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Day 23 – Q 3.The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city. Comment.

3. The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city. Comment. 

शहर का अधिकार शहरी संसाधनों तक पहुंचने के लिए व्यक्तिगत स्वतंत्रता से कहीं अधिक है: यह शहर को बदलकर  खुद को बदलने का अधिकार है। टिप्पणी।करें।


Right to the city is often seen as a social utopia and collective claim inspiring ideas and suggestions for social movements and a better world. It is a slogan for movements worldwide which fight against the manifestations of many modern cities in which public processes and utilities have been privatized and where development is driven primarily if not solely by corporations and markets.


Advantages of urban life:

  • Easy access to goods and services: Better access to public health and general health care, supermarkets, education, technology etc.
  • More labour productivity: Contributes to an increase in labour productivity, allows solving many social problems of society.
  • Better possibilities to boost the economy: being closer to businesses and industries, people who come from the countryside can explore more possibilities to increase their current income.
  • Better sanitary services: potable water, sanitation, transport of waste, recycling of garbage, etc.
  • Revenue generation: The whole society benefits from internal improvements, either through a richer tax base or through competition between private organizations.

Issues with urbanization:

  • Indecisiveness on the matters related to urbanisation.
  • Inadequate relevance given to urbanisation for achieving our socio-economic goals and development.  
  • A weak policy approach towards urbanisation has also led to faulty implementation and ignorance.  
  • Centralised approach in policies and initiatives related to urbanisation did not give states or cities much autonomy and choice. 
  • Delayed approval of projects caused implementation delays.

Way forward:

  • Individual responsibility: it is responsibility of each and every person to play role in changing the surrounding.
  • Rational planning: cities suffer from a huge deficit in urban infrastructure and very poor delivery of basic services including drinking water, waste water treatment, solid waste management and public transport. It is right to change ourselves by changing the city.
  • Co-operation from society: It requires close cooperation among different government departments and to make use of carefully designed systems of taxes and cross subsidies to encourage the right kind of transport development.
  • Strategic leadership: planning and better management of urbanization, financing and governance, the agenda needs to be carefully designed with strategic leadership.
  • Focussing on welfare of all: These days people are self-centric, this attitude should be changed and start focussing on welfare of the community as a whole.
  • Environmental concerns: urban environment is to meet the rising expectations of an expanding urban population and provide an urban environment consistent with rapid, inclusive and sustainable growth.


Cities will play a very important role as engines of growth as India attempts to achieve faster growth, which will inevitably imply a structural transformation and a rising share of industry and services sectors. Planning for urbanization and better management of cities is therefore not only important for the quality of life for those living in our cities and towns, but also because it contributes to a better investment climate.

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