- Spatial and Environmental Planning
Assessment of environmental implications of spatial planning with special reference to development of new towns, growth management of existing towns, siting of industries, special economic zones, entertainment complexes etc.
- Community-Based Natural Resource Management
Development of community-based planning and management models for natural resources especially forests, protected areas, watershed areas reconciling the objectives of biodiversity conservation and maintenance of livelihood of dependent communities.
- Ecological Engineering
Engineering of natural systems for human purposes to produce food, clean waste water, protect settlements from flooding, minimize the use of non-renewable resources, enhances recycling and reaches a long term functionality of the engineered system with a minimum of external maintenance. Integration of economy and ecology in order to design economically successful and sustainable systems.
- Infrastructure and Utilities Planning
Development of planning and management models for sustainable delivery of infrastructure and utilities especially traffic and transportation, drainage and sanitation, water supply and solid wastes to address the requirements of rapid urbanization and its consequences.
- Carrying Capacity Assessment for Urban Settlements
Assessment of carrying capacity of existing urban settlements especially metropolitan cities and municipal towns in terms of population and landuse. Correlation studies between carrying capacity, level of service of urban facilities/infrastructure, population density and quality of urban life.
- Human Settlement Planning for Ecologically Fragile Areas
Planning for growth management, formulation of norms and standards and design of policies/strategies for development of human settlements and infrastructure in vulnerable areas like hill regions, coastal zones, wetlands etc.
- Environmental Risk Mitigation for Low-Income Settlements
Research on the connection between tenure insecurity, livelihood options, level of urban amenities and environmental risks confronting the low income communities in slums and squatter settlements in metropolitan and municipal towns. Design of appropriate policies and strategies to improve tenure security; augmentation of urban amenities, livelihood strategies and quality of life of the communities living in these settlements.
- Vernacular Architecture and Sustainability
Analysis of place-work-folk connection of vernacular or regional architecture in determining sustainability and exploring the possibility of their application in architecture and development of human settlements.
- Planning for Heritage Conservation
Research on planning and management tools to coordinate growth and development of historic towns and their core areas with potential for cultural and built heritage to reconcile conservation and restoration of heritage with provision of modern infrastructure and amenities for the citizens.
- Climate Change and Human Settlements
Development of local climate change plans to address the global challenges yet focus on concrete local action. Research focuses on development of specific tools and practices to manage urban design and environmental infrastructure, in particular energy, transport, housing and water.
- Rehabilitative Planning for Climate Refugees
Assessment of damages caused to vulnerable communities in terms of livelihood, shelter, and basic amenities due to various natural disasters like cyclone, landslide, earthquake etc. and formulation of policies/strategies and planning criteria for their appropriate rehabilitation and sustenance.
- Natural Resource Extraction and Livelihood Sustainability of Local Communities
Temporarily finite natural resource extraction activity like mining operations results in environmental degradation and socio-economic disruption after its closure. To ensure sustainability of local economy even after mine closure, a sustainable mine closure plan is necessary. Research is undertaken to design policies and strategies through case study based approach for socio-economic rehabilitation of dependent communities and restoration of environmental parameters.
- Green Building Techniques
Development of green design techniques and tools that could improve the energy performance of buildings through reduction in use of energy, optimal use of water and other natural resources, development of environment friendly products and building designs and practices while meeting other essential performance standards. Analysis and comparative studies are also conducted on costs and benefits of green design techniques, products and energy systems and building design alternatives that can help to maintain the cost of housing within the affordability of the users of different socio-economic strata. Studies are also conducted on the energy performance of the buildings which uses traditional/ local materials and construction techniques.
- Institutional Reform and Capacity Building for Urban, Rural and Natural Resource Governance
Design of strategies for institutional reform and capacity building of various stakeholders associated with the implementation of alternative planning and management models, norms and standard for development and natural resource conserving tools and techniques connected with the above mentioned thrust