IIT-H Researcher Leads Study on Air Pollution in Indian Cities 

The study aims to characterise distinctive styles of environmental health and risk governance at the city scale.

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Health News
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The study, known as the “6+ Cities Study” aims to characterise distinctive styles of environmental health and risk governance at the city scale.
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Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Hyderabad Tuesday said one of its senior faculty is coordinating research in five cities in India as part of a global study on air pollution.

Aalok Khandekar, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology, Department of Liberal Arts, IIT Hyderabad, is coordinating the research in India covering the cities of Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune, a release from the institute said.

The "Air Pollution Governance Across Cities Study" is aimed at characterising how coordination between 'understanding' and 'governing air pollution is happening in different cities.

Originally, there were six cities in the study with research groups in Beijing, Bengaluru, Houston, Philadelphia, New York City, and Albany, funded by the US National Science Foundation, a US Government agency, the release said.

The study has now been expanded to include four more Indian cities, besides Los Angeles.

Research in India is being funded by the Azim Premji Foundation, it said.

Research groups based in each city as well as researchers focused on themes across cities are coordinated out of the University of California Irvine.

Speaking on the study, Khandekar said,

We hope to characterise a city’s air pollution governance style as an effect of the ways different communities involved in the city (local and beyond, including city, state and national government actors, residents, environmental activists, scientists in different disciplines) come together, prioritising some things while discounting others. Our hope is that comparative perspective on air pollution governance styles will advance both fundamental understanding of environmental governance and practical work on the ground.

Understanding and addressing air pollution requires coordination among different scientific fields, among different government agencies and scales of government, and between educational, research and government domains, it said adding the research team works to characterise how such coordination happens (or not) starting at the city scale.

The study, known as the "6+ Cities Study" aims to characterise distinctive styles of environmental health and risk governance at the city scale, it said.

Through interviews, observation of public events, and analysis of media, government, non-governmental organisations and scientific reports, the study team is examining different stakeholder roles and perspectives, links between policy domains (especially environment, transportation, health, and education) and links across scale (urban, state, national, and international), the release added.

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