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World Cities Day

  • Published
    1st Nov, 2022
Context

On World Cities Days, the experts have highlighted that India is heading towards catastrophe in the next three decades unless tough policy decisions are taken.

About

About World Cities Day:

  • The 31st of October is celebrated as World Cities Day.
  • The first ever world cities day was observed on 31st October 2014.
  • The global observance day was co-hosted by UN-Habitat and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt and it places in Luxor, Egypt.
  • The aim is to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization and enhance cooperation among countries and cities in meeting opportunities.
  • It is an attempt to address the challenges of urbanization, and contribute to sustainable urban development.
  • The overall World Cities Day theme is Better City, Better Life.
  • This year's theme of World Cities Day highlights how: 'Act Local to Go Global. '
  • The theme underlines the importance of Agenda 2030 especially SDG11 and its focus on "ensuring access for all to adequate, safe, and affordable housing and basic services".

Key Highlights:

  • Indian cities are lacking in many aspects, like construction, master plans, bylaws, drainage, water security, air pollution, and transit.
  • According to the United Nations, seven of every 10 people in the world will live in cities by 2050.
  • At present, around 55% of the world's population is living in towns and cities, with the level of urbanization projected to become around 70% by 2050.
  • Much of the growth in urban populations will take place in Asia and Africa, especially China, India, and Nigeria, where the fertility rates are high.
  • Haphazard development due to Urbanization is affecting many, most of them being extremely poor and from marginalized sections.

What is urbanization?

  • Urbanization indeed is the process of becoming urban, moving to cities, changing from agriculture to other pursuits common to cities, such as trade, manufacturing, industry, and management, and corresponding changes in behavior patterns.

Status of India’s urban planning:

  • Master Plans of only 1,500-1,600 of 7,000 census towns had been prepared.
  • Master Plans, land use controls, and by-laws are the instruments to mitigate climate inequality.
  • Legalized Master Plans may just be around 500 towns.
  • The number of urban planners per capita is also short.
  • There is no legal sanctity or power accorded to any institution to control or channel urban development.

India’s Global Commitments regarding Urban Development:

  • The SDGs Goal 11 promotes urban planning as one of the recommended methods for achieving sustainable development.
  • The UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda was adopted at Habitat III in 2016.
  • The UN-Habitat (2020) suggests that the spatial conditions of a city can enhance its power to generate social, economic, and environmental value and well-being.
  • Paris Agreement: India’s National Determined Contributions (NDCs) include the goals to reduce the emission intensity of the country's GDP by 33 to 35% by 2030 from the 2005 level.

Issues Associated with Urbanization

  • Excessive Population Pressure
  • Overflowing Slums
  • Inadequate Housing
  • Unplanned Development
  • Non-Inclusive Welfare Schemes
  • Sewage infrastructure

Schemes/Programmes Related to Urban Development:

  • Smart Cities
  • AMRUT Mission
  • Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban
  • HRIDAY
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban
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