UIC CUPPA and SPA Delhi join hands to promote better city design worldwide

India’s leading School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) Delhi and the University of Illinois Chicago will sign a Memo of Understanding Oct. 18. Leveraging matchless resources, including geographical locations at the heart of two great cities, the MOU positions these two exceptional public institutions to advance joint research and scholarly collaborations around some of the most pressing issues of an increasingly urbanized world.

Funded by the central government of India, SPA is recognized as an “institution of national importance” by the country’s parliament. SPA offers undergraduate programs in planning and architecture and more than 12 graduate programs. UIC’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, ranked fifth in the nation for its urban policy program by US News & World Report (2023), promotes just, resilient and livable communities. CUPPA conducts engaged and applied research advancing the larger public good via diverse fields like urban planning, public policy and city design.

Professors Sanjeev Vidyarthi, director of the City Design program in CUPPA, and Ashok Kumar, dean of academic affairs at SPA, are longtime collaborators. India’s recently launched National Education Policy encourages international exchange of ideas and knowledge, an idea that UIC takes seriously, Vidyarthi said.

“The MOU will pave the way for our two leading urban-centered research institutions specializing in city planning and design to work together in the face of an uncertain urban future worldwide starting with issues facing our two great cities and then moving on to future projects,” Vidyarthi said.

The Republic of India is world’s most populous democracy, home to over 1.3 billion people, with an estimated GDP of $3 trillion, the fifth highest in the world. India ranks second for international students pursuing higher education in the U.S., with more than 167,582 Indian students enrolling during the 2020-21 academic year. UIC has well-established, long-term scholarly ties with India and currently enrolls nearly 1700 students from the country.

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