Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Central government has unveiled ‘The urban development strategy’ for next 20 years to use growing urbanisation for rapid urban development while at the same time committing itself to address issues of sustainable development and climate change.
The role of new policies in economic development is important in uplifting the urban poor and city infrastructure. This policy is going to have impact on the socio economic prosperity of the people. Such kind of policy was needed as the way India is expecting to grow its economy in future and income of people are going to increase. The infrastructure has to be handled along with sound urbanisation policy to support the requirement of the population and good standard of living for them.
The urban development needs lot of investment and hence there will be creation of lot of employment opportunities for the people which will create win-win situation for people and country. The Make in India dream cannot be accomplished until there is sound infrastructure in the urban areas because urban areas are supporting the industries.
For long, urbanisation has been looked at for providing basic services- creating roads, sewage management, housing etc. In the new policy, the government has unveiled sustainable policies like reducing water and power use by half, renewable energy, public transport, inclusivity are the important elements of this new policy.
Sustainable and inclusive cities are the key. These cities will be made sustainable with low on carbon emission, waste management. Agenda for next two decades in the report is to ensure economic growth and productivity, providing quality of life and addressing the issues of inclusivity, sustainability and climate change.
Challenges to urban development
The challenges are huge and the policy is envisaging great things. One challenge is huge investment. India is the only country where development of infrastructure has not happened even after decades of investment which shows that government has also not been successful in it. Public private partnership will give a boost. FDI is crucial in this sector. The majority of population is still struggling with poverty and inequality. And thus if their purchasing power and their income level is increased, the market will be a great emergent.
Another challenge is that municipalities have been in red which need to be revamped. The local government is not providing services upto mark which is creating a limitation in successful implementation of urban development scheme. It’s not that these entities are lacking funds, the funds have been dispersed to them over the years and if they have been using the funds in highly efficient manner, then there could have been better infrastructure.
On the issue of global warming, India’s poor performance on industrial front, lack of infrastructure is big challenge. Hence, for future cities, with minimum resources, India has to achieve sustainable living. Hence promote more green living. Clustered setup because most cities have developed in highly unplanned manner and sprawling manner which is inefficient way to utilise the space.
Urbanisation means that in a smaller space, one is able to create living set up, industries, facilities which is cost saving. Thus, everything has been considered to come up with something which is going to give economic prosperity, a developed status and preserve nature.
Challenges of urban development include availability of land, labour and capital. In India, urbanisation has happened at very slow pace. In 2001 census, the growth is about 28% and in 2011 census it is about 31%.
Sustainable urban planning
In last two years, the central government has launched new urban missions and that has marked paradigm shift to country’s approach to urban development. This is promotion and development for human settlement as inclusive and sustainable entities.
There has been promotion of cycling for last mile connectivity, compact and cluster urban development in promoting natural drainage patterns, reducing wastage generation of all kinds, promoting greenery in public places etc. These are new things which few cities like Chandigarh promote. Earlier, these things were not incorporated in the planning of cities but now it is certainly a sign of changing of towns. In Mumbai, there is reconstruction and redevelopment of the buildings. These initiatives are required which don’t create new cities but give more options on how to rebuild the old cities.
Thus, the outcomes of new urban agenda based on sustainable urban planning would include reducing water and electricity use by 50% from that of normal use, enabling over 60% of urban travel by public transport, generating half of power from renewable sources, promoting walking and cycling for last mile connectivity, compact and cluster urban development, promoting natural drainage patterns, reducing waste generation of all kind, promoting greenery and public places etc.
World Habitat Day is celebrated on 2nd October and theme for 2016 is ‘Housing at Centre’.
Connecting the dots:
What is the vision of government on ‘urban development strategy’? Critically analyse.