The UFP curriculum draws from the IIHS curriculum co-created in partnership with the world’s leading universities including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University College London (UCL), the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the Federal University of the ABC Region, Sao Paulo (UFABC), in addition to nearly a hundred practitioners and scholars from across India.
The Fellowship consists of six key Learning Elements. These are detailed below.
The Commons represents the heart of the UFP. Taught across six modules stretching over sixteen weeks, the Commons is where Fellows understand the different approaches, systems, aspects and components that make up the urban. It is also where Fellows from different disciplinary backgrounds learn a common new vocabulary and set of conceptual perspectives to think about the urban.
There are six core modules:
- The Urban Economy
- Law, Governance and Policy
- Identity and Social Practice
- Urban Sustainability
- Built Environment and Planning
- Infrastructure and Services
The formulation of such a Commons is unique to IIHS’ curriculum thinking, and is considered cutting edge pedagogical practice in the world. Across the six modules, Fellows will see how different urban systems are inter-connected and learn to read and work across them to develop comprehensive perspectives and help enable effective problem solving.
A simple example will make this clear. To provide water to a low-income urban settlement, it is necessary to tackle the technical problem of designing and building a local piped water supply network in the absence of connectivity to bulk supply lines. It is equally important to understand and make informed decisions on how the water should be priced and regulated as well as prioritise equitable access to water connections given the reality of caste, class, cultural and gender politics. This will have to be done within what are often serious ecological constraints because of destruction of watersheds or pollution of groundwater.
It is in the Commons that Fellows learn to think and act across all of these different approaches to a single wicked problem. Together, the six modules equip Fellows to understand the inter-disciplinary dimensions of urban questions across a range of institutions (government, private, community) and scales (local, city and regional) to begin to formulate inter-sectoral, sustainable and effective responses.