GS- I >> Indian Society>> Urbanisation
Context: The urgent need to shift from traditional urban development strategies to more sustainable and ecologically friendly approaches.
About Sustainable Urbanisation:
- Sustainable urban development is a complex issue that involves balancing the needs of a growing population with the preservation of natural resources and the environment.
- Urbanization trends: The ongoing shift from rural to urban living with a gradual increase in urban population.
- Historical perspective: In 1901, only 11.4% of the Indian population resided in urban areas, contrasting with the estimated projection of 40% urban population by 2025 according to UNDESA.
Global urbanisation trends:
- Current urbanization: The world is experiencing rapid urbanization, with 4.2 billion people, equivalent to 55% of the global population, residing in urban areas.
- Future projections: UNFPA predicts that by 2030, this urban population will exceed 5 billion, and by 2050, 68% of the world’s inhabitants will be living in cities.
- Economic significance: Cities serve as vital economic hubs, contributing more than 80% to the global gross national.
- Sustainable urbanization: Despite the urbanization trend, the present urban development often falls short in terms of sustainable city concepts, necessitating a focus on sustainability.
Challenges in Indian urban development:
- Indian urban development has traditionally focused on real estate, road expansion, and private vehicle usage, leading to pollution and traffic congestion.
- Motorized transport alone accounts for 60% of urban pollution.
- Urban commons, green areas, and water bodies have shrunk while ‘grey’ infrastructure expanded.
- Automobile market growth exacerbates urban pollution issues.
- Construction activities, which contribute to 10% of air pollution in some cities, lack effective monitoring.
- Pollution crisis:
- Air pollution severely impacts life expectancy and health, causing problems like burning eyes, throat irritation, respiratory issues, and cardiovascular diseases.
- 39 out of the 50 most polluted cities globally are in India, with an average Indian losing 5.3 years of life expectancy due to pollution, and Delhi residents losing 11.9 years.
- Expansion of ‘grey’ infrastructure, increased vehicular emissions, and construction activities contribute to pollution in Indian cities.
- Road dust, concrete batching, and industrial units further worsen air quality.
Significance of sustainable urbanisation:
- Ensuring access to clean water: Sustainable urbanization addresses water scarcity challenges, vital for urban areas.
- Promoting affordable housing: Equitable land management through sustainable planning aids affordable housing initiatives.
- Effective waste management: Sustainable planning addresses the need for better waste treatment in fast-growing cities.
- Enhanced transportation: Eco-friendly public transport solutions are a key aspect of sustainable urban planning.
- Equitable resource allocation: Sustainable planning promotes fair distribution of resources and affordable services.
- Environmental sustainability: It contributes to creating eco-friendly environments and disaster management.
- Atal Mission for Urban Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT): To provide basic services and infrastructure in urban areas for a better quality of life.
- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U): To provide affordable housing for all urban residents by 2022.
- Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework 2.0: To assess and promote climate-resilient and sustainable practices in cities.
- TULIP-The Urban Learning Internship Program: To provide opportunities for students to gain practical experience in urban planning and development.
- Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self-Reliant India): To promote self-reliance and economic growth, which includes initiatives related to urban development.
- Organized urban planning: Green Infrastructure; Mixed-Use Spaces; Alternative Energy; Public-Private Partnerships
- Urban employment guarantee: Similar to MGNREGA; Indira Gandhi Scheme
- Green transport: Rethinking Public Transport; E-Buses; Bus Corridors; Bus Rapid Transit
- Formalization of informal economy: Migrant Data; Unorganised Worker Index Card
- Democratization of sustainable development: Shift to Sustainable Focus; Citizen Participation; Participative Budgeting; Sustainability Impact Assessments