India’s great cities, and several tens of big cities in the making, did not grow organically along with their counterparts in other parts of the world. They grew frenetically, and are still growing, somewhat later than the rest, and in an era circumscribed by concerns about global warming and sustainability. The tension between resource scarcity, inorganic growth, and environmental concerns has to be managed if we are to land on our feet at the end of this growth phase. Technologies that mediate the trade-offs and produce desirable outcomes are key to managing the transition to healthy livable cities.
Keeping this in mind, a Center for Excellence was conceived by IIT Madras to work towards achieving an ideal habitat in our cities, keeping the core values of the historical development of our cities in mind and bringing to bear the rapid technological changes that are taking place in these times. The Centre takes a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to resolving the many complex and diverse problems that human settlements face, be they environmental, social or technological. Today, the fledgling Centre is operational and is striving hard to build a strong foundation to emerge as the go-to place for sustainable and cost-effective technologies that address key urban challenges.