By 2050, more will live in cities than villages: Experts

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 07 Januari 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Estimating India's urban population to go up 40% by 2020, taking care of cities needs immediate attention, experts said.

"Reports show that by 2050, more people will live in cities in India than in villages but on the current trends on the performance of cities, the quality of life will deteriorate by 2030," said Gopal Naik from the Centre of Excellence for Urban Development, IIM Bangalore, at a symposium at the 102nd Indian Science Congress at Mumbai University.

Cities in India are rated low on per capita provision of water, public transport and open spaces. "Our cities are poorly managed due to bad governance. There is need for adequate manpower and proper systems and processes, use of databases, accountability and transparency," said Naik,

Out-of-the-box solutions for affordable housing are necessary for the development of urban spaces. Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay, students have built a full-scale flexible model of an affordable house that can accommodate a family of six. "We have never tried to experiment with small spaces, so we are stuck in 2BHK and 3BHK concepts. These ideas, if put into place, will yield houses that are better than the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) houses, which are almost vertical slums," said Uday Athavankar, professor of the institute. The students are also working on a housing solution which emphasizes sharing space. The project will be on display at the institute from January 17 to 19.

Change of material to construct houses is also a way to take care of cities, the experts said. "Mumbai and Thane are popular destinations to live in because of clean drinking water that they can get from their lakes. These lakes are protected by forests and hence the forests must be protected," said Bharat Bhushan, professor, environmental planning, Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration. He said bamboo pulp walls are used to create offices, houses and hutments in Gadchiroli. "Urban forestry programmes are important for cities," he said.

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