Settlements & Transport: Books, Reports & Newsletters

PostedonApr. 27, 2014in Settlements and Transport

Resources Home

Resources for Settlements & Transport: Books, Reports & Newsletters


  1. Participatory Rural Habitat Processes: Emerging trends Vol. 1, D. Jain and Z. Niazi, Development Alternatives, New Delhi, 2005. Describes several case studies of community-based shelter and infrastructure development and are accessible to the poor and are sustainable. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)
  2. Cities and Canopies by Harini Nagendra and Seema Mundoli is a book about both the specific and the general aspects of trees are the most visible signs of nature in cities, fundamentally shaping their identities. Trees are storehouses of the complex origins and histories of city growth, coming as they do from different parts of the world, brought in by various local and colonial rulers. (checked on 6 May 2019)
  3. National Pedestrian Conference (28-29 Feb. 2020): Right to Walk booklet published by Parisar, Pune. It covered various aspects including a change in priority that would allow people, not vehicles, to reclaim the urban environment. (checked on 3 Dec. 2020)
  4. United Nations Documents ​Related to Housing and Land Rights in ​India is a compilation of communications and recommendations to India from UN treaty bodies, Special Procedures, and the Human Rights Council o​n​ issues of housing and land rights​ in the country​. Published by HLRN, it includes recent recommendations made to India during its Third Universal Periodic Review on 4 May 2017. (checked on 6 Jun. 2017)
  5. People’s Science Institute has various useful products, publications and videos. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)
  6. Understanding Rural Habitat: Lessons in Sustainability, M.C. Anand, V. Chopra and Z. Niazi, published by Basin-South Asia and Development Alternatives, New Delhi, describes several casestudies of sustainable housing and shelter, documented during a Lok Awaas Yatra in 2009-10. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)
  7. Permaculture Association has books on Permaculture, building, gardens, etc. that help in making living sustainable. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)
  8. A series of books and manuals have been published by Auroville Earth Institute for the dissemination of earth-based building technologies. (checked ossn 25 Jun. 2015)
  9. Reclaiming Public Services: How cities and citizens are turning back privatisation shows how several cities worldwide are rejecting privatisation of essential services. There have been 835 examples of (re)municipalisation of public services worldwide in recent years, some of them involving several cities. In total there have been more than 1600 cities in 45 countries involved in (re)municipalisation.  (Watch share the 1-minute video teaser: ;  For infographics: #PublicServices) (checked on 27 Jun. 2017)

  10. Books by Laurie Baker on different techniques of construction are available with the Laurie Baker Centre for Habitat Studies which is focused on cost effective environmentally sustainable architectural designs. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)
  11. Updated Handbook on Legal and Administrative Remedies for Environment Justice Practitioners (English and four Languages) published by CPR-Namati. The Handbook has been developed with the objective of providing those affected by environmental non-compliances with a ready guide to address such violations through appropriate legal means. For this purpose, it has been translated in four languages, including Hindi, Oriya, Gujarati and Kannada. It provides the reader with a ready reference list of remedial laws in cases of different types of non-compliances. It also provides case studies of how the Program’s para legal practitioners on the ground assisted affected communities in preparing robust legal evidence to seek justice. (checked on 23 Oct. 2017)
  12. The State of Cycle Rickshaws: Identity and Struggle of Cycle Rickshaws in National Capital Region edited by Rajendra Ravi. Pl. contact Rajendra Ravi for copies.
  13. Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities edited by Anitra Nelson and Francois. Degrowth values are based on sufficiency and conviviality, living a one planet lifestyle with low impact on the environment. One planet living means conserving and retrofitting buildings for sustainability, allowing for ‘alternative’ self- and group-builds, temporary use-rights to buildings vacant for long periods prior to re-development, and appropriate and affordable eco-housing. (checked on 8 Sep. 2018) Watch a video clip showing interview of the editors.
  14. From Suburbia to Superbia by Dan Chiras and Dave Wann. The aim of the book is to help residents of the suburbs of USA make a transition to sustainable, resilient, and healthy neighbourhoods for potential economic, environmental, and social benefits. (checked on 3 Dec. 2018)
  15. Set of books on cycles/cycle rickshaws in Hindi. Published by Institute for Democracy and Sustainability, Delhi. See the following list. Pl. contact Rajendra Ravi for copies. (checked on 1 Jan. 2016)
    इंस्टिट्यूट फॉर डेमोक्रेसी एंड सस्टेनेबिलिटी द्वारा प्रकाशित साइकिल और साइकिल रिक्शे के विषय में लिखी गई ७ किताबैं राजेन्द्र रवि से आप मंगवा सकते हैं। किताबों के शीर्षक :


