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Agra is one of the favourite tourist destinations for Indians and foreigners alike. In 2016-17, over six million tourists visited the city. Despite attracting millions of tourists every year and having a population of over 15 lakh, Agra like any other city in India has its own set of problems. Congestion, pollution, inadequate solid waste management system, the poor state of Yamuna River and deficits in delivery of civic services in low-income colonies and slums are some of the harsh realities of the city. Apart from flagship schemes of Government of India and Uttar Pradesh government for improving the livability of the city and changing its image, Agra has a long way to go and the city needs to accelerate its development to cover the long distance in a short-time.

All India Institute of Local Self-Government (AIILSG) proposes to organize a one-day round table conference Urban Dialogues-Amazing Agra to discuss how the city of Agra can address urban problems of today without disturbing the city’s heritage and cultural ethos.
The conference will also address the problems emanating from population and pollution rise and other urbanization challenges. The conference will offer delegates the opportunity to discuss the integration of the heritage, arts and culture in urban planning strategies. Our experts will also discuss in detail what the soul of the city is and how its historic connection to the past can pave the way for a brighter future. Focusing on contribution of Agra’s heritage, cultural and creative offerings, both built and intangible heritage, to place-making, the sessions during the conference will deliberate upon the viability of integrating heritage and culture in the planning and design of our cities and how governments, business, non-government organisations and community groups can work together to move culture up the urban planning agenda.
Urban Dialogues, a roundtable series, is an initiative by the All India Institute of Local Self-Government (AIILSG). The aim is to set the ext-gen urban agenda. This will bring together academicians, policymakers, urban planners, business leaders, representatives of civil society organisations and other intelligentsia from urban sector to find sustainable solutions for the problems cities face today.

Each conference focuses on a specific urban issue. We will submit a report, based on expert comments and outcomes of the conference, to the Urban Development Ministry, state governments, municipal corporations and media. Urban Dialogues will see a conglomeration of
policymakers, urban planners, city managers, representatives of civil society, builders and financial institutions. Urban Update magazine will publish a special edition on the topics discussed in Urban Dialogues series.

The outcome of the sessions intends to anchor a public discourse on creating aspirational city life for all citizenship. Our earlier Urban Dialogues were well patronized by the central government, state and local governments, and national and international research organizations such as the United Nations, United Cities and Local Governments-Asia Pacific (UCLG-ASPAC), United States Green Building Council (USGBC), School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) and National Institute of Urban Affairs. Earlier editions of Urban Dialogues addressed issues such as Housing for All, Energy for All, Inclusive Urban Design, Redevelopment of Mumbai, & Better Banaras.
All India Institute of Local Self-Government has been the steadfast friend, philosopher and guide to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). For over nine decades, it has contributed to the principles and practice of urban governance, education, research and capacity building. It has designed and developed a vast array of training literature and courses and trained over 1.5 million stakeholders in diverse area of urban governance and services delivery. AIILSG has also ventured into rural and tribal capacity building and handholding of rural institutions of self-governance. AIILSG also organises seminars and conferences in India and other countries to enhance the understanding of municipal officials on emerging urban challenges. 

AIILSG has representations in national and international bodies of repute. Mr Ranjit Chavan, President, AIILSG, is Executive Member of CITYNET, Japan. He is also Co-President, UCLG-ASPAC, Indonesia and Vice President, Indian Institute of Public Health Engineers (India).

Empower local bodies to deliver to each citizen their rights to health, education, safety, participation and development through excellent governance and service delivery. 

Promote AIILSG as a premier Institute which excels in supporting and enhancing local governance by handholding local bodies in achieving excellence in local service delivery. Undertake quality research and projects for the organizations and concerned stakeholders and conduct seminars and conferences to enable this. 

Our Objectives
Among the prominent objectives of the Institute is to advance the knowledge of the principles and practices of local governance among urban local bodies, their officials and elected members. Our mandate is to strengthen and improve local government institutions through capacity building by organising training courses and programmes.

Tentative Agenda




Seeing growth and development with heritage lens

»»Agra’s Past for the Future
»»Policy and Governance Perspective: Harnessing the benefits of growth and development without pushing out cultural development, heritage preservation and creativity
»»Urban heritage and local community: Their role and benefits
»» Role of Agra Municipal Corporation in Promotion of Local Art, Heritage and Culture
»» Adaptive reuse of heritage sites: Is it the way forward?


Smart City Development

»» Agra: Urgent Developmental Requirements
»» Smart City Development and Vision of the City
»» River Yamuna and the development imperatives
»» Towards a more tourist-friendly city: Learning from other cities
»» Urban Economic Revival



»» Right mix of traditional and modern wisdom, infrastructure, and local expertise for building sustainable and prosperous Agra
»» Technological advancements and other solutions available for smartening service delivery mechanism
»» Role of different stakeholders such as hoteliers, street vendors, and community groups in the inclusive development model
»» Conclusion

Previous Urban Dialogues

Our Partners

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