Urbanization in India is mainly due to liberalization of its economy after the 1990s, which gave rise to the development of the private sector. Presently, although urbanization is taking place at a fast rate in India, only one-third of its population lives in urban areas.
According to the 2011 census, there are 53 cities in India with a population of a million or more; by 2031, that number will rise to 87. Some of these metropolitan areas will become major economic powerhouses that have higher GDP than the current GDP of countries such as Israel, Portugal and the UAE.
Cities provide major opportunities for sustainable development, given that they have large numbers of people in a small area, and offer significant economies of scale which provide jobs, housing and services. There is a need to fully realize the potential of Indian cities for ecological, economic and social sustainability. But this urbanization can only be harnessed and sustained by inclusive planning that provides affordable transportation, continuous water supply, modern sewage treatment and a good solid waste management system. The government of India has been channelling funds (which has long been overdue) to renew its urban spaces through various schemes, and has been tweaking its approaches to urbanization by cataloging projects that were successful and those that failed. It is also beginning to see the value of Private–Public Partnerships.
In this seminar on “Urbanization in India: Present Scenario and New Directions for Sustainable Urban Living”, Prof T.G. Sitharam (professor of civil engineering and chairman, Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP), Indian Institute of Science) will highlight the present and future urbanization prospects in India, with a road map for sustainable urban living in Indian cities.
For more information, see the event announcement on the UNU-IAS website.
Meeting Room 1, UNU-IAS
1-1-1 Minato Mirai, Nishi-ku