About BUMP

BUMP was a joint initiative of the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Centre for Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Since January 2024, it is maintained by its PI, Dr. Vishal Mehta through his consulting firm, Leafbird Consulting LLC.

The Problem
Rapid population growth and economic activity in Indian cities have overwhelmed their ecological support base, leading to chronic shortages in electricity, water and road space while polluting the physical environment.We seek a systems understanding of problems that cuts across myriad aspects of the urban sustainability conundrum in order to inform better urban governance.

Framework and Goals
The key policy tool that we will develop is a deliberative modeling framework – the metabolism framework – that will treat cities as living entities, that use energy and resources to generate useful products and waste What are the material and energy inputs that keep the city running? What are the waste products of the city? A pedagogical computer model will be built for Bangalore city – India’s burgeoning software capital that serves as a poster-child of these problems – that will integrate diverse aspects of the urban environmental problem, and the diverse actors involved in crafting solutions. We bring together a strong, multidisciplinary team of ecological economists and environmental scientists from SEI and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM). Consumption data will be compared with social, economic and demographic information. Current and future development scenarios will be gauged against dimensions of economic efficiency, social equity and environmental sustainability.

We are using the following tools in implementing the framework:

  1. Treating cities as tightly coupled social ecological systems: using coupled human-natural models to truly understand the city at system level.
  2. Information geoportal: that transparently communicates and delivers data on the spatial distribution of resource use across the city.
  3. Social science tools: including household surveys and other citizen science initiatives to fill in severe data gaps.
  4. Online scenario explorers: provide an online interface to users for interacting with different aspects of the city to create and explore their own future scenarios.
  5. Participatory planning: exposing the establishment to formal methods for participatory planning under uncertain futures.

Support Us

2011-2012 research was funded by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India (through a COE-Grant awarded to the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (through programmatic support funds provided to the Stockholm Environment Institute).

2013-2014 support was provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (through programmatic support funds provided to the Stockholm Environment Institute).

2015-2017 support, to SEI, IIMB and IISc partners, has been provided by the Cities Alliance Catalytic Fund through a grant awarded to the Stockholm Environment Institute.

This multi-institution collaborative initiative is envisioned as a long-term program. Please contact us if you are interested in supporting it.