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“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody”.

Social contract theory suggests that people enter into an unwritten contract with the ruler (government) to be protected and served with the basic necessities of life in exchange for which the peoples acknowledge and recognize the legitimacy of the ruler’s sovereign authority.

Sanitation entails ensuring a hygienic environment to eliminate diseases and health issues. But we find the Swachh Bharat Mission predominantly focused only on the construction of toilets. As a result, the complex problem of sanitation is reduced to the provision of household toilets, leading to the neglect of many crucial components such as the containment and treatment of human faeces, and the management of waste and waste water.

The issue of access is a vital one when it comes to government schemes. In this blog, we investigate how inclusive is a flagship scheme such as the Swacch Bharat Mission, a scheme that aims to solve the problem of sanitation countrywide.


From the lack of attention to sewage connections or treatment plants to the poor quality of toilets and zero attempt to convert insanitary toilets, we find that the Swachh Bharat Mission’s attention on construction of toilets leaves much to desire for making sanitation available to all.

சென்னையில் இருக்கும் கொடுங்கையூர் குப்பை கிடங்கு சென்னையின் மற்ற புறங்களில் வசிப்பவர்களுக்கே அதிர்ச்சி ஊட்ட கூடிய நிலையில் உள்ளது. இதனால் ஏற்படும் சுற்றுசூழல் பாதிப்புகளையும் அதனால் மக்களுக்கு ஏற்படக்கூடிய அபாயங்கள் பற்றிய ஒரு சிறு குறிப்பு.

The line between Indian housing policy and slum policy is very blurry. This affects the implementation of both policies. This piece examines the slum policy in Chennai and the need for a renewed approach.

This blog elaborates the role of landscape ecology in building urban resilience. This is based on the takeaways from a recent Care Earth Workshop on the Fundamentals of Landscape Ecology. 

City governments create maps for enabling the distribution of public services, understanding the land-use patterns and demarcating important boundaries. Samantha Lloyd delves into the maps prepared by the Ranchi Municipal Corporation to determine whether city maps are usable and comprehensible.

The recent IPCC report indicates that coastal cities like Chennai are prone to submergence, flooding, and other natural disasters. The city urgently needs to build accountability for poor management of wetland resources. The dangers of failing to do so were highlighted in a seminar on wetland abuse, which brought together senior researchers, fisherfolk, government officials, and experts.