Our Process

The multiple projects of NIUA are clubbed under six Theme Areas or Knowledge Domains, and the interventions are classified into five types of instruments.

NIUA works on a wide array of projects. It touches upon various aspects of urban development through these projects that support and augment the Institute’s vision of transforming the urban landscape of India. These research projects include topics such as spatial growth, demographic trends, development of toolkits and frameworks, municipal finance, climate change, water, sanitation, hygiene, preparing city master plans, conservation plans.

NIUA also conducts customized training programmes to support and assist Government of India’s flagship campaigns and policies.

The Institute works closely with various ministries including Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Jal Shakti Mantralaya, city-level urban local bodies, multilateral agencies such as Asian Development Bank, World Bank, bilateral agencies such as EU, GIZ, United States Agency for International Development, Department for International Development, Agence Française de Développement, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, etc., philanthropic organizations such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Shakti Foundation, and other national and international academic institutions.


  • Policy & Planning
  • Action Research & Advocacy
  • Technology, Data solutions & Innovations
  • Knowledge Management & Capacity Building
  • Partnerships


  • Urbanization and Economic Growth
  • Urban Governance and finance
  • Urban Infrastructure and Build Environment
  • Environment, Climate change and resilience
  • Social Development


  • Convergence for Impact
  • Capacities of Ecosystems
  • Knowledge Platform
  • Advocacy
  • Partnerships & Co-creation

Action Research & Advocacy

NIUA is committed that more opportunities and different modalities are established to acquire knowledge, develop skills and consolidate expertise, and are made available to individuals, practitioners, policy makers, urban managers and decision makers in order to enable them to formulate evidence-based policies, programmes and projects and take well-informed decisions.

Knowledge Management & Capacity Building

NIUA plays a catalytic role in linking data, information, and ideas with those in search of development solutions. To better encompass the experiences of successful practices, NIUA ensures that knowledge for development is readily available to citizens, civil society, opinion makers, researchers, and government policy makers at all levels.

Policy and Planning

NIUA is working towards ensuring that urban planning and design practice adequately responds to the inherent demographic and economic forces that underpin India’s urbanization. We work towards capturing universal principles from global practices, national and local experiences that support the development of diverse planning approaches adapted to scale. We accomplish this by lending help towards building capacity for informed, creative decisions; shape public policy; and implement the best community practices.

Technology, Data Solutions & Innovations

NIUA is at the forefront of innovation within the urban realm and aims at fostering initiatives and gathering knowledge about cities of tomorrow. The Institute is committed towards creating an ecosystem that can provide ample advice and information to urban stakeholders to become more innovative at delivering intelligent, inclusive and sustainable urban development at scale, especially in challenging contexts.


Working with global, national and local partners, stakeholders and organisations from across the globe, NIUA is committed to exchange of ideas, knowledge exchange through open data resource development and management, to contribute to a greater urban dialogue but also to increase the reach of its knowledge resources and spur innovation.

Urbanisation and Economic Growth

NIUA is committed to studying in depth the macro parameters that influence urban development and its spatial expansion, with a continual review and analysis of the linkages between urbanisation, migration, urban infrastructure and economic growth.

Urban Infrastructure and Build Environment

NIUA provides the knowledge and expertise towards overall strategic and sustainable planning and management of urban areas as well as sectoral focus on areas like heritage management, Transit-oriented Development, and inclusive urban planning and design responding to needs of all age groups, genders, abilities, and economic backgrounds. NIUA recognizes that well-managed built environments are a powerful tool to deliver high quality of life to all urban residents by leveraging the historical, ecological and cultural layers that make our cities so interesting.

Environment, Climate Change & Resilience

NIUA is working towards embedding resilience at the heart of the urban discourse. As an institute working on cities of tomorrow, it understands that urban policies and decisions taken today have a direct impact on a city’s resilience and capacity to respond to these challenges in the future. NIUA is working towards building resilience through the lenses of climate smart-cities, resilient infrastructure, urban river system management and capacity building on ecosystem services.

Urban Digital Governance Municipal finance

NIUA actively provides wide-ranging technical assistance to MoHUA, states and ULBs on municipal finance and governance, including pan- India mission-mode capacity building for reform adoption; evaluating municipal health and performance; and direct handholding of a city agency for building its capacities to respond effectively to changing needs and emerging trends.

Social Development

Social inclusion is crucial towards enabling the creation of a dynamic and adaptable framework for city planning and governance, as it promotes local democracy, participation and inclusion, transparency and accountability, ensuring sustainable urbanisation. In order to influence social development in urban India, NIUA has been working towards promoting and building knowledge through its various initiatives for inclusive cities.