ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Changing India’s Urban and Economic Landscape

India’s urban landscape needs new city forms, alternative economic arrangements, and universal social welfare to survive in the coming era. Instead, urbanisation policies are driving the dysfunctional 19th-century colonial metro cities towards absorbing enormous migrations that will make India a fragile state. Three initiatives are proposed as an alternative to macroeconomic policies that no longer prioritise human development. This position has been largely ignored due to the conflicts between theories and ideologies of economic and cultural development.

India’s Urban Landscape

The new Indian urban landscape is being designed around grand concepts such as smart cities and export-oriented industrial corridors. In our desire to be global, we are emulating outdated models of urbanisation and economic progress borrowed from nations that have grown rich through questionable means. Our cities remain bloated extensions of the early capitalist, modern European city, dogged by poverty and the concentration of wealth. We need to search for a future from our own capabilities and geographies.

Delhi-Mumbai Corridor

Coming out of a key recommendation of the McKinsey Global Institute report on India's urbanisation in the coming decades, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project envisages the establishment of several new cities, industrial nodes, ports, airports and high-speed rail and road lines over six states. However, as is typical of such research and policy vision documents that have been farmed out to international corporate consultants, the project analysis relies on several arguable assumptions about resource availability, especially of water in a severely water-defi cit region.
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