The twenty-first century will witness a rapid urban expansion in the developing world. India, it is believed, will be at the forefront of such a phenomenon. This book acknowledges the role of agglomeration externalities as the cornerstone of urban public policy in India.
Arguing that hypotheses of over-urbanization and urban bias theory—which articulated a negative view of urbanization—are based on fragile theoretical as well as empirical foundations, this book calls for proactive public policy to harness planned urbanization as resource. India requires agglomeration-augmenting, congestion-mitigating, and resource-generating cities as engines of economic growth, including rural development.
The book provides a large number of practical examples from India and abroad to enable policy-makers undertake reforms in urban and regional planning, financing, and governance to meet the challenges of urbanization in India. It combines theory and practice to draw lessons for an urban agenda for India and recognizes the central role of cities in catalysing growth and generating public finance for economic development.
Chapter 4: Right to the City: Making Urbanization Inclusive
Right to the City: Making Urbanization Inclusive
Urbanization and Poverty
Rural poverty has long been the common face of destitution in developing countries. But urban poverty, with increased urbanization, can be “just as intense, dehumanizing and life-threatening”.1 In India also, the issues of urban poverty are assuming critical proportions for three reasons. First, the urban population is increasing. Many of the new urban dwellers are likely to be poor, born to parents in slums, being residents of villages reclassified as towns, or poor migrants trying to escape abject poverty in the countryside. Second, the rate of reduction in urban poverty has been slower than that in rural poverty; urban inequalities are also rising. Third, with inadequate access to shelter and ...