    1. शहर, सड़कें और समाज: इंदौर की सडकों पर लोकतंत्र का स्वप्न – इस किताब में साइकिल रिक्शा एवं इससे जुड़े समुदायों की ख़ास-ख़ास विशेषताओं को रेखांकित करते हुए कुछ ख़ास सुझाव भी दिए गए हैं. इन अनुशंसाओं पर अमल करके कोई भी नगर अपनी वर्त्तमान दशा में गुणात्मक बदलाव ला सकता है.
    2. जिंदगी का पहिया: शहर में साइकिल रिक्शा ट्रॉली का योगदान और हकदारी – इस किताब में दिल्ली के साइकिल रिक्शा ट्रॉली के विभिन्न पहलुओं को ऐतिहासिक, कानूनी, पर्यावरणीय और सामाजिक-आर्थिक दृष्टी से जांचा-परखा गया है.
    3. साइकिल रिक्शे का साम्राज्य: राष्ट्रीय राजधानी परिक्षेत्र में साइकिल रिक्शे का अस्तित्व और संघर्ष – यह पुस्तक दिल्ली सहित इसके आस-पास के छोटे-बड़े कु २४ शहरों के रिक्शा चालकों, मालिको, मिस्त्रियों उत्पादकों और रिक्शा यूनियनों के अलावा रिक्शा सवारियों और रिक्शा तकनीक के अध्ययन पर आधारित है. इस अध्ययन से प्राप्त तथ्यों और आंकड़ों का विश्लेषण भी इसमें  है.
    4. साइकिल गाथा: शहर में साइकिल की दशा और दिशा – यह पुस्तक दिल्ली में कामगारों के बीच साइकिल के उपयोग को जानने-समझने के लिए किए गए एक अध्ययन का नतीजा है.
    5. आदर्शवाद के आयाम: शहरी परिवहन से शहर तक के चिंतन का सफर – इस पुस्तक में शामिल रचनाएं विकास की प्रचलित अवधारणा पर सवाल खड़ा करती हैं, और शहर और विकास के मुद्दे पर नई बहस की मांग करती हैं.
    6. शहरी जन-परिवहन: विकल्पहीन साधनों के समक्ष चुनौतियां – इस पुस्तक में पैदलयात्रा, साइकिल साइकिल रिक्शा, रिक्शा ट्रॉली, ऊंटगाड़ी, भैंसगाड़ी, बैलगाड़ी, तांगा, इत्यादि के विविध पक्षों पर विचार किया गया है, और शहर की परिवहन-व्यवस्था में इनके महत्व को उजागर करने के लिए इन पर लगाने वाले आरोपों का जवाब दिया गया है.
    7. बालिका शिक्षा: परिवहन और ज्ञान (झारखंड में परिवर्तन का औजार बनीं साइकिलें) – इस पुस्तक में झारखंड सरकार द्वारा विद्यालय जानेवाली बालिकाओं के बीच बांटी गई साइकिलों से उनके जीवन पर पड़नेवाले प्रभाव और बदलाव को लिपिबद्ध किया गया है.

Articles, Essays, & Reports:

  1. India’s first ‘green’ village adapts to life without tourists by Anne Pinto-Rodrigues. Read about their sustainable lifestyle. (checked on 22 Aug. 2020)
  2. Stay Grounded:13 Steps for a Just Transport System and for Rapidly Reducing Aviation a postition paper. (checked on 5 Sep. 2019)
  3. Madras Naturalists’ Society comes up with internship on nature by Prince Frederick. Offered by Madras Naturalists’ Society, Urban Wilderness Walks equips life science students to conduct nature walks in their neck of the woods as well as biodiversity-rich spaces and to help create a culture that fuels interest in citizen science. (checked on 10 Nov. 2021)
  4. खासगी वाहनकेंद्रित प्रकलपांना शह हवा हा सुजित पटवर्धन यांचा लेख शहरांतील वाहतूक कोंडी सोडवण्यासाठी सार्वजनिक वाहतूक व्यवस्थेचे महत्त्व पटवून देतो. (checked on 3 Sep. 2018) Piece in Marathi by Sujit Patwardhan about the need for an efficient public transport in cities to resolve traffic snarls.

