Top 10 economic and development challenges for India in 2014Culture & Education | February 28, 2014
LSE’s Ruth Kattumuri highlights some economic challenges that are of...
In the history of urbanism, we recently crossed an important milestone: 50 percent of the world’s population now lives in cities. And yet, the quality of urban life is almost always a point of heated discussion in cities across the world.
In the Indian context, quality of urban life or the livability of our cities assumes even more importance as our cities grow faster than anticipated or planned. On one side, this is driven by job creation, entrepreneurship, and technology. On the flipside, urban administrations are ill able to cope with the demands on infrastructure, public services, environment management, administration, and policy making.
Cities are dynamic, living organisms, constantly evolving and changing. The Development Plans & Vision Statements of cities or their infrastructure and governance roadmaps cannot therefore be static in time—as is often the case. They need to be constantly revisited and revised if our cities are to remain sustainable. Some important questions that we need to keep asking ourselves include:
These are big questions, perhaps most useful as guidelines or sounding board for action points. There are noteworthy examples of cities worldwide who have successfully addressed these questions and/or re-engineered themselves to handle change: Curitiba, Vancouver, Singapore, and Manchester are frequently praised as models for urban development.
How did these cities succeed? The Government, private sector, citizens and citizen groups all played an active role in addressing these questions and making our cities sustainable. Policymakers create business environments that support the private sector in creating sustainable and livable infrastructure, new economic centers, and affordable housing. And citizen groups voice opinions on city culture, lifestyle aspirations and planning, and priorities for policymakers.
On the ground, citizens define the character of a city by managing their own neighborhoods, adopting green practices, and infusing a strong civic sense in our children; in helping preserve culture and identity even as we embrace the benefits of a global economy.
What future do you see for Indian cities, or for your own city? What part can you play in it? How can we all make our cities more sustainable?
About the author:
Currently CEO of the Real Estate sector, Anita has been influential in successfully establishing the Group’s focus on sustainable urbanization. She leads our pan-India presence in residential development under the Mahindra Lifespaces brand and integrated business cities under the Mahindra World City banner. Anita earned her MBA from BIM (Bharathidasan Institute of Management), Trichy and is a recipient of the Women in Leadership Award (20090 from the WILL Forum, India for driving gender equality in the workplace.
The views expressed above are those of the author, and not necessarily representative of the views of the Mahindra Group.
The world is watching India to see whether we can rise into a global economic power. Can we spread our growth to include the whole country? Only if we can meet the need for sustainable transportation infrastructure.
When first drafting a blueprint, the team called for the use of bricks—but bricks pushed the budget over $400. Scrapping that idea, the team settled on suru wood, bamboo, and FRP (Fiber-glass Reinforced Plastic) sheets – all locally used and widely available in India.
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