New governance structure to manage cities : Study

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New Delhi, Aug 11 (UNI) The four metros Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Bangalore, which account for over one-third of India's one trillion dollar economy, need new governing structures to manage and sustain the rapid growth they have been experiencing for decades, a study said.

Now occupying the cusp between the globalised world economy and the dislocations that follow the rapid change, leading information technology industries alongside low levels of literacy and new condominium developments were overlooking informal slum development in these cities which requires rationalising governing structure, says the joint study by London School of Economics and Political Science and Deutsche Bank's Alfred Herrhausen Society.

The density of population vary in these four cities, but tend to be highest in the poorest areas, the study notes in its Integrated City Making report, saying more than 50 per cent of the population in Greater Mumbai lives in slums occupying just eight per cent of land.

The four metros have a population of about 35 million people--78 million including wider metropolitan region, and an economy valued at 360 billion dollar, the report said.

Drawing out similarities and differences between the four Indian cities and London, New York, Berlin and Johannesburg, the study says rapid urban growth in Indian cities has overtaken the planning process, resulting in reactive and often outdated plans.

Enforcement is weak and planning profession is seen as lacking capacity, leading to loss of credibility.

Land use and transport planning are conducted as seperate exercises, leading to new developments without transport, and transport infrastructure that fails to further cities'ong term visions, it adds.

Stating that responsibility for land-use and transport planning is fragmented between different agencies and different tiers of the government, the report calls for a creation of new governance structures that recognise the cities' role and how urban leaders can put their cities at the forefront of the sustainable growth.

The report recommends balancing ambition and realism in plans along with the capacity to respond to changing circumstances.

Suggesting the creation of a single transport authority aligned with land-use planning, it says land-use and transport planning should be integrated from the top of organisations for ensuring political and managerial priority.

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