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Navigating the Roads

February 6th, 2017 CAG

Roads in India are invariably geared towards a small group of users. The needs of people who are old, slow, differently-abled, etc are rarely considered by those who design roads and by those who use them. To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (Dec 3) we spoke to 2 such people on problems faced in navigating Indian roads. 

Stop, Think, Proceed

February 6th, 2017 CAG

Men constitute around 81% of road accident injuries, but we tend to forget that it is not just the victims who are affected. Their families too bear the burden - economically, socially, emotionally. CAG talks to Ganesh and his sister, Sumathi about how a road accident in 2006 changed their lives. 

Chennai's Waste Management System: Exploring The Lives of The Hidden Environmentalists

January 31st, 2017 Elloise Neale, Researcher

In January 2017, I joined CAG, where part of my work focuses on their solid waste management (SWM) projects. I started with the Mapping Waste Trails project, which aims to gain a better understanding of the lives of the informal waste pickers engaged in waste recycling in Chennai. Furthermore, we will be tracking the movements of certain recyclables, to ascertain the routes by which such materials traverse the city-scape, and the value added within each step in the routes.

A history of traffic signage

November 17th, 2016 Sumana Narayanan, Researcher, CAG

The other day, at the traffic lights, the “No U Turn” sign, with the red line slashed across the bent arrow, caught my eye. It occurred to me that these signs must be standard across the world. Otherwise, in addition to dealing with each country’s traffic idiosyncrasies, one would also have to learn and unlearn traffic signs. This got me wondering when this standardisation came about and what driving a vehicle must have been like before standards were set and implemented.

A shout out to MTC bus drivers

November 10th, 2016 Sumana Narayanan, Researcher, CAG

Pedestrians are at the bottom of the pecking order of Indian roads. They are a group to be honked at, splashed with dirty rainwater, and given nasty looks for having the temerity to cross the road when there a motorised vehicle within a one-kilometre radius. And of course, pavements for pedestrians are a waste of space. In short, pedestrians should not be allowed to exist.

A community's perspective on public sanitation

October 21st, 2016 Jasmitha Arvind

Chennai has zero community toilets.[1] Shocking, is it not? The Corporation of Chennai has somewhere between 800 and 1000 public toilets, some of which are located near low income settlements. None of these have been designed to be community toilets though. A community toilet has several essential design features, about which I wrote in a previous blog.

BYPASS LAB - A study of peri-urban locality

October 17th, 2016 Dhilip Pugalenthi, Researcher


In the month of June I participated in the BYPASS LAB, a one week workshop organised by the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS), IIT Madras and hosted by the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD) at Sriperumbudur. The workshop used a combination lectures and practical exercises to train early professionals and students on data gathering, data visualization and design research.

Programmes at the workshop


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