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You are invited to a research seminar by Professor Kala Seetharam Sridhar, from the Centre for Research in Urban Affairs, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore, India.

The talk will focus on the effect of urban land use regulations on density. The efficient use of urban land is crucial to economic productivity and growth in cities. While land use regulations are needed for inclusive growth and to protect the urban poor, they can create distortions in the land market and become counter-productive.

Indian cities are characterised by strong urban land use controls, due to a history of socialist policies and economic planning. Two land use regulations that continue to exist in India’s cities are rent control and highly restrictive floor area ratios (FARs). These have arguably become draconian, and are the focus of this research.

The presentation examines the impact FARs have on population and household density, in the context of the standard urban framework. It investigates the case of Bengaluru, where ward-level data have recently been put together on FARs. It finds that FARs impact both population and household density negatively, consistent with what other studies have found, and that rent control legislation is ineffective. In the context of Mumbai, anecdotal evidence is used to examine FARs, where their effects on density are compounded by the existence of rent control.

This event is free to attend and no booking is required.

Image: Cityscape of Bengaluru. Image copyright: Joe Ravi / courtesy of