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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‘Undeclared Emergency’: A Conversation On The Occasion Of Republic Day

View Recording “Analytically sharp and empirically robust, Arvind Narrain’s ‘Undeclared Emergency … ‘ throws a sharp focus on the punitive nature of the legal regime, the criminalisation of dissent and the power exercised by the mob in contemporary India. All those who care for the future of our Republic should read this book”.—Ramachandra Guha, Historian Discussants Arvind Narrain is a lawyer and writer based in Bangalore. He is a founding member of the Alternative Law

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Making Mangaluru An Environmentally Just City Of South India

Environment Support Group conducted Making Mangaluru an Environmentally Just City of South India, the second session in a 3-part workshop conducted across India with support from Break Free From Plastic. The session was attended by representatives of local waste worker unions, fishing unions, student unions, local administrators, and NGOs. This was the latest in ESG’s longstanding efforts to work with communities in different parts of the country to address the challenges posed by waste mismanagement to environmental and public health and to use these as an opportunity to promote decentralized and democratic urban governance.

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Making Imphal An Environmentally Just City Of North East India

Environment Support Group is pleased to invite you to Managing Imphal’s Solid Waste: Advancing Socially Just and Environmentally Sustainable Solutions. This is the first session in a 3-part workshop being conducted across India with support from Break Free From Plastic. The session will be conducted in Meitei and English and will be attended by representatives of local waste worker unions, fishing unions, student unions, local administrators, and NGOs. This is the latest in ESG’s longstanding efforts to work with communities in different parts of the country to address the challenges posed by waste mismanagement to environmental and public health and to use these as an opportunity to promote decentralized and democratic urban governance. Join the session to hear from local representatives about the unique context of Imphal, followed by a discussion by ESG on how it has promoted progressive solutions to tackling waste in Karnataka over the last two decades.

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Legal Awareness Workshop- Functioning Of Lake Protection Committees At Municipal, District, And Apex Levels

As part of the Pan-India Awareness and Outreach Campaign proposed by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence, ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA), and Environment Support Group (ESG) organised a virtual Legal Awareness Workshop relating to the functioning of Lake Protection Committees at Municipal, District and Apex Levels constituted in accordance with directions of the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka in WP 817/2008. The workshop was organised from 25 Oct to 28Oct 2021 for members of the Apex Lake protection Committee and administrators of Bangalore Division, Kalaburagi Division, Belgaum Division, and Mysore Division.

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Webinar Report: Consolidating Visions For Bengaluru’s Climate Action Plan

Week 9 of “Bengaluru’s Climate Action Plan: Making it Participatory and Inclusive”An initiative of Environment Support Group, Bengaluru Background Earlier this year, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) voluntarily committed that the metropolis of Bengaluru would take steps to achieve the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement: i.e., to take local action that would help the world contain global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.  On the occasion of the 2021 World

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Week 8: Reimagining Bengaluru’s Infrastructure As Resilient To Climate-Change

The ‘smart city’ projects have skewed relationships between intent and impact, with massive investments being made in gentrified neighborhoods to the neglect of most other areas of the metropolis. Meanwhile, investments in essential social, education and health infrastructure remain stagnant and are even declining. Would turning planning and development into deeply democratic and decentralised processes and promoting self-sufficient neighborhoods be the answer to reducing the carbon footprint of the metropolis and adapting Bengaluru to climate change impacts?

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Webinar Report: Securing Clean Air And Inclusive Mobility For Bengaluru

“Environmental justice, transportation justice, street justice are all deeply political matters, and to see it merely from a technical perspective will not give us the answers…It is also important to try and create a network where it doesn’t become a government-driven system alone. As consumers we have power. As consumers, we are not effectively networked to propel the transformation that is essential”

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Your Participation Can Make Bengaluru’s Climate Action Plan More Inclusive

