The UFP is scholarship-based, nine-month, full-time, residential, interdisciplinary and based at the IIHS City Campus in Bengaluru. It seeks to combine classroom teaching, site-based applied learning, work in live projects, and external internships to introduce Fellows to diverse forms of urban practice. The Programme is open to recent graduates and young professionals from varied educational backgrounds or practice domains. 

Through the UFP, Fellows will:

  • Understand issues of urbanisation in India and the Global South from multiple disciplinary perspectives.
  • Learn from practice as young professionals seeking to enter the urban sector.
  • Develop skills necessary to analyse, understand, and identify key urban issues in India.
  • Build a foundation to design interdisciplinary urban interventions.
  • Network with diverse global, national, and local thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and change makers.
  • Learn from a diverse and experienced faculty who bring together theory and practice.
Learn About UFP

Our Motivation: The Urban Transition

India is emerging as the site of perhaps the largest urban transition that will unfold over the next two to three decades, which is projected to add 300 million urban residents by 2050. This transition will bring not just opportunities through economic development and improved employment but also challenges, as cities will continue to deal with inequality, deprivation and environmental degradation.

Converting these challenges into opportunities will need collective and coordinated efforts by governments, private enterprises, civil society, communities, and citizens. The Government of India has begun to acknowledge the enormity of this challenge through the launch of programmes such as JnNURM and RAY in the early 2000s and more recently with AMRUT, the Smart Cities Mission, PMAY, HRIDAY and Swachh Bharat. In parallel, there has also been a significant increase in private sector activity in the infrastructure, housing and real estate sectors over the last decade and a half. This is taking place alongside an increase in household, informal sector enterprise, civil society participation, and climate change, that is transforming our cities, towns and villages at an increasing pace.

India’s emerging urban transition needs a new generation of urban practitioners with adequate knowledge, reflective thinking, appropriate skills, new perspectives, and the right values. Current education takes place in disciplinary silos like planning, design, technology, management, economics, humanities, legal and urban studies education, and is unable to creatively respond to these challenges. More than technology or capital, the real and urgent obstacle to transforming urban India lies in the inability of our education system to produce urban practitioners who can enable the integration, management and coordination of these disparate processes occurring in today’s urban and urbanising settlements.

The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) is a national education institution that has undertaken to develop and teach original, innovative, and reflective knowledge about our urban transition that will integrate methods and approaches across disciplinary and practice traditions. Through the UFP, IIHS seeks to equip, nurture and prepare a new generation of graduates and young professionals committed to the common good, who can become change-makers, entrepreneurs and thought leaders to address India’s complex urban challenges.