Making Liveable Cities: Challenges and Way Forward for India
More than 40% of India's population is expected to reside in its urban centres by 2050 (UNDESA, 2014). While these rapidly expanding urban centres in India are seen as the engines of economic growth, they also face tremendous pressures on their civic infrastructure systems and issues of environmental degradation, air pollution, and increasing frequency of climate-induced events and disasters. It is, thus, now critical to relook at the ways in which we manage these challenges for enhancing the liveability of cities. To this end, a series of Policy Dialogues on 'Making Liveable Cities: Challenges and Way Forward for India' was organized by TERI with support from the Royal Embassy of Denmark and International Urban Cooperation (IUC) programme of the European Union, for identifying ways and means to shape a 'people-centric' sustainable urbanization process in India. It is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and India's Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), in the 4000+ Mission cities and beyond.
Through a review of the urban policy and institutional frameworks in different states and focused group discussions and activities, the Policy Dialogues invited inputs from various stakeholders working in the 'urban' domain, including Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Smart City Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). With more than 150 policymakers, planners, practitioners, and academicians participating and contributing, the Dialogues identified key challenges and enablers for enhancing liveability of Indian cities.
This policy brief is an outcome of the Policy Dialogues and documents key recommendations on urban planning frameworks, strengthening local urban governance, financing and implementation mechanisms, urban innovation, and strengthening partnerships; with a view to contribute to the National Urbanization Policy being drafted presently by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India.