Thank you to those of you who have joined us in the ongoing webinar series “Bengaluru’s Climate Action: Making it Participatory and Inclusive“. If you are yet to register for the series, you can do so here.Bengaluru’s people have always been active and conscious about their natural right to participate in decision making about their city and its future. The webinar series is yet another instance of that. We are excited to be involved in catalysing a constructive dialogue process for namma ooru to evolve

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Week 7: Securing Clean Air And Inclusive Mobility For Bengaluru

Everyone pays a very high price for mobility in Bengaluru. Incredible traffic snarls cost precious time, money, infrastructure and public health, and substantially erode the ‘salubrious’ quality of the metropolis. With an astonishing 0.8 to 1 vehicle to population ratio, Bengaluru metropolitan area is amongst the most fossil fuel dependent urban spaces globally. Air quality is significantly deteriorating, resulting in severe health impacts, especially for the poor and marginalised.

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Webinar Report: Making Bengaluru Energy Independent

“Is it possible to keep this city running with this pattern of consumption and demand for energy? How are BESCOM and KPTCL sustaining this supply? What are the challenges of the petrochemical sector in supporting fuel demands? Is there a way that we could shift to more sustainable sources, such as renewable energy, and can those transitions be just for all involved? Will such just transitions require Bangalore Metropolitan Planning Authorities to imagine futures that are based on sustainable energy systems, in contrast with the prevailing extractive and unsustainable systems? And can we ensure all homes (be they of rich, poor or middle classes), institutions, offices, government buildings will find ways to consume less power and shift to alternate forms of locally generated power?”

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Week 6: Making Bengaluru Energy Independent

Date: 26th April 2021, Monday, 6:00 PM India on Zoom Pls note: Registration is not required if you have already enrolled for the webinar series. Overview As India aims to transition away from fossil fuels with ambitious plans to invest in renewable energy, especially in solar power, massive tracts of farmland and commons are being converted into mega solar parks. Would it be possible to imagine a metropolis that can produce its own energy, at

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Week 5 Webinar Report: Securing Biodiversity Rich, Healthy, Socially Inclusive And Economically Viable Commons In Bengaluru

“Commons bring people of the city together. It gives an opportunity to mix people from various communities…In a public park you will find people from a diverse set of communities; people from across caste and class economic status and so on and that is important for us to broaden our minds also. Otherwise we are just limited and living in our own silos”

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Week 5: Securing Biodiversity Rich, Healthy, Socially Inclusiveand Economically Viable Commons In Bengaluru

Densely crowded, polluted, non-inclusive and stress-inducing concretised spaces are making neighbourhoods increasingly vulnerable to various impacts of climate change such as flooding and the ‘heat island’ effect. How, into the future, can the metropolis secure biodiversity rich, healthy and economically viable spaces for all?

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Week 4 Webinar Report: Food For Thought- Towards An Environmentally Sustainable And Socially Just Food System

Download Report Date: 13 April 2021 Week 4 of “Bengaluru’s Climate Action Plan: Making it Participatory and Inclusive” Recording Background Earlier this year, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) voluntarily committed that the metropolis of Bengaluru would take steps to achieve the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement: i.e., to take local action that would help the world contain global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.  On the occasion of World Water

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Week 4: Food For Thought: Towards An Environmentally Sustainable And Socially Just Food System

Bengaluru metropolitan area every day takes a lot of effort, energy, land, water and complex logistics. From a time when the city was growing and sourcing almost all its foods from the local region and backyard gardens, rising wealth and associated consumer capacity has resulted in foods with a high carbon and environmental footprint being fetched from far away, even from across the world. The metropolitan region now contributes far less food production than before, even as its expansion strains rural areas close by in sustaining farming.

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Webinar Report: Making Bengaluru Water Secure

Download Report 8 April 2021 Week 3 of “Bengaluru’s Climate Action Plan: Making it Participatory and  Inclusive” Recording Overview In January, the then commissioner of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike  (BBMP), Mr. N Manjunatha Prasad, IAS wrote to Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles,  the Chair of ‘C-40 Cities’, voluntarily committing the metropolis of Bengaluru to take  steps to achieve the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement: i.e., to take local action  that would help

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