Urban Governance

Topics: City, Local government, Metropolitan area Pages: 12 (3353 words) Published: October 6, 2012
Urban Governance for sustainable development
Dr. Alka Bharat,
Dept. of Architecture & Planning, M.A.N.I.T., Bhopal – 462007, India. E-mail: alka_bharat@yahoo.com
Ms. Chandan Chawla,
Architect / Urban Planner.E mail: ccassociates@rediffmail.com INTRODUCTION
The importance of sustainability in the urban setting cannot be over emphasized, as it concerns the very survival of a city. Healthy cities contribute to a healthy nation. Clean environment and economic growth are complimentary to each other and result in a vibrant community who see themselves as "stakeholders" in all aspects of daily life and helps in creating sustainable environment. Other characteristics to sustainable urban development include (as seen by Development Alternatives, India):

• Controlled population for whom adequate, meaningful employment is available.
• Efficient basic civic amenities and their management for a reasonable comfortable existence. For example, due to the shortage of power more than 50% [of power] is illegally consumed without payment to the municipal corporation leading to corruption, unacceptable financial losses and inadequate supply to those who pay for the consumption of power. A similar situation has evolved where an inadequate water supply has led to similar financial losses and an inadequate supply of water for the population.

• Planned housing colonies with adequate infrastructure like schools, parks, drainage system, and local Medicare establishments.
Urban Governance for sustainable development
• Transportation affects the environment. Efficient transportation planning has to take into consideration a wide range of options and choices like adequate roads, parking lots, alternate system of transportation, and mass transit facilities. The aim should be to reduce total vehicle miles driven in congested areas thus reducing pollution and emission of green house gases.

• Effective environmental infrastructure to address issues of untreated sewage and polluted rivers, lakes and coastal zones thus threatening the quality of aquatic systems.
• Development of an efficient urban private sector, both formally and nonformally, which reduces poverty by generating jobs and facilitates
economic growth.
• An efficient health-care system would address issues of nutrition, family planning and sanitation.
• Citizens are law-abiding, conscious of their role and contribute to all aspects of growth of the city.
• Adequate governance services which can meet the needs of the population and takes care of a sense of civic duty, community participation, a sense of identity, responsibilities, transparency and equity in local institutions.

The entire developing world is witness to an unprecedented shift of human settlement to the cities i.e. morphology of settlements from hamlets to metropolis. While India’s population remains substantially rural, it is emerging as one of the fastest urbanizing countries in the world and has already a staggering large urban population of around 285 million. It is estimated that by the middle of this century or probably earlier, it would reach the same milestone that the world has reached at the beginning of the century – of becoming more urban than rural. Urban Governance for sustainable development

The economic base of the nation through expanding industries, trade commerce and services has already shifted to the urban centers.
India is at a critical juncture in the process of urbanisation. At the moment, India is among the countries at low level of urbanisation. Only 26% of population was living in urban areas in 1991. In 2001, only one third of the country’s population was living in the urban areas. The projections put urban population’s share in the country’s population to be at 40% by 2021. Nonetheless, even at such a low level of urbanisation, the total urban population is very large. If urban India was to be...
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