  5. Unlocking the Potential for Transformative Climate Adaptation in Cities by , Eric Chu, Anna Brown, Kavya Michael and Shuaib Lwasa. This paper systematically reviews literature and case studies across the global north and south to assess the barriers and enablers to transformative climate adaptation, focusing on examples and evidence from a wide range of cities. (checked on 16 Oct. 2019)
  6. Assessment of low carbon transport for sustainable development in Bhutan: a general equilibrium approach by Anindya Bhattacharya et al conclude that lifestyle change which encourages people to use more and more public transport than using their own vehicles can bring better result in terms of GDP, carbon emissions and household income. (checked on 4 Apr. 2018)
  7. A press release signed by several Pune based organisations which is based on studies of the ban declared by the govt. of Maharashtra (Mar. 2018) on singe use disposables and ideas for how it could be made more effective. (checked on 16 Apr. 2018)
  8. Housing is a human right – Ashish Kothari discusses this critical issue with Anitra Nelson and Fracois Schneider, the editors of “Housing for Degrowth: Principles, Models, Challenges and Opportunities”, which looks for feasible alternatives to the current housing mess. (checked on 26 Jun. 2019)

  9. Suitability of alternative systems for urban mass transport for  Indian cities by Verma, Ashish and Dhinga, S.L., discusses the public transport requirements by the stages of growth of a city, and lists criteria for judging how a decision may be made about the mode to selecte for addition to a given city’s infrastructure. It presents in detail, the alternative systems of urban mass transit and their system characteristics, and tries to establish their suitability for various size and form of cities. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)
  10. Why France’s new ‘repairability index’ is a big deal by Maddie Stone. Manufacturers selling devices including smartphones and laptops must give their products a score, or “repairability index,” based on a range of criteria including how easy it is to take the product apart and the availability of spare parts and technical documents. The more some manufacturers choose to make products more repairable, it will motivate others. (checked on 27 Feb. 2021)
  11. Building a forest in the heart of Karachi – The Japanese method of mimicking nature, and growing forests in the heart of the city, is being picked up in Pakistan, India and elsewhere as a way to combat the rising heat that is strangling the residents of big cities. (checked on 25 Apr. 2018)
  12. Rethinking Housing in Emerging India: Some reflections on thought and practice by Jai Sen with Deepani Seth opens up the question of ‘dwelling’ to help us better understand the housing crisis. (checked on 14 Aug. 2019)
  13. Claiming Land Tenure Security for Nagpur’s Slum Residents (Transformative Cities) describes a people’s movement that has succeeded in securing land rights for residents in the slums of Nagpur city, a major step towards ensuring security of tenure for more than 3 million people. (checked on 7 Oct. 2019)
  14. Top-Down, Bottom-Up Urban Design by Elizabeth Greenspan – in the Quito Papers, authors Sennett, Sassen, and Burdett call for cities to engage with the informal, improvised structures and practices already on the ground. As Sennett put it, “what we need to do is think of the city as a more open system, which accumulates complexity, and in which those complexities have to be worked with, rather than simplified.” (checked on 9 Nov. 2016)

  15. ‘Bengaluru must save rivers of Karnataka’ At a convention on Sunday environmentalists demanded for better management of lakes from the government. A white paper was released on the enormous resources utilised by the city, to allow the rivers to flow into their natural basins, restrict industries that cause pollution, rejuvenate Bengaluru’s lake network, and bring out a sustainable water policy through public consultations. (checked on 11 Sep. 2019)
  16. The Right to the City, Informal Settlements and Mumbai by Lubna Anantakrishnan. The author explores the possibility of a defensible right for an illegal activity such as pavement or slum dwelling, and how the spirit of the ‘right to the city’ could be formalized in the context of illegal settlements. (checked on 13 Feb. 2019)
  17. Ek SHELTER – A roof for everyone by mHS City Lab – With a vision for providing technical construction assistance for informal settlements to those in need, these people believe in the power of self-building efforts. (checked on 15 Dec. 2015)
  18. Earthbag Diaries 1, 2, 3 and 4 – Requiring no special equipment and no special expertise, and very economical to boot, earthbagging is famous as an ‘idiot-proof’ technique, popular with first-and-only-time owner-builders the world over. Venetia Kotamraju, who moved from busy Bangalore to a farm on the Western Ghats, writes on her experiment with earthbagging. (checked on 16 Jun. 2017)
  19. Security doesn’t come with gates, it comes from relationships: BV Doshi. In an interview, pioneering architect BV Doshi speaks on how he makes connections between people and buildings and how ancient cities shape his work. (checked on 11 Oct. 2019)

