Dr. Renu Khosla



 Dr. Renu Khosla


 Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence

Area of expertise

Slum upgrading, urban water, sanitation and livelihoods, community development

Brief Profile of Speaker (incl recent photograph)


Dr. RENU KHOSLA is the Director of the Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence(CURE). Her work is aimed at unthinking and reimagining slum and inclusive urban development – building resilience and nudging change from below, in community-led initiatives.Through her work, she has been seeking to strengthen local capacities for participative planning, data visualization, analytics using spatial technologies, localizing and de-engineering solutions and simplifying institutions – hoping to change the narrative and deepen the policy discourse on urban poor and improving their quality of lives. Her projects are innovative and havebeen awarded.

Working Group

Delivery of Basic Services

Sub Theme

 Ensuring Basic Services including Mobility for Integrated Development

Duration of presentation

10 –15 minutes (including Q&A)

[Soft copy of presentation to be shared by 10th December 2016]

Topic/ Title

Interrupting Cities: Unthinking Urban Water and Sanitation Resilience

Coverage of presentation

“Development comes from more brains having access to more knowledge and more eyeballs trying to look at the problems, trying to fix them[1].” Today there is both political will - Swacch Bharat and other urban Missions, and new science behind making cities inclusive and clean – to guarantee every home a tap and a toilet, to take all poo to the loo and sewer it for treatment, and make cities water resilient. Shaping a leading-edge urban watsan narrative is not without its challenges; especially if it must reach the poor. It requires us to pause and interrupt our now ways and unthink new solutions and approaches. This presentation is about key watsanchallengesin cities in provisioning of services to the urban poor: one, locality and space legitimacy(or lack of tenure), and the mindset behind un-invested slums, or delivery of shared services – common toilets, stand posts, open drains, etc.; two, hyper-engineeredcities - wired to build big, reach further andwider, as opposed to fitting together small, de-engineered, simplified solutions thatcould go down narrow, organic alleyways of slums; three, the disunity of urban design and implementation andno mutuality between the water and the sanitation sectors,or of the two with others - housing, livelihoods, health, education, etc.; and four, the legacy and history of practice that is complicated and must be simplified and the lack of ability to engage communitiesand produce social capital. Experiences from various cities (Indian and Asia Pacific region) of upgrading slumsand integrating them with the city shall be drawn upon to distill lessons and suggest ways forward.