Inclusive Urban Development Part - 4

Category: Environment & Green Technology Published: Thursday, 20 October 2016
Other meaning of Inclusive development 
 
In my earlier blogs on this topic, I had focused on inclusion of Environmental, Digital and social aspects of urban growth in Inclusive Urban planning.  When I studied various urban development programs launched by Government of India and World Bank, I realized that the inclusive phrase used in those schemes  refer mainly to include development of poor and weaker section of society who had been excluded in traditional urban development plans.  
 
It is observed that many a times, with a vision of slum free cities, the existing slums in the vicinity of multistoried residential  complexes and business offices are demolished and are rehabilitated outskirts of the city in undeveloped land area. Such a scheme is carried out without completion of construction and provision of basic facilities like water, electricity, health and education amenities and economical transport services. This leads to social unrest   creating further hurdles in the project completion.  Physical isolation of rich and poor habitats is not the solution to the problem as it tends to aggravate social inequality .  Urban planning  should include growth of entire city population, slum dwellers being a major component who need more attention and priority allocation. Where it is imperative to have physical separation of such communities to safeguard environmental quality and to avoid overstraining of existing services,  strengthening connecting routes and development of  neighbourhood villages may help in accommodating displaced or influx of population in a sustainable environment.  This will reduce wide gap between urban and rural growth and will  also ensure sustainable living conditions to those staying in the city. Hence the inclusive urban planning cannot be bound to city limits but should encompass the neighborhood region.
 
Combination of  two aspects of inclusive phrase.
 
Integration of environmental, digital and social aspects in planning and inclusion of equitable development of all sections of society thus forms a basis for sustainable urban development .  This task  requires careful planning, detailed time-cost schedule and coordinated efforts of all parties in the entire lifecycle of project from its planning to implementation stage.  As discussed earlier, it is generally observed that ambitious dream projects for urban development get delayed over long period due to lack of coordination between separate departments responsible for sanction and execution. This increases cost and project becomes financial burden without delivering desired benefits.
 
Fortunately, technological advances and digital revolution have provided many economical and effective options for better coordination and project monitoring  without need of physical presence and manual operations.  It is now possible to administer the entire project  with web portal services for video conferences,  data capture with electronic gadgets and sensors, data transfer, storage and analysis from remote control centre. IBM, Siemens, Microsoft, Hitachi and similar software giants have started working on development of smart world leave apart smart building or smart  city. 
 
However, it  would be wrong to apply these concepts in prevailing Indian conditions. This is due to various reasons. Economic disparity in population,  low education level in majority of population, necessity of manual operations to provide jobs to unemployed unskilled people,  high cost of automation systems and their infrastructural requirements as compared to manpower cost.
 
India has to develop its own methodology to incorporate strength of its manpower,  use of IT enabled services  to the extent possible and convenient and preserve environmental quality without aggressive exploitation of natural resources. It is necessary therefore, to have better interaction in experts in various fields at local  level  to evolve sustainable growth model  suitable and specific for inclusive urban development  for each city in India.