Over time, the definition of urban in India has become so complex that we accept three definitions of Urban for official purposes, including statutory towns, census towns, and outgrowths/agglomerations, and there is a lack of a clear definition of ‘urban’ that is acceptable at both state and national level. This knowledge product explores the polysemy of the definition of Urban within India, highlighting the role of Center, States, the gaps in the current definition, and the need to identify a rational definition of 'Urban'.
Most Indian cities today lack efficient planning to cater to the increasing rate of urbanisation. There is a significant imbalance in urban transport due to an increase in urbanisation (towns/cities), the share of the urban population, vehicle ownership, and model shift. As a result, the externalities (congestion, pollution, road safety) gradually affect urban mobility. With this context in mind, the following article aims to understand the existing condition of urban mobility in India and its issues.
Global trends towards increasing urbanization and its negative consequences are disproportionately borne by the poor, persons with disabilities (PwDs), and women. Urban planning is often viewed as a 'gender neutral' activity as a development tool. However, these processes are governed by systemic issues resulting from patriarchal norms, which render them "gender insensitive" rather than gender-neutral. The following article discusses the need for gender-sensitive urbanization in India by understanding how existing conditions in the built environment exacerbate inequalities and lays out a strategy to achieve the tangible and intangible goals.
Spatial Development Plans (Masterplans/Development Plans) are the primary statutory tools used by urban planners to shape the growth of cities in India. However, the statutory process of master plan formulation in India is rooted in the state planning acts, a large majority of which were drafted well before India’s economic liberalization and subsequent population growth. With the growing realization that 'City-Systems' is the foundation on which good quality of life is built, the reformation of current planning systems in India is essential to ensure sustainable cities that are scalable, pragmatic, and offer flexible solutions to our current planning challenges. This article highlights the characteristics of adopting a pragmatic approach to spatial planning and the need to reform the spatial planning framework of cities in India and explores how well-executed Spatial Development Plans are essential to creating equitable, sustainable, and democratic cities of the future.
Climate change has left a sense of concern among economists, environmentalists, and agriculturists to re-evaluate their plans to minimize the direct losses in terms of human, natural, and economic resources. Unfortunately, at the current development phase and ongoing environmental exploitation, the only future left to see will be filled with collapsed ecosystems and severe health issues, influencing people to adapt to the ecological changes and suffer extensive losses. This article highlights one of the severe effects of Climate Change on agriculture and explores the Mitigation and adaptation measures around the climate change – agriculture nexus.
This paper describes the flood risks faced by Surat, one of India’s most successful and also most flood-prone cities. The paper also reviews measures being taken to reduce flood risks – and how climate change is likely to affect such risks. It suggests that part of the city’s response needs to be a greater ability to live with floods, while minimizing the costs these usually bring in terms of loss of life, damage to homes and disruption to businesses.
This paper describes how community indicators were used in Lucknow to support a dialogue between representatives from communities lacking basic services and service providers. This led to agreement on the indicators needed to benchmark existing environmental conditions, monitor and evaluate the quality of urban services and set priorities for environmental improvements. It then describes how this draft indicator set was presented at a workshop that brought together service providers and community representatives and how they agreed on an indicator set. The paper ends with an analysis of what the collection of data for this indicator set showed and a discussion of lessons for future work in this area.
This study estimates the economic losses suffered by the urban poor in terms of assets and productivity due to climate-induced waterlogging and floods. It examines how the vulnerability of slum dwellers living in informal settlements is exacerbated by a lack of supportive institutional mechanisms, the nature of non-inclusive economic growth, the social exclusion of urban landscapes and discriminative access to public services.
The paper traces the experiences of many catastrophic earthquakes in the first four months of year 2010. These earthquakes have impacted both urban as well as rural communities. By understanding the socio-economic conditions and the earthquake preparedness knowledge of the communities, it is possible to tailor solutions. Technical disciplines related to earthquake hazard and vulnerability reduction includes experts and professionals for seismology, geology, civil/structural/earthquake engineering, architecture, material manufacturer, insurance, private sector, law enforcement/ regulator, economist, urban-regional planner, construction artisan, risk management experts, media, community leaders, public policy among others.