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EVS Colloquium on 31 March 2021 by Harini Nagendra , Professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University

March 31 @ 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

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EVS Talk by Harini Nagendra

Thinking Ecologically about Cities: A Global South Perspective

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Across the global South, cities are on a breakneck path to growth. Cities are engines of prosperity and promise, but also concentrations of pollution, stress, and disease. Episodes of flood, drought, heat waves, and smog tell us why we must begin to think ecologically about a new global urban future, which will be driven by cities of the global South, amongst which Indian cities will play a prominent role. I draw on our research over the past 15 years, on Bengaluru and other cities in India, to discuss how human populations have transformed the original ecology of the city beyond recognition. We cannot go back to the ecology of the past, but must instead look at the critical role that ecology plays in the social-ecological systems of contemporary and future cities, to collectively reimagine and redesign a better urban future.


Harini Nagendra is an ecologist and Professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University. Her research examines conservation in forests and cities of South Asia from the perspective of both landscape ecology and social justice. For her interdisciplinary research and practice, she has received a number of awards including the 2009 Cozzarelli Prize from the US National Academy of Sciences, the 2013 Elinor Ostrom Senior Scholar award, and the 2017 Clarivate Web of Science award. Her publications include the books “Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present and Future” and “Cities and Canopies: The Tree Book of Indian Cities” as well as recent papers in Nature, Nature Sustainability, and Science.

Harini Nagendra writes a monthly column ‘The Green Goblin’ in the Deccan Herald, and a fortnightly column ‘Nature in the City’ in Hindustan Times Bangalore. She is a well known public speaker and writer on issues of urban sustainability in India. Professor Nagendra has been a Lead Author on the IPCC AR5 reports, and a past Science Committee member of DIVERSITAS and the Global Land Programme. She engages with international science and policy through her involvement as a Steering Committee member of the Future Earth Programme for Ecosystem Change and Society, and the Future Earth Urban Knowledge Advisory Network.


March 31
1:30 pm - 2:45 pm


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Environmental Studies Department