can Interlinking Rivers And Greening Their Banks Save Our Cities?”

A report of a symposium organized by Environment Support Group Written by ESG Team 15 December 2017 Downloads: Report of the Symposium on River Linking and Cities “Can Interlinking Rivers and Greening their Banks Save our Cities?” 15 December 2017, Bangalore A report of the symposium organised by Environment Support Group In what turned out to be a most engrossing discussion on “Can Inter-linking our Rivers and Greening their Banks save our Cities?” organized by

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“Can Inter-linking Rivers And Greening Their Banks Save Our Cities?”

Invitation to a Symposium 15 December 2017 ; Time: 10 am to 1.30 pm ; Venue: @ Ashirwad (Behind Kabab Corner), St. Mark’s Road Cross, Bangalore 560001 Downloads: River Linking and Cities – Symposium Invitation community outreach,campaigns,events,cities,interlinking,limits,rivers

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How To Save Trees In Cities And Make Urban Planning People Centric

Some Ideas to Advance Public Involvement in Urban Decision Making Recently, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) received a surge of objections from people opposing the felling of hundreds of trees for the proposed steel flyover on Ballari Road and the widening of Jayamahal Road. In addition, concerns have been raised regarding the ongoing felling of trees on Kanakapura Road and Mysore Road. There is also the threat of mass felling of trees along the western corridors of

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Undemocratic And Exclusionary Schema For Urbanising India: The Case Of “Smart Cities”

Organised by CERAS and Centre for Engineering in Society, Concordia University 6 July 2015 ; Time: 6 pm ; Venue: Concordia University, Room EV2.184, Engineering and Visual Arts Building (2nd floor) 1515 rue Ste Catherine Ouest, Montreal (Corner Guy and Ste Catherine O; metro Guy-Concordia) Downloads: Smart-Cities_Leo_Saldanha_CERAS_Concordia_Talk_06072015.pdf CERAS and Centre for Engineering in Society, Concordia University present Leo F. Saldanha, Coordinator, Environment Support Group, Bangalore, India Undemocratic and exclusionary schema for urbanising India: the case

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Report And Proceedings Of The Regional Workshop On Cities, Poverty And Environment

Asia Urbs Programme of the European Commission Written by CITYNET Secretariat 30 July 2001 – 2 August 2001 Downloads: PDF 686 KB ESG is the co-ordinator for Raichur City in Community Access 2000 project. Report and Proceedings of the workshop held in Hanoi, Vietnam. Keywords: ,teaching resources,Asia Urbs,Community Access 2000,North South Co-operation ,Add new comment

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Concrete Galore: The Transformation Of Bengaluru

The concretising didn’t stop with roads; like a cancer it spread across to pavements, as paved regions into parks, and even into urban forests like Turahalli where, thankfully, public resistance stopped it. But the phenomenon is so widespread now, that it shows up in satellite imageries, and when it rains, the city floods in no time as there is simply no open ground for water to percolate. And in summer ‘heat islands’ result, desiccating what little greenery is left.

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Transformations To Sustainability: Governance Of Sociotechnical Transformations

A video by Belmont Forum and International Science Council on ‘Governance of Sociotechnical Transformations” (GoST) project in which ESG is a partner to discover pathways of Transformations to Sustainability.

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Films & Documentaries

ESG projects and campaigns cover a wide range of issues, a common theme across which is that of encouraging community involvement in decision making regarding environmental and social justice concerns. ESG organizes or participates in facilitating public meetings and workshops with the intention of raising awareness in the community, judiciary and government bodies about environmental issues, environmental law, and the citizens’ Rights. Films and Documentaries are a medium through which we can disseminate information about

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Securing Skilled Jobs For The Present And The Future

Good research-based approaches to skill building are the need of the hour in order to identify the right approaches in building a broad spectrum of jobs. Anticipating Skill Needs for Green Jobs is a study that offers practical guidance on building employment opportunities  and developing short term job oriented skill courses.  From the experiences of the pandemic it has been learned that it is certainly more beneficial for society overall to provide a range of skill training – from farm-based activities to non-farm skills – and speaking to the  needs of the region, even at the very local  levels. It is such an approach of care that will help youth in making wise choices to secure their futures, in ensuring economic security of their households and to look to the future with dignity and confidence.

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Need For Meaningful Extensive Review And Debate On Fundamental Changes Proposed To India’s Environment Protection Act, 1986 And Related Laws 

India’s environmental jurisprudence has been torn between the competing demands of prioritising environmental protection and securing economic progress.  While there are several judgements that speak to the need for balancing development with environmental priorities, it is not necessarily an exercise that can be easily rationalised.  There is overwhelming evidence in the pollution flowing in every river and lake across the country, in the extensive degradation across the Western Ghats and the Himalayas – resulting in catastrophic impacts on human settlements, in the breakdown of our cities every time it rains or when there is an unrelenting heat wave, and in commons that are extensively encroached, diverted and polluted, that the state of India’s environment is precariously hinged.  The damaging consequences of such extensive degradation are irreversible and will seriously impede the country’s socio-economic progress.

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EJ Matters Vol 3. Issue 9: Environment Ministry Proposes Comprehensive Dilution Of India’s Environmental Laws & More..

There has been systematic dilution of India’s forest and biodiversity protection laws for several years now.   But the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change now proposes to fundamentally change the essential characteristic of India’s environmental jurisprudence with fundamental changes that it proposes to India’s umbrella environmental law, the Environment Protection Act, 1986, and also the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991. 

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