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Day 38 – Q 4. Bring out the significance of sustainable urban planning for Indian cities. What have we missed out in its absence? Discuss.

4. Bring out the significance of sustainable urban planning for Indian cities. What have we missed out in its absence? Discuss.   

भारतीय शहरों के लिए सतत शहरी नियोजन के महत्व को सामने लाएं। इसके अभाव के क्या प्रभाव हैं? चर्चा करें।


Currently, India’s nearly 30% population lives in urban areas and it is expected to rise upto 50% by 2050. Being a developing country with a huge population pressure India is facing many challenges due to rural to urban migration. To contain these challanges and to make a proper trajectory towards new India, Sustainable urban planning is an important aspect.



  • Safe drinking water: According to a report by NITI Ayog, 21 cities will run out of groundwater by 2020. To avoid further worsening of such crisis we need careful urban planning.
  • Affordable housing: One of the largest government programmes is to provide affordable housing to citizens. Sustainable urban planning will help to manage land resources in equitable way.
  • Urban sewage and solid waste management In India less than quarter of the waste generated gets proper treatment. For rapidly growing urban agglomerations we need planning to manage this rising challenge.
  • Transportation and communication: Sustainable urban planning will provide efficient and eco-friendly public transport facilities to overpopulated urban cities of India.
  • Sustainable urban planning will also help in equitable resources distribution and affordable service delivery.
  • It will also help in creating sustainable environment and disaster management.

In absence of sustainable urban planning India is facing manifold challenges:

  • Rise in Slums: Few of the Asia’s largest slums are in Delhi and Mumbai where unplanned urbanisation led to polluted water, health issues and rising rate of crimes.
  • Urban flooding: Floods in Mumbai and Chennai are examples of urban flooding. These are results of unsustainable urbanisation.
  • Rising number of accidents: Fires in buildings and deaths in various urban accidents are daily routine in Indian cities.
  • Degrading environment: According to WHO report, out of 20 most polluted cities, 14 are in India.

Way forward

  • India needs to work on achieving the goals set by United Nations under SDG-11 to be achieved by 2030.
  • Ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums, transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport.
  • Give special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women and children, persons with disabilities and older persons.
  • Significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses caused by disasters.
  • Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management.
  • Provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces.
  • Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • Substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

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