Your weekly soapbox for

Urban Sustainability

By Sathya Sankaran & Knerav Kodolikar

Featured Guests

OoruLabs | Talking Heads

Podcast Library

Coming soon

Episode 19: Should cities abandon Masterplans?

Talking Heads / 10 June 2023 / 01:05:39

In this episode of the OoruLabs podcast, Dr. Anjali Karol Mohan discusses the flaws in the urban planning process and the need for a bottom-up approach to fix the abysmal implementation rates. She explains how the current top-down approach by the Bangalore Development Authority is inadequate and how a comprehensive development plan is necessary. She emphasizes the importance of involving stakeholders and devolving planning to the municipal level. We dig deep into the organisational complexities and structural deficiencies that plagues our cities and planning. Listen to gain insights on how to better plan cities for the future.

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Up next

Episode 18: World Bicycle Day special

Talking Heads / 3 June 2023 / 00:00

Special podcast on the occassion of world bicycle day. Watch this space.

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Episode 17: Does size matter for cities?

Talking Heads / 27 May 2023 / 54:43

In this episode of the OoruLabs podcast, Alok Prasanna from the Vidhi Center for Legal Policy talks to Sathya Sankaran about the challenges of urban governance in India's megacities. They discuss the history of municipal governance, the need for effective ward committees, and the limitations of the current system. Prasanna highlights the importance of right-sizing governance and active intervention to keep pace with the scale of growth in India's cities, why the 74th amendment is too weak to get us better cities and reveals how an alternate constitution considered a better devolution but was abandoned for unknown reasons.

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Episode 16: The problem with parking

Talking Heads / 20 May 2023 / 01:01:51

Discover the root causes of parking problems in cities and how to solve them in this episode of the OoruLabs podcast. Hear from Dr. Paul Barter, an adjunct professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the host of the Reinventing parking podcast, as he discusses how the mindset towards parking has led to inefficiencies and explains the importance of managing on-street parking. Listen to learn how incentivizing motorists to look for off-street parking can help solve the issue.

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Episode 15: Will shared micro-mobility survive

Talking Heads / 13 May 2023 / 54:21

In this episode of the OoruLabs podcast, CEO of Yulu, Amit Gupta, talks about micromobility and its potential in India. He explains how it's not just about the first and last mile, but also about short distance travel in an efficient and sustainable manner. Join us as we dive deeper into the future of mobility and how micromobility can play a crucial role in it.

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Episode 14: Are we measuring mobility right?

Talking Heads / 6 May 2023 / 54:05

In this episode Roshan Toshniwal of Ola Mobility Institute talks about how metrics used to measure mobility are yet to be standardised. The challenges in data collection measurement and reporting of qualitative metrics are next to non existent. In the last week of April he released the Ease of Moving index he worked on at OMI.

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Episode 13: Does governance decentralisation work?

Talking Heads / 29 April 2023 / 59:30

This episode is with Srinivas Alavilli of WRI India and Janagrahaa, who talks about how ward level decentralised ways of working can solve issues. He calls attention to the dangers in the existing civil society framework and his experiences with ward committees in Bengaluru.

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Episode 12: Policy education and public problem solving

Talking Heads / 22 April 2023 / 59:43

In this podcast Dr Ashwin Mahesh talks to us about public problem solving and the approach one should take to begin the journey. He also throws light on challenges within the interplay of state market and society in providing effective solutions. He provides valuable inputs for people on how to begin their journey in problem solving.

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Episode 11: Suburban Rail sidelined?

Talking Heads / 16 April 2023 / 37:59

In this podcast is Sanjeev Dymannavar. He played an instrumental role in the Namma Railu campaign for more than 12 years to bring Suburban Rail to Bengaluru. He was also awarded the Namma Bengaluru citizen of the year for his persistence in this campaign.

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Episode 10: How smart are our cities?

Talking Heads / 7 April 2023 / 42:26

In this podcast Venugopal AV of ITDP India talks about the journey of working with Smart City Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the many smart cities under it. He demystifies the smart cities, their structure, the challenges in their functioning and the way forward.

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Episode 09: Is ride sharing in trouble?

Talking Heads / 1 April 2023 / 39:02

In this podcast we speak with Shahed Hashmi, a Public Policy and Corporate Affairs professional who has spent the past few years in fast-growing shared mobility and last mile delivery startups. He addresses the various challenges they face in providing shared mobility in cities.

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Episode 08: Is this the end of App Aggregators?

Talking Heads / 26 March 2023 / 56:51

In this podcast we speak with Satya Arikuthram an Independent consultant, about the resurgence of Autorickshaws powered by ONDC. He has worked on the Namma Yatri app rollout with Auto drivers in Bengaluru. He speaks about the potentials and benefits of this new model.

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Episode 07: Will Bicycle Sharing work in India?

Talking Heads / 18 March 2023 / 55:53

We speak with Arjit Soni, who runs a bootstrapped Public Bicycle Sharing System called MYBYK across 6 cities in India, on the potential of bicycle sharing. Why he has been able to survive when the big guns with money failed in the bicycle sharing. The advantages of his model and his challenges.

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Episode 06: Is there an e-bus revolution in India?

Talking Heads / 12 March 2023 / 54:42

We speak with Ravi Gadepalli, a transport consultant with the World Bank, ADB, UITP and IFC, who has worked in the national e-bus procurement, about the India e-bus story. The challenges in moving our bus fleet to electric and what it will take to make that happen. The national e-bus procurement strategy bought benefits of scale to kick start the e-bus revolution but will it sustain?

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Episode 01: First urban liveability themed cartoons in India?

Commuter Series / 5 March 2023 / 32:41

We speak with Shilpi Sahu a runner and bicycle commuter in Bengaluru about her passion for illustrating contemporary urban issues with her pencil and canvas. She tells us why she chose to illustrate what she saw during her commute and the plight of citizens as we run through some of our favourite pieces of work.

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Episode 05: Should you wear a bicycle helmet in the city?

Hot Takes / 26 February 2023 / 35:06

Knerav and Sathya trash it out, on the first Hot Takes episode, the pros and cons of wearing a bicycle helmet for commute. We frankly put out points that might be difficult and counter intutive for most people to accept.

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Episode 04: What the Dutch!

Talking Heads / 19 February 2023 / 51:31

We speak with Dirk De Jager, former Dy Mayor of various Amsterdam districts and consultant who has helped cities in Iran and Turkey put up bicycle lanes. He tells us how "We are not Amsterdam" is a bad excuse because "Amsterdam was also us". The steps to transform can be hard but extremely doable, but only if we did a few things now.

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Episode 03: Did we miss the bus?

Talking Heads / 12 February 2023 / 41:22

We speak with Shreya Gadepalli of Urbanworks Institute about the story of the bus in India. Why in the race to plan Metros we dont know some very startling facts about the bus. We discuss models of operation, wether the bus should be free, how parking plays a role etc.

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