CEO and Senior Fellow Reuben Abraham & Director and Research Fellow Pritika Hingorani write for Bloomberg Opinion that a prosperous future for India depends crucially on promoting well-planned urbanisation.
"The problem — in India as elsewhere — is largely one of definition. What constitutes a city or urban area varies widely around the world. Some nations employ simple population cutoffs: Mexico and Venezuela count any town with more than 2,500 residents as urban, while New Zealand uses 1,000 people. Since 2000, the U.S. Census has focused instead on population density (above a minimum threshold of 2,500 residents). China uses a density criterion of 1,500 people per square kilometer, but recently expanded the definition to include residents of villages that are directly connected to municipal infrastructure or that receive public services from urban municipalities.
In India, only “statutory towns” are considered urban and have a municipal administration — a definition that officially leaves the country 26 percent urban. State governments make the decision using widely differing criteria; demographic considerations are peripheral at times. The Census of India provides the only other official, and uniform, estimate. Its formula uses a mix of population, density and occupation criteria, and pegs India at 31 percent urban."
Read the full article here.