The world's urban population has swelled from 220 million to almost three billion in this century alone and UN forecasts show that in 2050, more than 70% of the world's population will be living in urban areas. As per the estimation of UN, about 180,000 people are being added to the urban population every day.

City is a living organism which adapts to accommodate the changes occurring in the components of the urban environment. These changes were slow and insignificant till the beginning of 20th century. In the 21st century as a result of urbanization; these changes are occurring so fast that the city is unable to accommodate them causing urban sprawl and thereby affecting quality of life of masses.

Urban centres act as magnets attracting people from surrounding regions as they provide vast scope for employment in industries, transport, trade and other sectors resulting in migration of population. This exerts tremendous pressure on the infrastructure and the services within the city as well as influences the peri-urban areas. Key issues being faced by cities today are inadequate basic services (water supply, sewage disposal & solid waste management); traffic congestion & parking problems; high urban poverty and unemployment levels; increase in housing shortage & consequent urban slums; degraded urban health & environment (air/water quality); high energy consumption, lack of respect for built heritage and much more.

There have been certain policies to regularize the urbanization and a strong need is felt all over the world among planners and architects to re-discover our roots and take lessons from our past for sustainable future of our cities.

Thus, the conference aims to provide a platform for deliberations on the various issues and challenges related to the city and its components, formulation of various policies at the Government level to regularize the unplanned growth of the urban areas and lessons taken from the past and the present to go beyond and discover future cities.

The reputed Maharishi Markandeshwar University Trust, Ambala was founded by a great philanthropist, Sh Tarsem Garg for social, educational and economical upliftment of the society in 1993. The trust has the privilege of establishing the first self-financing college, medical college and Deemed University in the region. The trust has established three universities at Mullana (Estb: 1995); Sadopur, Ambala (Estb: 2010) and Solan (Estb: 2010). The MM University Sadopur is a 44 Acres vibrant Campus at Sadopur on Delhi-Ambala-Chandigarh National Highway in the suburbs of Ambala towards Chandigarh for bringing new life to the educational system and providing professional education to the people of the surrounding region.

MM SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE established in year 2011, offers the students a lifetime opportunity to witness the growth and development of a new settlement, enabling pragmatic vision on architectural ideas, urban design and landscape design. Human habitat and environment being the basic concern of the School, the spectrum of academic programmes is being continuously extended by providing programmes in new fields.The School has taken a lead in introducing academic programmes in specialized field at Bachelor's and Master's level. The School has always been in the lead in extending education and research to new frontiers of knowledge. The major thrust of the School is to organize expert lectures periodically by eminent academicians and industry experts.

The INDIAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS (IIA) is the National body of architects in the country. Having started in the year 1917, this professional body of Indian architects has 14 chapters and 46 centers. The Institute has a major role to play in promoting the profession of architecture by organizing and uniting the architects of India in fellowship to promote aesthetic, scientific and practical efficiency of the profession, both in Practice and in Education. IIA is represented on various National and International committees connected with architecture and the building industry and is also actively associated with International Union of Architects (UIA), Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA), and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which provide international recognition and exposure to Indian architects.