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Harini Nagendra,  Bangalore

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  • Harini Nagendra

    Harini Nagendra

    Harini Nagendra is a Professor in the School of Development at Azim Premji University, and Asia Research Coordinator at the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change at Indiana University. Her research straddles two major, yet linked areas examining human-driven changes in ecosystems and biodiversity in forests and cities. Harini coordinates a program of urban ecology focusing on Bangalore and Delhi in India. She is interested in seeing how people can be positive and negative agents of change, bringing about ecosystem degradation in some contexts, and providing protection and restoration in others. Harini Nagendra received a Ph.D. in Ecological Sciences in 1998 from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. She has subsequently held positions at the University of California in San Diego, Indiana University, ETH Zurich, and ATREE Bangalore. Most recently, Harini was a Hubert H Humphrey Distinguished Visiting Professor at Macalester College in Saint Paul in 2013. She is a lead author for the IPCC Annual Report 5 – Working Group III, and a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the International Council for Science Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society, DIVERSITAS, and the Global Land Project. She received a 2013 Elinor Ostrom Senior Scholar Award for Collective Governance of the Commons for her diversity of work, innovation and use of different methodological approaches, and her active participation as a practitioner on the urban commons.

    July 26, 2015
    6. Community protests to save a polluted lake in Bangalore

    On a path of accelerated urbanization, India is going through substantial changes in its land cover and land use. In 1950, shortly after Indian independence, only 17 percent of the country’s population lived in cities. Today, India’s urban population stands at 33 percent. India contains three of the world’s ten largest cities—Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata—as … Continue reading Ecologically Smart Cities: Keeping Urban Ecosystems Centre Stage in India’s Smart Cities Programme

    July 2, 2015

    What happens to a city’s traditional foundations of service delivery when it expands boundaries and enhances its infrastructure? Does the city still concern itself with the maintenance of the supply structures that were once essential for the city? The case of the disappearing wells and polluted lakes in the south Indian megalopolis of Bengaluru gives … Continue reading Open Wells and Urban Resilience

    February 15, 2015
    Tiger hunting in India 1880’sFeature

    India is on a rapid path to urbanisation. While currently only 30% of India’s population lives in cities, this is changing rapidly. Plans have been recently announced to build 100 new “smart cities” across India, with an ambitious plan that includes the proposed investment of 1.2 billion US dollars in 2015. Many of these predicted … Continue reading The Wild Beast as the Other: Framing of Urban Wildlife in Popular Imagination

    May 28, 2014

    From my office, on the 9th floor of a tall building in an academic campus in Bangalore, I have a birds-eye view of the city’s peri-urban surroundings. To the west, I can see a 6-lane high-speed highway choked by traffic, full of people frenetically commuting from their homes in city to their jobs in the … Continue reading The Cooperative Governance of Urban Commons

    December 10, 2013
    Photograph 1: Farmers in a rural Indian village spread a millet crop on the road, so that urban motorists can drive their vehicles onto the dried ears, crushing them to make it easy to remove the loosened grains. Thus, rural areas take advantage of their connection with cities to reduce the manual labor involved with manual threshing of crops. Photo: Harini Nagendra

    Popular descriptions of urbanization these days often describe humanity as having entered a “new urban era“, with more people living in cities today than they do in rural areas. Urban areas have a large footprint of impact on the rural countryside, and the line between the urban and the rural is particularly challenging to make in … Continue reading The Village within the City—Rurality in the Era of Globalization

    June 26, 2013
    Photo: Harini Nagendra

    The Nature of Cities collective blog is now over a year old, during which time my friends, colleagues and co-authors have written many fascinating articles on various aspects of nature, and on people-nature interactions in urban environments. Today, in my blog, I’d like to step away from my previous two pieces—a discussion of tree diversity … Continue reading Equity in the Urban Commons

    February 6, 2013
    6_Heritage trees in Lal Bagh

    A predominantly rural country, India is rapidly urbanizing. Although only 30% of India’s population lives in cities now, this proportion is expected to increase to 50% in the next two decades. It is becoming increasingly important, therefore, to have a good understanding of the processes that shape ecology and conservation in Indian cities. Unfortunately, we … Continue reading Biodiversity and the City—Challenges for India

    October 7, 2012
    BangaloreKids WIDE

    There is no single path to sustainability. As Thomas Elmqvist wrote in a recent blog post, each city has its own challenges and opportunities for sustainable growth, and yet we all have much to learn from each other. Reading the past weeks of blogs on the Nature of Cities has been fascinating. Looking at the … Continue reading A Tale of Two Lakes: Collective Action in Cities