Hyderabad Urban Lab (HUL) began in mid 2012 as a programme of the Right to the City Foundation (TRTCF), a public charitable trust based in Hyderabad. The primary aim of the programme was to conduct research on urban issues in ways that would enable and validate knowledge production embedded in the here and the now of the urban.

In June 2016, through reincorporation as HULFT, the programme acquired a legal status. In spirit it has enabled us to continue to work towards the objectives that HUL set up for itself in 2012.

The HUL logo represents the urban grid, an interconnected network of resources and opportunities that should ideally be available and accessible to everyone who stakes a claim to them. In other words the logo represents the city as a space of resource sharing and opportunity generation for everyone that is part of it.

In 2017, Hyderabad Urban Lab became a member institution with the Tacit Urban Research Network (TURN) Project, along with Centre for Policy Research, Indian Institute of Human Settlements, and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

The research network aims to increase the visibility and understanding of hitherto ‘tacit’ knowledge about urban informality in India, and push for more inclusive policy frameworks.

HUL’s work in 2018-19 was shaped by the conceptual foundations and objectives of the TURN Project. Through orientation sessions for researchers and a series of in-house workshops on ‘Epistemology and Research’, HUL crafted its current work which broadly entails:

•   Mapping patterns of changing spatial relations in the city

•   Practicing community engagement

•   Making visual representations of varying informalities within housing

•   Developing manuals for understanding place and honing spatial imaginations

•  Studying shared mobilities as a trust based utility

•  Unearthing submerged knowledges and embodied work practices vis a vis water infrastructures

• Creating archival narratives of people’s movements (Calcutta)