Welcome To

Centre for Urban Ecology and Sustainability

Our Mission

The Centre for Urban Ecology and Sustainability (CUES) aims to address urban ecological issues with a view to offering solutions, and develop a skilled cohort of professionals who actively engage in, and find solutions for urban ecological challenges. The Centre serves as a focal point where researchers, government & non-governmental, citizens and private agencies converge and participate in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of sustainable environmental projects in cities. CUES collaborates actively with other schools and centres in AUD like the School of Human Ecology, School of Development Studies (SDS), School of Design (SDS), Centre for Community Knowledge (CCK) on areas of common interests. The Centre envisages to build linkages with teaching and research programmes within the University to provide students with hands-on learning, field practicum and engaged scholarship opportunities. The Centre hosts interactions and dialogues between Universities and other organizations in the city across thematics in urban sustainability.

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Our Blogs

  • Early Birders get to Learn!: Birding at Dheerpur Wetlands with the CUES Team

    Early Birders get to Learn!: Birding at Dheerpur Wetlands with the CUES Team

    That eagle you spotted in Delhi is probably a Black kite, and that parrot might be a Parakeet! Welcome to the world of birdwatching with the first semester students of MAED, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, who visited the Dheerpur Wetlands and learnt about restoration ecology, urban wetlands, and the surprising biodiversity of cities.

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  • Cities – Far Away from Nature?

    Cities – Far Away from Nature?

    Global populations continue to urbanise at an unprecedented rate, with cities expanding into huge concentrations of concrete, steel, and glass, raising sustainability concerns. I’ve attempted to explore this issue from the standpoint of urban ecology, an interdisciplinary branch of study that looks at the complex interactions between the built environment of cities and non-human species.

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  • Beautiful Dragonflies of the Not-so-Beautiful City

    Beautiful Dragonflies of the Not-so-Beautiful City

    This article investigates dragonflies in the city. While they are specialists in flight, very little is known about their pre-metamorphosis aquatic life. Since urban areas create niches where multi-habitat creatures like dragonflies can flourish, should cities be chastised as unwise, unsustainable endeavours or can they be reimagined as housing nature in changed forms?

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  • Gatekeeping “Access”: Exploring Caveats to Public Greenspace Use for the Urban Poor

    Gatekeeping “Access”: Exploring Caveats to Public Greenspace Use for the Urban Poor

    Planning processes institutionalise the will of the politically powerful, shaping cities where equal access to urban public greenspace is several steps too far for the urban poor, quite literally and quietly figuratively. Environmental justice scholarship needs to integrate quantitative and qualitative measurements of access to understand what influences greenspace use along socio-economic indicators.

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  • A Morning of Birding: Inspiring next generation of nature enthusiasts

    A Morning of Birding: Inspiring next generation of nature enthusiasts

    Gunjana Boruah & Nirjesh Gautam* Millions of people worldwide engage in the popular hobby of birdwatching, commonly referred to as birding. It is an engaging hobby that enables people to get in touch with nature, appreciate it, and explore the complex world of avian diversity and behaviour.  Join us as we share our memorable birding…

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  • Birding in the Wetlands

    Birding in the Wetlands

    Merlyn Antony “Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all – – Emily Dickinson As the birds’ chirps flooded the morning sky, the students of MAED (M.A. in Environment and Development) along with PhD scholars at…

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  • Bats: The Night Workers

    Bats: The Night Workers

    Shiwani As the sun goes down, the nightwalker, or rather, I would say, night fliers come out, one can see colonies of bats flying in the sky and sometimes wandering near a tree or plant. On one such night, as I stood on the balcony, sipping a cup of tea, I observed some bats visiting…

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  • Out of Place and Out of Space – Translocation and the Urban Monkey

    Out of Place and Out of Space – Translocation and the Urban Monkey

    Aditi Dhillon This year, in June 2021, the Karnataka High Court passed a judgement according to which monkeys entering residential spaces were to be translocated and moved to their natural habitat by the state. This judgement, however, was not one of its kind. It was, in fact, along the lines of a judgement passed by…

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  • Compensatory Afforestation – Where is the Land?

    Compensatory Afforestation – Where is the Land?

    Divya Mehra It is well established that India is an ‘under-construction’ country. As a developing economy, the country invests a significant amount of its budget in new development projects that are being proposed, planned, and implemented at the regional or local level. Very often the land for development projects is taken from the forest area…

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  • Disciplining Non-human Bodies in the City

    Disciplining Non-human Bodies in the City

    Aditi Dhillon & Ajay Immanuel Gonji In his seminal essay Why Look at Animals? John Berger (2009) talks about how, in the past, people kept domestic animals because they were useful to them – as guard dogs, hunting dogs, mice-killing cats, and so on. Later, people began to keep animals regardless of their usefulness, a…

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CUES Restoration Project Site: Dheerpur Wetland, Delhi


Restoration of Dheerpur Wetlands: A collaboration of CUES, AUD & DDA

The marshes and wetlands of the Yamuna region once extended from Azadpur to the present-day banks of the river. This region has been heavily drained and undergone an extensive land-use change during the last fifty years. Remnants of once widespread historical marshes can now only be seen near Jahangirpuri, Dheerpur and Burari. Since wetlands are increasingly appreciated globally and nationally for their socio-ecological functions and provisions, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) decided to restore the wetlands of Dheerpur.

Fragments of these wetlands have been filled up, dyked, dried and carved out for seasonal agriculture. Hence, it may not be sufficient to only stop their further degradation of wetlands of Dheerpur but would also be necessary to restore them for posterity. With this view, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has entered into a Management Agreement with Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD), in which the land ownership remains with DDA, and AUD would restore the wetlands. DDA would assist in civil work, funding research and restoration work, whereas AUD is entrusted with providing technical guidance for restoration and maintenance of the wetlands.

The Management Agreement for Dheerpur Wetland Project between AUD and DDA was signed on 17 February 2015. Following which the project was formally inaugurated on 19th June 2015.

Click here to read more on the Dheerpur Wetland Restoration


Dheerpur Wetland Project Site, Gandhi Vihar, Gopalpur Village,

Delhi 110009

Visiting hours:

10am – 5pm

Project Initiated:

Delhi, June 2015

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