India is witnessing rapid urbanisation - cities or hybrid forms of cities are developing in every part of the country. We are likely to house 7,000 to 8,000 cities and over 25,000 agglomerations which will try to behave city-like, but without requisite infrastructure and governance structures.

There is a dire need for capacity building in ULBs and in semi-urban areas. We need to create a space for technical excellence in urban planning and design. Communities need to voice their concerns and actively engage in the discussions to shape up their towns and cities. Hence, there is an immense relevance for a collective space to facilitate and democratise planning.

What is UCT?

The Urban Centre Trust* (UCT) creates a collective space – a node – for dialogue, to ideate and debate, to deliberate upon, to carry out research and to communicate on urban planning, urban design, urban conservation and sustainable urban development in the city between communities, stakeholders and various agencies. It will inform macro-level planning, broad guiding principles and strategic policy frameworks across the country.

It has been established as a not for profit, charitable organisation to build capacities and to create democratic platforms which can strive to achieve and demonstrate excellence in the planning and design of cities. The Trust will explore participatory models of planning to inform governance, policy frameworks and design to achieve holistic and sustainable form of urban development.

*Urban Centre Trust has been registered under the Charity Commissioner of Maharashtra as a Public Charitable Trust with 12A and 80g approvals under the Income Tax Act, 1961. Donations to the Trust will be tax exempt.

Role of UCT

UCT will conceptualise, set up and guide local urban centres across India to engage in the urbanization process of that region.

UCT will evaluate if there is a need, demand and space for an Urban Centre in a particular city or region, and accordingly will establish local urban centres in these areas. The objectives and structure of the local urban centre may be defined based on the specific requirements and context of the Region, however, each centre will follow the overarching principles and constitution as framed by UCT.

To that end, Urban Centre Mumbai is the first urban centre set up by UCT.

Who we are

Pankaj Joshi


Omkar Gupta


Urmi Kenia


Pooja Chichkar


Principles of UCT

UCT will ensure that its advocacy, practices and working will guarantee that human rights are exercised without discrimination of any kind, be it race, religion, caste, creed, colour, political, sex, language, national or social origin, property, birth or other status such as disability, age, marital and family status, sexual orientation and gender identity, health status, place of residence, economic and social situation.

Uphold the Constitution in letter and spirit.

The guiding principles towards achieving excellence in urban planning and design of cities are as follows:

Community-based participatory planning models;

Advocate appropriate, affordable and sustainable models in planning and design of cities;

Create inclusive, equitable and efficient cities;

Protect and conserve the tangible and intangible heritage;

Advocate transparency, efficiency and accountability in governance structures;

Promote excellence in post-professional training and capacity building;

Create an archive and a point of dissemination for research material, maps, monographs, surveys, seminal works, publications etc. in physical and digital formats, accessible to all.