Before studying planning the concept of Smart Growth and New Urbanism never seemed to be a real necessary step or large role in urban spaces because I live in New York City and go to school in New Brunswick. Many planning concepts that are established here in the United States are nowhere yet reached in other countries. Quality of life isn’t a discussion that is largely introduced in places such as parts of Africa, Latin America or South Asia. As a South Asian studies major I find it interesting that India, a continent with a booming urban population is lacking many essential qualities such as better transportation planning and utilizing it’s land to it’s highest capability.
India doesn’t have suburbs, it has villages and slums, however we are able to utilize the term suburban sprawl despite the difference in land uses. According to Vishnu Prasad of the IFMR Finance Foundation
Indian cities have placed stringent caps on the density of cities through low FSI (Floor Space Index) regulations. The report argues that such regulations drive urban expansion towards the periphery of existing urban areas and encourages sprawl.
Prasad argues that India needs to do three things to reverse it’s urban sprawl (1) there needs to be a reevaluation of the land form in India so there can be revenue generation (2) There must be an integrated urban planning process so land can be marketed as a finance tool and connectivity between metropolitan areas and outside areas so there is mobility between people and businesses and (3) who should be responsible for forming these urban reforms
I very much agree with all three of Prasad’s arguments although I do feel that before India can readily increase transportation planning creating more transit oriented development and fixing land use it needs to address it’s giant slum problem. Slum clearance ideals such as Urban Renewal will only move slum else where and create greater social disparities between India’s long history of social caste hierarchies.
According to IBM 70% of India’s population will be living in cities by 2050, which puts emphasis on creating more sustainable cities.
Every minute during the next 20 years, 30 Indians will leave rural India for urban areas. At this rate, India will need some 500 new cities in the next two decades. If there were ever a time to focus on developing solutions for sustainable cities, that time is now.
WIth all of these changes India will definitely need to consider growth management, as Levy defines as:
Preserving an existing lifestyle and community ambiance
are common motivations, as is ensuring that community facilities such as schools, roads, utilities, and recreation will be adequate for future needs (280)
However the only concern with the concept of growth management occurring in India is that growth management largely depends on the environment and in most of India infrastructure such as public works, waste removal, building stability and etc aren’t prevalent throughout the country. Especially because most large cities such as Mumbai are surrounded by giant slums.
1) Prasad, Vishnu. “India’s Suburban Sprawl Is Stifling City Centers.” RSS. N.p., 19 Dec. 2013. Web. <http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/ifmr-financing-small-cities/208606/india-s-suburban-transformation>.
2)”Smarter Cities.” IBM.<http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/in/en/sustainable_cities/ideas/index.html?re=CS1>
3)Levy, John M. Contemporary Urban Planning. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2013. Print.