Archive for November 2009

The Surat Builders’ Association: In a Fast Changing City, Varying Perspectives and Incomplete Information

As our arrival in Surat coincided with a regular meeting of the Surat Builders Association, we were able to discuss with several local developers Surat’s evolution and growth, their engagement with policymakers and their views on the appropriate ways for developers to get involved in the city’s […]

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Building Local Capacity, Creating South-South Linkages for Appropriate Development: The Case of SCET

We met with Professor Persi Engineer, Head of the Architecture Department, the Sarvajanik College of Engineering and Technology (SCET), to learn more about how academic and research institutions are engaging on the important issues driving the growth of Indian cities. This is especially important in the 2nd […]

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Business and the City: Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce Tells Us How Both Work Together for Inclusive, Sustainable Development

Kamlesh Yagnik and Chetan Shah, Chairman of the IT and Telecom and NGO Committees and past President, respectively, of the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce, Surat, were our gracious and tireless guides in Surat. Our friends from the Rockefeller Foundation’s ACCRN held Kamlesh and Chetan, as well […]

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Neel Shah: Working Through the Urban Housing Puzzle in India

Through the Monitor Inclusive Markets Affordable Housing team, I also connected with Neel Shah, formerly at Enterprise Community Investment as head of their New Markets Tax Credit Program. Neel was in India doing independent research on housing issues while working with Monitor on some of their projects. […]

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Micro Housing Finance Corporation (MHFC): Putting Together Developers, Buyers and Financing for Affordable Housing

My meeting with Micro Housing Finance Corporation (MHFC), one of Monitor Inclusive Market’s partners, focused on their successful business model for getting low cost and affordable housing built and homebuyers financed. MHFC is a young and growing housing finance company; one of their model innovations allows them […]

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The Magic of Making Missing Markets: Monitor Inclusive Markets Affordable Housing Team

The Monitor Inclusive Markets initiative in India with Ashish Karamchandani at the wheel has succeeded in bringing to the fore many of the challenges facing India’s economic progress today by proposing market responses to major issues through business model development, intensive on-the-ground guidance and market building activities. […]

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Cutting Edge City Watchdogs: Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI)

Meeting Omkar Gupta, Director at the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) in Mumbai, brought us to the cutting edge of independent research on urban development in Mumbai. Their annual publication, ‘Mumbai Reader’, is a collection of essays on leading ideas for change in development, urban design, preservation […]

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K Raheja’s Big Bet on Green

Shabbir Kanchwala, Executive, Project Coordination, Prashant A. Rajhans, and their employer K. Raheja, had been mentioned in several previous conversations about green buildings, specifically about greening existing buildings in India. K Raheja wouldn’t normally be associated with green, though, as one of India’s most successful commercial and […]

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P.K. Das and the Grass Roots Open Space Revolution

Our timing for meeting P.K.Das, an eminent architect and urban planner in Mumbai, couldn’t have been better – on the eve of the Bandra Festival, which celebrates the Bandra neighborhood and its reclaimed waterfront. Our meeting was well-timed because P.K.Das was one of the pioneers of the […]

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Developers Venturing Toward Urban Retrofits and Rehabs: Axis Spaces Pvt. Ltd.

Meeting with Santosh Awatramani and Jayesh Rukhana, Directors at Axis Spaces, opened our eyes to the world of small and mid-sized developers in Mumbai, a city where India’s largest industrialist and corporate families seem to call the shots. Not to mention that most development projects in the […]

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