The Collective for Spatial Alternatives (CSA) is an association of urban researchers, academics, professionals and community organizers involved in spatial and environmental research and planning. CSA is committed to finding alternatives to ‘slum’ clearance, redevelopment and urban renewal programs to support communities resisting and looking for ways to influence and author their own environments.
We are also committed to working together with other progressive groups and organizations to inform public policy, influence public opinion and elaborate and enable processes that assist urban residents to control and manage their own affairs.
We believe that planning has an important role in the distribution of resources and opportunity. It is indispensable as a means in the creation of an enabling environment for all people to exercise their collective agency, and to achieve their creative potential. We are therefore committed to the progressive tradition of planning, that strives towards the creation of an equal, free and sustainable society.
Members of CSA have been involved in community housing projects, ecological surveys and mapping, conservation and heritage management, local area plans, development control rules and built form codes, environmental management plans, urban policy and policy analysis, transport analysis and planning, slum up-gradation and development, among others.
Shweta Wagh is an Assistant Professor at Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies (KRVIA) and is involved with the Research and Design Cell at the school. As an urban researcher and activist her interests include research and advocacy in areas related to urban and environmental policy, heritage conservation, urban ecology and livelihoods, housing, urban commons and urban social movements. Some of her previous work involves framing conservation policy and guidelines, participatory area planning, and the up-gradation /self development of urban villages and informal settlements. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Hussain Indorewala teaches social and political theory, research methods and humanities at the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture (KRVIA) in Mumbai. He writes regularly on urban politics, physical planning, and sustainability and works with community groups in the city on issues of urban development, affordable housing, waste management, transport and food planning. Actively involved in the Research and Design Cell at the KRVIA, he also works with various community groups on issues of urban development in the city. [email@example.com]
Sagarika Suri is an Architect from CEPT and Urban Designer from MIT. Her undergraduate research focus was on flexibility in mass housing, and her Masters thesis was on decentralized urbanisation, with an emphasis on the potential of small cities. She has worked on research and environmental design projects since 2006 that include gender and space, low income housing solutions and informal live and work. She teaches at the Kamla Raheja Institute of Architecture (KRVIA) as visiting faculty, and is working with the KRVIA Design Cell as a consulting architect. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Malav Kanuga is a doctoral candidate in cultural anthropology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, trained in studies of space, culture, and power as well as uneven development in an international perspective by the late Neil Smith. He has been involved in various social and political currents associated with the global justice movement for over fifteen years, participating in anti-war, pro-commons, autonomy and direct democracy, Zapatismo, queer, and anti-racist politics. As an urban researcher and as an activist, his interests include issues of value, commons, grass roots people’s movements, and urban development. Malav Kanuga is editor of Common Notions, an independent publishing platform he founded in 2010 in Brooklyn, NY.
Purva Dewoolkar currently works for the Transforming M- Ward project, at TISS, as a programme officer. She has done her Master’s in Urban Design KRVIA, Mumbai. Her master’s thesis aimed to understand the marginalised landscapes, formed as a result of lopsided developmental processes. It even made an attempt to bridge the gap between the existing systems of marginalised areas and the overlaid systems of the ideal city, using urban design as a tool. Her research interests include participatory planning, place-making, production of built environment and contemporary globalisation. She also worked as a Mapping Research Consultant for the People, Places, and Infrastructure project.
Simpreet Singh is an activist based in Mumbai, presently working on a PhD at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) where he is developing people’s history of the city from a working class perspective through the collection of oral history narratives. Simpreet is currently affiliated with the Mumbai-based artist studio CAMP and steers the Right to the City Campaign-India.