Examining Urban Dwellers’ Perception of BuilEnvironmental Issues as Framework to Build Collective Consciousness in Indian Cities

  • Susan Maria Thomas School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal
Keywords: Built Environment, Awareness, Community knowledge, Environmental governance, accessible, holistic


The increase in urban population by 1% every year, especially along the fringes of cities has put pressure on the built and unbuilt environment in India. A study estimates 6,95,000 premature deaths in 2010 due to continued exposure to outdoor particulate matter and ozone pollution in Delhi, increasing pressure on governing bodies to provide ‘green’ solutions to address the poisonous air. The choice of where to live in cities is limited and the homogeneity of the built spaces dissolves practice of innovative options. A discussion on an active participation in knowing the built environment is increasing. Under the UNESCO Agenda 21, an active local participation in knowing the built environment is encouraged. A lack of awareness infiltrates the realms of the urban society who have very less ‘say’ to the decision making of these built spaces. What ensues is the repetition of an unsustainable design language. However, their choices are in turn influenced by design choices made by the urban dwelling public in cities. The paper explores which aspects of the built environment is understood by an urban dweller by means of a public survey. The gap in perception of built environment issues based on literature is identified and a critical need for knowledge dissemination is recognized. Various techniques that would facilitate an effective learning among the public is explored and the recognition of a platform that allows the same is found to be imperative in Indian cities.


Affairs, M. o. (2019). Handbook of Urban Statistics. New Delhi: Government of India.

Affairs, U. N. (2007). Final report on the expert group meeting on creating an inclusive society : practical strategies to promote social integration. Paris, France: Division of Social Policy and Development.

Alwin, D., & Krosnick, J. (1991). The Reliability of Survey Attitude Measurement. Sociological Methods and Research, 139-181.

Ayog, N., & UN. (2019). Localising SDGs- Early Lessons from India. New Delhi.

Bartle, D. P. (2005, 01 29). Community Empowerment Collective. Retrieved from What is a community: www.cec.vcn.bc.ca

Bhalla, P., & Bhattacharya, P. (2015). Urban Biodiversity and Green Spaces in Delhi: A Case study of new settlement and Lutyen's Delhi. Journal of Humanities and Ecology, 83-96.

Chhaya, H. D. (2004). Profession, Education and Regulatory Bodies in India: a theme paper towards a national dialogue. Architecture + Design India.

Council, A. S. (n.d.). www.astec.gov.in. Retrieved from http://www.astec.gov.in/ncsc/agb_5_tks.pdf

ENVIS Center on Human Settlement's. (2018). Retrieved from ENVIS Center on Human Settlement's: http://www.spaenvis.nic.in/index2.aspx?slid=2951&sublinkid=1832&langid=1&mid=4

Gadgil, M., & Guha, R. (1992). The Fissured Land. Oxford University Press.

Ganguly, S. (2016). Deliberating environmental policy in India: Participation and the role of advocacy.

Guillaud, & Houben. (1994). Earth Construction : a Comprehensive Guide. 13.

H. Buchanan, A., & Honey, B. (1994). Energy and carbon dioxide implications of building construction. Energy and Buildings, 205-217.

Halliday, S. (2008). Sustainable Construction. Butterworth Heinemann.

Hill, R., & Bowen, P. (1997). Sustainable construction : Principles and a framework for attainment. Construction Management Economy, 223-239.

India, F. S. (2017). Indian State of Forest Report. Government of India.

Kilbert, C. (2008). Sustainable Construction: Green Building Design and Delivery. NJ, USA: John Wiley and Sons.

Kumar, A., & Singh, D. (2017). Built Environmental Issues in India and an Approach to Mitigation. International Journal on Emerging Technologies.

Lee, Y. (2016). Design Participation Tactics: Redefining User Participation in Design. Design Research Society: International Conference. Lisbon.

Manjunath, N. (2015). Contemporary Bamboo Architecture in India and its Acceptability. 10th World Bamboo Congress, Korea 2015, (pp. 1-17).

McPherson, G., & Simpson, J. (1999). Carbon Dioxide Reduction through Urban Forestry: Guidelines for Professionl and Volunteer Tree Planters. California: Pacific Southwest Research Station.

Sagheb, Vafaeihosseini, & Ramancharla. (2011). The Role of Building Construction Materials on Global Warming Lessons for Architects. Hyderabad: Centre for Earthquake Engineering International Institute of Information Technology.

Sarr, D. A., & Puetmann, K. J. (2008). Forest management, restoration and designer ecosystems : Integrating strategies for a crowded planet. Ecoscience, 17-26.

Schulz, C. N. (1965). Intentions in Architecture. Cambridge: MIT press.

Services, U. D. (2006, February). Obesity and the Built Environment. Retrieved from http:// grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-ES-04-003.html

Swim, J., Stern, P., Doherty, T., Clayton, S., Reser, J. W., & Howard, G. (2011). Psychology's Contributions to Understanding and Addressing Global Cimate Change. American Psychologist, 24-250.

How to Cite
Thomas, S. (2020). Examining Urban Dwellers’ Perception of BuilEnvironmental Issues as Framework to Build Collective Consciousness in Indian Cities. Proceedings of the International Conference on Social Sciences, 6(1), 21-36. https://doi.org/10.17501/2357268X.2019.6103