Urban Ecological Heritagescapes

INDIA, Kharagpur

Urban Ecological Heritagescapes through Interactive Governance: Theories and Applications

INDIA, Kharagpur

IIT Kharagpur, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Case studies include ecological infrastructures of two metropolitan cities from India: Kolkata (east) and Bengaluru (south)

The Urbanocene as a transformative scenario is prompting researchers to address urban-environmental intersections, critically interrogating the city–nature antithesis and ontologizing cities as ‘secondary natures’. The heritage approach to explore cities and the expansion of the notion to ‘heritagescapes’ (implying situated practices, cultural expressions, indigenous knowledge technologies, ecological spaces, etc.) is an enabler to advance sustainable urban development goals. It is the congruous conceptual frame to delve deep into urban palimpsests – the historical evolution of urban nature across arrays of dynamic interactions between bio-physical attributes, socio-cultural activities, and political decision-making.

This MOOC will address and explain ‘urban ecological heritagescapes’ as a theoretical traction to foster sustainable urbanization especially within the diverse and complex urban geographies of the global South (more specifically India). Here participants will engage with theories on natural-cultural heritage, grasp interdisciplinary methodological frameworks such as environmental history and political ecology, and learn about the recent initiatives of international and national agencies (such as ICOMOS, Ramsar, etc.) in this direction. Snippets from the field and voices of multiple actors (civil society, bureaucrats, engineers, communities, NGOs and GROs) from the wetlands of Kolkata and lakes of Bengaluru will empirically inform theoretical insights – foregrounding and activating the role of ‘interactive governance’ in co-managing ‘natural’ heritage and ensuring urban resilience from within.

SDG #11 Target:

MOOC Open Access

Hosting platform: SWAYAM NPTEL
Access the course here
Please note: the course will start on 19 Februari 2024 and will run for 4 weeks (with a regular rerun in following semesters). The course is free to enrol and learn from and will be openly accessible after the first run following the NPTEL links and via automated uploaded versions of the lectures hosted on youtube. If you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by the instructors in person at any of the designated exam centres.

Lead Partner

Dr. Assoc. Prof. Jenia Mukherjee

Humanities and Social Sciences


Aishik Bandopadhyay – Videography and Production. Project Fellow, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness, IIT Kharagpur

Raktima Ghosh – Narration and Content Support. PhD Fellow, IIT Kharagpur

Subhradeep Chatterjee – Technical Support and Instructional Design. PhD Fellow, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Kharagpur; Founder and curator of The Ephemeriad Project

Cooperation Partners

Disappearing Dialogues

East Kokata Wetland Management Authority

Azim Premzi University

Environment Support Group

EKW Cooperative Bheri – Baro Chaynavi Matsyabay Samity

EKW Government Bheri – Goltala, Nalban