  20. Social Sustainability through Neighbourhood design by Parul – See chapter 4.1 (pages 22 to 34) of the paper for a case study of ‘Aranya’ (near Indore, Madhya Pradesh) designed by architect Balkrishna Doshi (checked on 10 Oct. 2019)
  21. Low-cost housing needs dignity, says Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi. This architect has designed (among others) the Aranya low-cost housing project in Indore, that accommodates 80,000 people with houses and courtyards linked by a maze of pathways in the city. (checked on 9 Oct. 2019)

  22. In the world’s biggest city, the past offers lessons for surviving the future – 17th century Japan faced ecological collapse from deforestation, erosion and watershed damage. The new conservation practices introduced in response to this crisis brought about a sustainable interaction between nature and humans. (checked on 20 Jun. 2016)
  23. Built-Out Barcelona Makes Space for an Urban Forest by Feargus O’Sullivan describes the major green makeover being planned for this Spanish city to combat the heat island and to create a more welcoming place for humans and animals alike. (checked on 18 May 2017)

  24. Norway Has Perfected Plastic Recycling, by Charley Ross, on Norway’s plastic recycling scheme which is an incentivised deposit system for recyclable plastic, using ‘reverse vending machines’ as collection points for used plastic containers. These are then taken to specialised recycling areas (System has been in place since 1972). (checked on 5 Jun. 2018)

  25. The article Waterworld: can we learn to live with flooding? (Cambridge University) discusses the question ‘Can cities be designed and adapted to live more flexibly with water – to treat it as friend rather than foe?

’ (checked on 17 Jun. 2016)
  26. Recent Developments toward earthquake risk reduction in India by S. Arya (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)
  27. The social ideology of the motorcar by Andre Gorz.  ‘The more widespread fast vehicles are within a society, the more time—beyond a certain point—people will spend and lose on travel.’ This 1973 essay on how cars have taken over our cities remains as relevant as ever. (checked on 20 Aug. 2018)

  28. Stress on Investing in Public Transport to Keep Vehicular Pollution in Check – “There should be vast improvements in the city’s bus transport network, disincentivising use of private vehicles.”
    (Checked on 1 June 2021)

  29. Going with the Flow: Why the Urban Government and NGOs of Ahmedabad, Gujarat build Sewerage-Connected, Individual Toilets in Slums by Taylor Cranor (checked on 9 Oct. 2015)

  30. The Charter of the New Urbanism advocates the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the following principles: neighborhoods should be diverse in use and population; communities should be designed for the pedestrian as well as the car; cities and towns should be shaped by physically defined and universally accessible public spaces and community institutions; urban places should be framed by architecture and landscape design that celebrate local history, climate, ecology, and building practice. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)
  31. Reclaiming Public Services – how cities and citizens are turning back privatisation is a report that articulates the positive work being done by labour unions, citizens and local governments in many cities across the world in order to influence Governments to focus on maintaining, expanding and improving the access of all people to high quality, affordable public services. (checked on 8 Aug. 2017)
  32. A Laudable Victory over Encroachment: A Story of Surtakheda – A case study of Foundation for Ecological Security (FES)’s work in Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, on Common Land Management. (checked on 1 Nov. 2021)
  33. Cyclonomia: a participative and convivial bicycle repair workshop is celebrating its first birthday – an initiative located in Budapest. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)
  34. Germany Opens 62-Mile Bicycle Highway That’s Completely Car-Free – Germany has opened the first three-mile stretch of a bicycle highway that will eventually span over 62 miles, connecting 10 western cities. (checked on 1 Feb. 2016)
  35. कैसे होगी साफ देश की हवा – ललित मौर्य, किरण पांडेय और राजित सेन गुप्ता. शहरों का हाल ग्राफ के माध्यम से समझाते हैं. (checked on 14 Apr. 2022)
  36. Free public transport in Estonia – Expensive, but worth it. Free public transport on its own is not enough to stop people driving; higher parking fees and reduced space for cars also played a part in cutting city-centre traffic. (checked on 19 Nov. 2019)

