Reducing water and power use by half, renewable energy, public transport, inclusivity key elements.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation unveiled a new urban development strategy for the next 20 years. This is a major step on part of the Indian government’s urban development strategy. The minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu released ‘India Habitat III-National Report’ ahead of the UN Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador on October 17th 2016, where a global New Urban Agenda for the next 20 years is going to be adopted. This is a positive move on part of the urban ministry as it is sending a clear message emphasizing that India’s economic growth can be achieved through sustainable development.

This move could also not have come at a better time as India’s rising growth is due to urbanization. Cities are growing at a brisk pace and urban planning becomes a paramount factor. The Indian cities on account of not being planned effectively enough, results in losses for the economy. Sustainable urban planning will give another perspective to the urban planners as until now, this discipline was looked upon as one ensuring only the provision of basic services. Thus, larger transformational goals can be met based upon effective strategies whilst also meeting local priorities.This strategy basically builds upon the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as emphasis is being given to improving quality of life, ensuring inclusive growth and productivity. The minister, Shri Naidu has touched upon a number of topics mainly revolving around improving productivity.

The overhaul process will include reduction of energy and water usage by 50% ,increasing public transportation usage by 60%, generating half of power from renewable sources, promoting walking and cycling for last mile connectivity, compact and cluster urban development, promoting natural drainage patterns, reducing waste generation of all kind, promoting greenery and public places etc. This mission will also entail comprehensive planning for the supporting infrastructure.

The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) was launched in June 2015 and it has approved 10, 10,424 houses for the urban poor. Urban renewal projects/missions in the last two years have made a marked paradigm shift in the country’s approach to urban development.

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