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  • 17 February, 2023

  • 6 Min Read

India's Urban Planning

India's Urban Planning

  • For India's urban journey, urban planners recently emphasised the need for a multigenerational process.

More on the news:

  • According to the Economic Intelligence Unit's 2019 Global Liveability Index rankings, two of India's main cities, Mumbai and Delhi, are falling in the rankings. It evaluates livability in 140 cities.
  • India has a population of 1210 million people in 2011 and a 31.1% urbanisation rate (Census of India 2011).
  • Urbanization is the process of more people moving into urban areas.
  • The number of urban centres and the rate of urbanisation vary widely across the nation.
  • Ten States—Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Kerala—comprise more than 75% of the nation's urban population.
  • Urban planning is now necessary as a result of the recent Joshimath event, in which a tunnel boring machine struck an aquifer there, causing a loss of approximately 800 litres of water every second.
  • In hilly urban India, land subsidence incidences are on the rise, and inadequate urban planning are making the situation worse. It is estimated that 12.6% of India's land area is susceptible to landslides.
  • In addition, the urgent need to flood-proof Indian cities has been highlighted by the burning problem of urban flooding.
  • In order to improve urban resilience to land subsidence, government should concentrate on gathering reliable data, while landslide risk needs to be mapped at a detailed level.

What is urban planning ?

  • Making physical blueprints and development regulations is a professional method of building metropolitan regions.
  • Urban planning combines social, economic, environmental, and constructive initiatives to create a decent, healthy environment for people to live, work, and move around in.
  • It was carried out to lessen the adverse physical and social impacts on people that the industrial revolution had brought about, particularly in metropolitan areas.
  • Urban local organisations or local governments put these concepts into practise.
  • The populace chooses the members of urban local bodies. Urban, metropolitan, and regional development authorities are responsible for planning and implementing development in major cities and urban areas. These entities serve as functionaries for the state government.

Data of urbanization:

  • Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Gujarat all have urbanisation rates that are higher than the national average.
  • Below National Average: The levels of urbanisation in Bihar, Odisha, Assam, and Uttar Pradesh continue to remain below the national average of 31.1%.
  • Union Territories with a higher than 75% urbanisation rate include Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, and the NCT of Delhi.

The necessity of improving urban planning capacity:

  • Rise in Urbanization India. India has 11% of the global urban population.
  • Nonetheless, in terms of absolute numbers, India has a larger urban population than other, more densely populated areas, such as the US, Japan, Western Europe, and South America.
  • Urbanization will account for 73% of the increase in India's overall population between 2011 and 36.

Urban Planning's Significance for India:

  • Urban planning will aid in controlling urban expansion by ensuring that cities have the infrastructure and services needed to support their expanding populations. India is one of the world's fastest-growing nations.
  • Enhancing quality of life: Urban planning can create more livable, walkable areas that are safer and more enjoyable to live in, as well as guarantee access to essential services like water, sanitation, and healthcare.
  • Urban planning can aid in promoting economic growth by using tools like zoning restrictions, transportation infrastructure, and the creation of business areas. Cities are significant drivers of economic growth.

India's urban planning challenges:

  • Rapid urbanisation: India is seeing a rapid rise in both its population and urbanisation, which places a tremendous amount of pressure on its cities to meet the requirements of its residents.
  • Absence of essential infrastructure, such as dependable water and sanitation systems, suitable housing, and public transportation, is a major barrier to the efficient planning and management of urban areas in many Indian cities.
  • Land use planning: In many instances, India's cities lack participatory and informed land use planning, which results in unplanned and haphazard growth, a lack of enough open space, and encroachment on floodplains and green spaces.
  • Climate change and natural disasters: Indian cities are also susceptible to landslides, earthquakes, and floods, which are frequently made worse by climate change. This necessitates careful urban planning and risk reduction strategies.
  • Lack of public participation: The effectiveness of urban planning depends on the involvement of the public. Nevertheless, India lacks the necessary structures to involve citizens in decision-making, which alienates and mistrusts the population.

Global Commitments:

  • Support urban planning as one of the suggested approaches for achieving sustainable development is one of India's global commitments to the SDGs (Goal 11).
  • The New Urban Agenda of UN-Habitat: In 2016, it was approved at Habitat III. It outlines guidelines for the design, development, management, and enhancement of urban environments.
  • The concept of spatial sustainability is mentioned by UN-Habitat in 2020. It implies that a city's physical surroundings can influence how well it produces social, economic, and environmental value and well-being.
  • India's National Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement include a target to reduce the GDP's emission intensity by 33 to 35% from 2005 levels by 2030.

Significant Government Urban Planning Programs:

  • The goal of the Smart Cities Mission, which was established in 2015, is to create 100 smart communities across the nation that will have cutting-edge infrastructure and provide their citizens with a high standard of living.
  • The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), which was established in 2015, aims to enhance the fundamental urban infrastructure in cities and towns, including the transportation system, sewage system, and water supply.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY): This programme was introduced in 2015 with the intention of giving the urban poor access to affordable homes. There are two parts to it: PMAY-Urban for cities and PMAY-Grain for rural areas.
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban seeks to eradicate open defecation in urban India and achieve 100% scientific waste management in 4,041 statutory towns across the nation.
  • The National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), which strives to integrate urban planning, economic development, and heritage conservation in a way that is inclusive and with the goal of preserving the heritage character of the City, is known as HRIDAY.
  • By guaranteeing a pucca dwelling to eligible urban poor, including slum dwellers, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban addresses the scarcity of housing for urban poor people.

Way Forward

  • Integrate local state and national urban development and associate initiative to create sustainable cities
  • In general, urban planning is essential for the growth of wealthy, habitable, and sustainable cities in India.
  • It can aid in making sure that everyone enjoys the advantages of urbanisation and that cities can develop and prosper in a fair and sustainable manner.

Source: The Hindu

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