Our Team Members

Every urban dweller by virtue of a deep association with the city, feels an inherent need to contribute towards bettering it but being a single entity, lacks the resources to do so in a meaningful way. CCU provides a platform where individuals can come together and engage in sharing, whetting, integrating and implementing ideas aimed at making our cities better places. The fuel running CCU is the time and expertise of our pro-bono team members and advisors and our Volunteers. We salute everybody’s efforts.

CCU Core Team

Kanak Tiwari is the Founder-Director of CCU. She loves cities and the hum-drum, diversity and complexity associated with urban living. She is an Urban Designer from Delhi with over 12 years’ experience of working on a variety of issues in the urban sector. She is a commonwealth scholar and has an M.Phil in Development Studies from University of Cambridge, UK. She also loves teaching and is a visiting faculty member at School of Planning and Architecture and Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi. She likes to explore different places in cities, sometimes alone with her camera and sometimes with her family and friends, especially her four year old daughter who gives a fresh perspective to everything and everywhere. Her research interests include urban governance, participatory planning, smart urbanism, and urban regeneration besides urban design and planning and her work has been published in national and international journals.

Shabana Shiraz Charaniya is an urban practitioner with a keen interest in pro poor urban planning and governance. Fascinated by everything that has anything to do with cities, be it the job of designing one (which she is trained to do!) or of ranting against the plethora of micro-power relations and hegemonic ideologies penetrating the wider fabric of the society through the cities (which she loves to do!). Easily seduced by anything creative, be it an idea, a thing or a creatively designed space. A keen people watcher and observer, having spent a good chunk of her time as a facilitator for youth development programs, taking up the job of facilitation and communication is what comes naturally to her . Born and brought up in Ahmedabad, India, educated in the U.S. and U.K, traveled a fair bit in East Africa, she currently lives in London.

Gauri Tiwari is the Founder- Director of CCU and is a designer and film maker based in Mumbai.She has over 10 years of experience in Film direction, Production Design, Character Art, Experiential Design. She is also co-director at Offish Character Art Studios Pvt. Ltd.

Zeeshan Ibrar is Research Associate and Senior Executive Member at CCU. He completed his post graduation in Urban Regeneration from Jamia Millia Islamia. He is poet at heart and keeps trying his hand at writing poetry in Urdu and his love for reading and cooking is profound. He loves getting in-depth knowledge of everything which is related to cities although his research interests include urban history, sociology, governance and urban regeneration and his work has been published in national and international journals.

Yusra Gul is an Architect from New Delhi. She completed her post-graduate specialization in Urban Regeneration from Jamia Milia Islamia in 2015. She is currently Assistant Professor at Amity University, Noida where she teaches urban design and urban conservation. She is currently pursuing research and reading in the area of gender and development. Her other interests include reading and travelling.

Sobia Ahsan is an architect, urban regenerist from New Delhi. Presently she is teaching the undergraduate students of architecture. She has also worked in the field of design and architecture for both private and government organisations.Her interest areas include travelling and reading and she is passionate about changing the cities we live in by using urban design and common sense. Through CCU she hopes to contribute to the enhancement of knowledge about cities while aiding their simultaneous development

CCU Advisors

Dr. Anand Mishra is interested in renewable energy and the issues related with sustainability in developing countries. Currently, his research is focused on business models of off-grid/grid-connected electricity projects based on Renewable Energy Technologies( RETs). His work experience includes eight years in banking and financial services and seven years in academia. Dr. Mishra holds a PhD from Louisiana State University and an MBA from Mudra Institute of Communication Ahmedabad.

Dr. Tulika Saxena has a doctorate from the Australian National University, Canberra for which she was a recipient of the Australian Leadership Award of the Australian Government. Her PhD reserach focussed on impact assessment of the Domestic Violence Act of India. She has worked with both international and Indian NGOs, and have managed the implementation of many development projects on gender issues in India. Her Masters in Gender and Development was completed from Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK in 2004-2005. She has co-authored a book 'Engendering Workplaces: A framework for gender Policy' published under collaboration of UN Solution Exchange. She has also published several articles, book chapters and journal papers. She is a friend and adviser to CCU, and ensures that our work and workplace respect all genders equally, and there is no discrimination whatsoever based on the gender of a person.

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CCU is a unit of "Collaborative for Contemporary Urban Studies Pvt. Ltd." registered as a Not-for-profit company under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. Development Partner