Hot Topics : Urban Development in India : (GS-1 Mains or GS-3 Mains)

Urban Development in India

Question : What is the current proportion of urban residents living in slums in India according to the UN-HABITAT definition?

Current State of Slums in India

  • Nearly 1 in 6 urban residents live in slums (UN-HABITAT definition).
  • 2011 census: 1.37 crore slum households (17.4% of urban India).
  • Slum population projected to increase from 93.1 million (2001) to 104.7 million (2017).

The Need for Slum Redevelopment

  • 2011 census classified slums as unfit for human habitation.
  • Need for sustainable and ecological urbanization.
  • Current focus on real estate development and road widening contributes to pollution.

Urban Planning and Development Challenges

  • Rapid urbanization: urban sprawl to grow from 36% (2023) to 43% (2035).
  • Lack of comprehensive approach to urban planning.
  • Slum redevelopment policies focus on housing, relocation, or in-situ development, neglecting socio-economic issues.
  • Recent floods highlight the need for sustainable urban planning and drainage infrastructure.
  • Nearly 65% of Indian cities lack Local Area Plans, Zonal Plans, and Master Plans.

Case Studies

  • Bhendi Bazaar Redevelopment Project, Mumbai: A model for large-scale redevelopment.
  • Urbanization Challenges and Initiatives: Examines water supply, sanitation, traffic congestion, and public transportation issues.
  • Urban Expansion in Medium-Sized Cities: Studies the dynamics of spatial growth in medium-sized cities.
  • Smart Cities Mission: Undertaken around 7,700 projects since 2015.
  • Peri-Urban Ecosystems and Urban Resilience: Highlights the connection between urban resilience and peri-urban ecosystems.
  • Urban Sprawl and Its Impact: Examines the causes and consequences of urban sprawl on Indian cities.

Best Practices

  • Sustainable Urban Planning: Prioritizes sustainable planning and drainage infrastructure.
  • Corridor Densification: Promotes orderly development along public transport corridors.
  • Urban20 Blueprint: Integrates city interests into global cooperation.
  • Managing Urbanisation: Provides data-based policy inputs for sustainable urban development.

Conclusion and Way Forward

  • Urban planning is crucial for India’s development.
  • Reimagine how cities are planned and developed with sustainable practices.
  • The India Infrastructure Report 2023 on Urban Planning and Development offers valuable insights.


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