  37. The secret behind why Japanese people never litter: 4 incredibly simple rules (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)
  38. National Centre for People’s Action in Disaster Preparedness and Centre for Ecocentric Development and People’s Action have publications on Earthquake safety, hazard resistant construction, etc. (checked on 1 Jan. 2016)
  39. Safe cycle priority road crossings by David Hembrow. Sometimes it’s possible to give cyclist priority over roads when cycle-paths and roads cross but this can only be safely achieved if certain conditions are met. It is not enough simply to put up a give-way (yield) sign and expect that drivers will obey it. (checked on 4 Jul. 2016)
  40. Food revolution: Growing futures on Buderim’s “eat street” by Jenna Cairney. Urban design, social inclusion, education, health and wellbeing, food security and the environment, are the main benefits and aims of this movement. (checked on 20 Mar. 2017)
  41. A Cultural Paradigm for Sustainable Development of Cities is a paper on Sustainable Development Model for Cities by Akshya Singhvi and Swati Sharma. The paper is aimed at aligning all our cities with a sustainably conscious development model. (checked on 16 Mar. 2016)
  42. अगं अगं म्हशी मला तूच नेशी – सुधीर करंदीकर यांचा गमतीदार लेख. (An amusing piece in Marathi by Sudhir Karandikar) (checked on 22 Mar. 2016)
  43. 50 amazing new public-space transformations captured by Google Street ViewA  Brazilian urban planning collective called Urb-i (shorthand for Urban Ideas) set out to show examples of people-friendly public spaces with an inspiring before-and-after gallery of Google Street View images revealing the most stunning transformations from around the world. (checked on 4 Jul. 2016)
  44. The article Streetfighting woman: inside the story of how cycling changed New York on the work of Janette Sadik-Khan who as transport commissioner of New York, helped to transform the metropolis with 400 miles of cycling routes and a bike share scheme. The book Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by Jeanette Sadik-Khan, a pioneer in the movement for safer, more livable streets, is an empowering road map for rethinking, reinvigorating, and redesigning our cities. (checked on 1 Nov. 2017)

  45. Position Paper on Steps for a Just Transport System and for Rapidly Reducing Aviation by Stay Grounded which is a network (consisting of people, communities and organisations from around the world, dealing with the multiple impacts of aviation). It works on a global level to reduce air traffic (because ‘flying is the fastest way to fry the planet’) and build a climate-just transport system. (checked on 29 Oct. 2020)
  46. Saving the NHS means forcing us to change the way we lead our lives by Nick Cohen presents a partial sketch of how Britain would have to change to ensure a healthier population. (checked on 30 Jan. 2018)

  47. Christiania: Eclectic anarchy in action! by Ashish Kothari. 40 years ago, some people created a ‘free town’ spread over 85 acres in Copenhagen (Denmark) with the principle that everyone has the freedom to live in the way they want as long as it does not impinge on others’ freedom – a society that moves away from ‘psychical and physical pollution’. (checked on 4 Sep. 2018) Watch an interview of Natasha, a long-time dweller of Christiania.

  48. Goodbye cars, hello colour: the great reinvention of city intersections – Across the world, urban intersections are being slowly transformed from grim, car-oriented hazards to bright and pedestrian-friendly spaces. (checked on 23 Sep. 2018)

  49. ‘For me, this is paradise’: life in the Spanish city that banned cars. In Pontevedra, the usual soundtrack of a Spanish city has been replaced by the tweeting of birds and the chatter of humans. (checked on 24 Sep. 2018)

  50. Defining A Utopian Present In Christiania, Copenhagen – interview of Natasha Verco. From an abandoned military base, Christiania, now owned collectively, morphed into a social experiment, a creative expression of dissent against the ravages of consumerism of the 1970s. (checked on 23 Sep. 2019)

  51. Oasis of anarchy by Shrishtee Bajpai and Ashish Kothari. Christiania, an “experiment” at self-governed community living spread over 85 acres near Copenhagen, is a thriving alternative to a capitalist or statist society, a reminder that another world is possible. (checked on 5 Dec. 2018) Slideshow


  1. Auroville Earth Institue Newsletters are regularly brought out by the Auroville Earth Institute, which promotes earthen architecture by bringing together the traditional knowledge with modern outlook. (checked on 25 Jun. 2015)
  2. Newsletter on Urban Planning, Road Safety, Air Quality and other issues relating to Health and Environment – published by Parisar (Pune). (checked on 12 Apr. 2021)

Story Tags:

%d bloggers like this: