Urban India 2011 | Jul - Dec

Submitted by nanda on 14 July 2014 - 2:58pm
Assessment of Vulnerabilities of Indian Cities to Climate Change

India is one of the most vulnerable and risk prone countries in the world. India's urban centers appear to be vulnerable to predicted climate change due high population growth, high population density, poverty and inadequate infrastructure. It has been predicted that climate change has potential to intensify the frequency and intensity of hazards and the probability of extreme events, and also stimulate the rise of sea level and new vulnerabilities with differential spatial and socio-economic impacts. As more than one third of the Indian population lives in the cities and demographic trends of India show that urban growth rate was and slum growth would be higher than population growth of the country. The dual forces of urban development and climate change would have been the key political and economic issue in India due to their significance for economic growth and potential dislocation a large number of populations from coastal cities. The need of time is address challenges by developing a frame of vulnerability assessment of Indian cities, in order to facilitate adaptation-led strategy to reduce climate change risk and increase urban resilience in keeping with India's development priorities and challenges.

Jyoti Parikh, Manoranjan Mishra and Dinoj Kr Upadhyay
The Need of the Flexible-Planning Approach to Sustainable Urban Development: A Research Frontier

The zones in transition of a developing metropolis are often marked by conflicting socioeconomic forces encompassing demography, education, culture, political awareness, and economic integration of the built environment. The pressure of transformation comes from the growth, change, and obsolescence of social infrastructure typifying the need of highly obsolescence prone facility, temporary type facility, and mobile facility. This paper develops an overview showing the possibility of developing a flexible planning system that is expected to provide solutions to tackle the concurrent pressure of infrastructure development by establishing social equity and economic growth of urban environments. The conclusion suggests that the proposed system is expected to aid in boosting the efficiency of the comprehensive planning process by developing multi-functional spaces for effective space utilization within a regulated time-space framework.

Abhijit Paul
Planning for Sustainable Urban form for India cities

As India marches on towards becoming a more urbanised society, there are growing concerns on how sustainable our cities will be. While there is considerable literature on elements contributing to sustainability of urban growth, literature on how the urban form influences sustainable development is particularly weak in India. The Paper looks to establish the correlation between urban form and sustainable city growth. The Paper also identifies gaps in knowledge relating to sustainable urban form, as well as gaps in policy and practices relating to sustainable urban form in Indian cities.

The Paper learns from extensive review of international literature on this subject, as well as detailed primary exercises undertaken in two cities of India – Rajkot and Faridabad. The analysis is done at two levels namely at the city-level and the neighbourhood level. The (generic) city level study looks at overall characteristics of the city including its social structure, economic structure, services and infrastructure availability, overall land use configuration, communication and transportation facilities, demographic trends, city morphology, and likely areas for city expansion. The (detailed) case studies look at establishing how elements of urban form impact the sustainability of a neighbourhood. Indicators being studied at this scale include density, social characteristics, land use, built form, open spaces, access to services, access to transport facilities, and layout plans.

The Paper puts forward a range of recommendations categorised into three elements. Firstly,regulatory and institutional structures targeting issues around development regulations, land availability, role of the informal market, among others. Secondly, city and regional planning aspects looking at issues relating to present practices in spatial and investment planning, integrated land use and transportation planning, city form structures, among others. Thirdly, and neighbourhood-level interventions that provide recommendations on density, land use typology, layout and built form, accessibility and transportation options, and integrating the green and the brown agenda.

Chetan Vaidya and Satmohini Srivastava Ray
Globalisation and Urban India

The present paper discusses the economic globalization of India and its impact on Indian cities. The transformation of India has mainly been brought about by the IT and information technology enabled services sector which, till recently, were concentrated in a few large cities of the country. The multiplier effect of the rapid economic growth and globalization can be seen in the booming retail trade sector in large cities. Due to very high rates of realty in the central parts of large cities, these cities are experiencing growth at the periphery while Tier II cities are experiencing growth in the core areas. Suburbanization, development of new integrated townships and the setting up of SEZs are all set to change the urban growth pattern in the country. Infrastructure inadequacy is a major challenge that the country has to address to sustain the economic growth rate. The government and the private sector are both stepping in to fill this huge investment requirement in infrastructure. Reforms have been initiated by the government in the urban sector through JNNURM to improve governance and address the needs of the urban poor. The paper also stresses the need for reforms in the education sector to produce adequate number of educated and skilled manpower for a globalized world.

Usha P. Raghupathi
Understanding Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour of Registered Voters in Urban India

Participatory governance is increasingly acknowledged by policymakers in India as the most effective means for urban governments to address urbanisation-related challenges and also to become more responsive to citizens' demands. While citizens can participate in the process of governance in many ways, voting is a basic form of participation through which a citizen asserts his/her concerns and expectations. Over the years, urban India has been witnessing low voter turnout posing concerns about the future of participatory urban governance. Given this context, the paper proposes to understand the factors that influence a registered voter's decision to vote in municipal elections. The paper attempts to provide a framework to predict voter turnout based on the theoretical perspective of Neo-Institutional Economics. By means of qualitative and quantitative research methods and through the sampled polling booths in the city of Bangalore, it attempts to identify and understand the specific factors that could be instrumental in predicting voter turnout. The findings could inform policy makers and civil society to take concerted efforts to improve voter participation in urban India.

Anamika Ajay
Evaluating the Financial Health of Indian Cities: a Diagnostic Report

The financial performance of an urban local body (ULB) is indicated by a set of closely interrelated factors and not merely by income-expenditure balance. Some of the questions are of fundamental importance under the recently launched Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) such as- what explains the differential financial performance of municipalities, what is the impact of fiscal powers on their performance, what the impact of state transfers on their financial performance of municipalities; and what is the role of functional domain on their performance? Based on a sample of 17 out of 63 cities under JNNURM, this paper has tried to investigate these questions. Municipalities in India cannot be simply compared on the basis of absolute or per capita amounts of own revenue receipts and revenue expenditure because of differences in population size, functional domain and fiscal powers. It has been found that merely more fiscal powers as per the Municipal Acts have not guaranteed better revenue generation because of partial or non-implementation of these powers to their capacity. The major differences among various municipalities are due to absence of octroi and due to exclusion of the function of water supply and sewerage. Many of the municipal corporations of the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat are largely dependent on octroi and abolition of octroi could invite a serious dent on the own revenue generation capacity of these municipal corporations. The cities where octroi has been abolished and property tax has not been implemented in its full spirits are facing more problems and the property tax has a long way to go to become a potential tax revenue component for the self sustainability of cities. Lastly, the ULBs at present are not in a condition to undertake all the functions of 12th Schedule of 74th CAA due to low capacity and weak financial capabilities. Several State Governments have not framed any rule for proper and effective implementation of devolution of functions, functionaries along with funds.

Sandeep Thakur
Impact of Environmental Design on Personal Security at Bus Stops

Issues of personal safety and security are one of the major concerns for people waiting at bus stops. Urban designers and Architects need to address concerns of personal security by integrating the security concepts in the physical planning and design of bus stop environments. Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) strategies developed for bus stop environments in many countries need to be adapted to the local circumstances of Indian bus stops. This study investigated the collective and independent influence of environmental design strategies on the night time perceived security of the people waiting at the bus stops in Tiruchirappalli city, India. The results of this study indicated that the environmental features of bus stops locations associated with the perceived personal security were good activity level and lighting; absence of negative uses and concealment spots; and easy escape for people.

G.Subbaiyan and Tadepalli Srinivas
Urban Growth & its Impact on Environment & Public Health: A Study of Delhi

Delhi, the capital city, has experienced rapid industrial and economic growth over the last couple of decades. It resulted in environmental pollution and the city came to be featured as one of the most polluted cities in the world. There are important connections between pollution and diseases and the cost they impose on a city and its people. The people of Delhi still have memories of the Bhopal disaster. This disaster was a tragic illustration of the impact of pollutants on human health. Against this backdrop, the first part of this article delineates a socio-economic profile of Delhi – the rapid growth of its population, traffic and transport and growth of economic and industrial sector. The second part deals with the environmental profile of Delhi which clearly indicates how rapid urban growth has polluted the environment of Delhi and has had an adverse impact on the health of its people.

Prakash Chand
Core Urban Services, O & M Costs and their Recovery through user charges: A Study of select ULBs in Andhra Pradesh

Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) are supposed to provide basic urban services identified under the respective municipal legislation and also to ensure the sustainability of service provision. Financial sustainability of these core services, through the levy of appropriate user charge, is very important and integral to service delivery. Yet, several ULBs do not appear to follow this maxim and continue with ad hoc service delivery and methods of its finance. This paper is an attempt to analyse the performance of select ULBs in Andhra Pradesh in the provision three core urban services, in terms of their O&M cost structure and recovery; it then suggests a reform agenda for improving civic service delivery through improved service level/standard, better cost recovery and organisation restructuring.

Ramakrishna Nallathiga
Social Networks in Rural-Urban Migration: A Case Study of a Slum in Bangalore City

The role of social networks among the urban poor in the milieu of migration process is examined. Especially, reasons for migration, the nature of social networks and the help bestowed by them before and after migration have been explored. By using stratified random sampling a sample of 134 households were selected to collect data for the study purpose. Results show that kinship networks especially 'agnates of husband' was critical support networks in the migration process. By providing 'information' and 'shelter and food' the social networks had eased the difficulty in the initial stages of migration. Close-ties were advantageous as they provided shelter for longer duration.

Sarla Raju