This paper examines the emergence of new forms of economic settlements such as Special Economic Zones, Special Investment Regions and Industrial Corridors and examines their role and relevance in contemporary urban India. These settlements, while not officially classified as towns or cities have distinct urban characteristics, are products of economic and industrial policies rather than of planned urbanisation. The paper places this examination within multiple contexts by examining the policies and processes of the Indian government at the national and state levels in facilitating urbanisation and industrialisation in the country. It then discusses the development of new economic settlements such as SEZs and industrial corridors within the context of contemporary economic, urban and policy environments in India before addressing the assumptions, feasibilities and adaptabilities of this strategy. It concludes by making recommendations and observations in six arenas: integration with existing urban settlements; emphasising labour-intensive growth; addressing regional disparity; facilitating livelihood transitions; transitioning to urban governance and developing regional infrastructure.