On February 1, 2023, the University of Toronto partnered with Tata Trusts to launch the University of Toronto India Foundation (UTIF), with goals to create opportunities for students, faculty and entrepreneurs at U of T and universities across India; generate research on and solutions to urban, rural, environmental and health challenges; and to provide an Indian base for public outreach, alumni engagement and business development.

A key component of U of T’s engagement with research, entrepreneurship and academia in India is School of Cities India — a commitment by SofC to engage with students, faculty, municipalities, urban stakeholders, and policymakers in India on a host of multidisciplinary initiatives relevant to urban studies, urban data & training.

The vision of School of Cities India is to conduct multidisciplinary research, mobilize knowledge, and build capacity that helps the Indian continent become more sustainable and ensures that the Indian people thrive.

a map of india with school of cities logo

The approach is to create uniquely India-focused research, education and engagement programs that, through co-creation:

  • engage governments, NGOs, and communities to understand the critical problems facing urban and rural India
  • create new, interdisciplinary, Indo-centric approaches to solving these problems
  • demonstrate these approaches in urban and rural areas
  • create education and training programs to transfer knowledge to both academe and government
  • foster the creation of start-ups to deliver, support and maintain these solutions

Our programs so far include:

  1. A capstone project (IMUCP), where a team of 4th year undergraduate students from Indian universities and the University Toronto undertake an 8 month research and development project on a topic defined by a sponsor
  2. Graduate student fellowships, of 4-12 month duration, to work on a problem defined by a sponsor
  3. A catalyst program, where Toronto and Indian faculty members and students conduct joint research
  4. Major projects that address important problems facing Indian society and are:
    • Multidisciplinary
    • Involve India- and Toronto-based faculty and students
    • Involve Indian government, NGOs and community participation

Affiliated faculty

School of Cities India is a meeting place for faculty across the University of Toronto who conduct multidisciplinary research and mobilize knowledge on topics relevant to issues faced in urban and rural India.

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