UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


From a garden city to a dead city?

Tracing the interconnections between healthy built environment, governance and urban nexus in Bengaluru, India.

A recent study undertaken by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science reveals that Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) has begun to metamorphose into a dead city. In a relatively short period from 2010 – 2014, the city has witnessed unprecedented urbanisation with 125 percent increase in built-up area, a decline in vegetation by 62 percent and water bodies by 85 percent.

A lack of a proper policy for land and water use and state capture by private developers appear to have been responsible for Bengaluru’s degeneration.

In response to an identified need for regeneration, our research proposes to undertake a pilot study in Bengaluru to test the feasibility of an innovative resilience framework that we have developed, namely, the resources nexus-prosperity-transition management framework.

Besides drawing attention to the interlinkages among different resources, the framework engages with resource inequality and hidden power linkages. Ideas derived from transition management serve as a catalyst for enabling transformational change through an engagement with local partners in Bengaluru, the development of shared goals and conducting experiments to test the practicality of these goals.

This project attempts to bridge this gap by developing a critical academic project that brings together diverse disciplinary perspectives to explore the interconnections between urban nexus, governance and healthy built environment.

This interdisciplinary research will build collaboration between experts at the UCL’s Institute for Sustainable Resources and the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy; academics at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras; and the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Bangalore Development Authority.

The project will develop interdisciplinary research methods for this study that cut across the social/natural sciences binary.


  1. Can the resources nexus-prosperity-transition management framework support in providing pathways for Bengaluru’s regeneration? 
  2. What kind of an institutional framework should be developed in order to respond to resources nexus dynamics?

Project leader: Amrita Lamba

Funder: The Bartlett Synergy Grant 

Contact: a.lamba@ucl.ac.uk 

global south