Bhubaneswar: Second Annual Research on Cities Summit (ARCS 2.0) on “Knowledge Systems for Livable Settlements” was held on February 16-17, 2018 at Xavier University Bhubaneswar. This Annual Conference by the Xavier Center for Urban Management and Governance, was meant for the sharing of research and experience on planning and management of human settlements and urbanization in India. Current understandings of the conditions of cities, towns, and peripheries, and their functioning and development processes are very limited and partial, presenting a key challenge for effective intervention.
The conference comprised of distinguished personalities around India such as Dr. Sameer Sharma (Additional Secretary, MoUHA, GoI), Shri Partha Mukhopadhyay (CPR, New Delhi), Shri Shrinivas Kollagi (EY, New Delhi), Mr. Prashant Kumar Hota (Head- Corporate Communication, JSPL), Mr Sanjeev Gupta (CMD, IPIOL, Govt of Odisha), Dr T.R.Raghunandan (Arghyam, Bangalore), Mr Hitesh Vaidya (UN-Habitat, India), Dr Sudhir Krishna (Former Secretary, MOUD, GoI), Prof Dinesh Mehta (CEPT, Ahmedabad), Prof. Ashok Kumar (School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi), Prof. Meera Mehta (CEPT, Ahmedabad) and Prof R.K Panda (Dean, School of Infrastructure, IIT Bhubaneswar).
Day 1 of the conference was inaugurated by opening speeches from the Dean of XSRM, Prof. Kajri Mishra and the Vice Chancellor of XUB, Fr. Paul Fernandes. Dr. Sameer Sharma followed the proceedings with his keynote speech where he talked about the Smart city mission for Bhubaneswar and ended his speech by quoting “Smart city mission is a paradigm to have a better urban future and make urban areas habitable”.
The inauguration was followed by panel discussions on the themes, “Urban Governance & Development Trajectories” and “CSR, and Private Sector in Urban Development” comprising of speakers such as Shri Partha Mukhopadhyay and Prof. Chetan Vaidya. There was also a special lecture by Prof. Arun Kumar on the topic, “Knowledge needs for Livable Cities”. Post Refreshments, more sessions continued on themes including “Urban Services and Infrastructure” and “Urban Mobility”.
The second day started off with another panel discussion on “Knowledge Systems for Livable Cities”, spearheaded by Prof. Annapurna Shaw, Dr Sudhir Krishna, Prof Dinesh Mehta, Shri Shrinivas Kowligi and Shri Hitesh Vaidya. After Lunch, two more sessions on “Urban Services and Infrastructure” and “Urban Mobility” were conducted by Prof. Meera Mehta and Dr. R.K Panda respectively.
The 2-day conference ended with a valedictory Session where the winners of “Unnovation”, a series of competitions conducted as a precursor to ARCS 2.0, were awarded. The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks from Prof. Tathagata Chatterji and Prof. Mayank Dubey.