Urban Menus



India is one of the 9 countries that are expected to grow the fastest by 2050[O1]. According to the UN World Population Prospects 2019[O2], India will overtake China as the most populous country in the world. Challenges are already evident in urban planning: Pune, a city in the Indian state of Maharashtra, is facing environmental degradation, including pressure on land and water resources[R1], social segregation, and limited institutional capacity, despite the fact that master plans are already being developed and considerable resources are being devoted to finding solutions. Hopes are pinned on new forms of urban planning cooperation between private and public authorities[R2].

In the course of research and preparations for pilot projects, the URBAN MENUS team was in close contact with local experts and those responsible for planning. The central information hub was and is the Dr. Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture for Women, affiliated to the University of Pune. With the support of Prof. Asmita Joshi, who teaches there, we were able to gain potential pilot project partners who can give us an insight into the problems in megacities – responsible in DSK Vishwa, Cummins College Road, Ranmala, Mandai Road / Laxmi Road (in different parts of Pune and the surrounding area).

questions that arose, among others, were:

voices from India

“Identifying new standards for Smart Cities through the means of URBAN MENUS: The core understanding here is that urban areas are living organisms: they are dynamic and ever-changing”.

Asmita Divekar

“There is a strong case for changing the way urban planners conceive the city. Their imagination needs to be stimulated and developed.”

A.G. Krishna Menon

It is important to “help residents to “think spatially” at a time of rapid urbanization.”

Transparent Chennai
(founded by Nithya Raman)

Further information on URBAN MENUS in India

An Interview with renowned Austrian-Argentine Architect-Designer Dr. Laura P. Spinadel at Designtrends


R1: Butsch, Carsten et al. (2017): Growing ‘Smart’? Urbanization Processes in the Pune Urban Agglomeration. In: Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2335.
(last access: 16.11.2020)

R2: Krishnamurthya, Rashmi | Mishrab, Rajeev | C.Desouzac, Kevin (2016): City profile: Pune, India. In: Cities. Volume 53, April 2016, Pages 98-109.
(last access: 16.11.2020)

R3: GlobalData (2019): More than two-thirds of world’s megacities will be located in Asia by 2025, says GlobalData.

R4: Krishna Menon, A. G. (1997): Imagining the Indian City. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 32, No. 46 (Nov. 15-21, 1997), pp. 2932-2936. S. 2934.
(last access: 16.11.2020)


O1: UN (2018): 68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, says UN.
(last access: 16.11.2020)

O2: UN (2019): UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs: World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights.
(last access: 16.11.2020)

O3: Transparent Chennai (founded by Nithya Raman)
(last access: 16.11.2020)



10 million residents

Your thoughts

Gertrude Mauerbauer says:

I’m sure that innovative planning approaches are very needed at large conglomarates like the growing indian megacities. Helpful tools like URBAN MENUS can be used to visualize and develop ideas for livable spaces by protecting nature and reducing land consumption on the one hand and getting better living conditions and a future for the pupil there on the other one.