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Urbanization Urbanization

Better Cities, Better Growth: India’s Urban Opportunity

This report provides new analysis across 479 Indian cities – using an innovative combination of satellite data of night-time lights, census, environmental, and economic data – which demonstrates a clear link between more compact, connected urban growth and stronger economic performance in India, corroborating global findings.

This report focuses on how India can foster a better urbanisation – one that promotes more rapid economic transformation, improves the quality of life of city dwellers, and curbs the potential harmful spillovers of urbanisation, such as congestion, wasteful energy use, and unwanted pollution. In particular, the report recommends reforms and progress in three key action areas that, together, can help deliver social and economic benefits for urban India:

• Reforms of land regulations to manage urban expansion and promote a more appropriately compact model of urban development, unleashing the forces of agglomeration, reducing urban poverty by bringing people closer to job prospects, and alleviating environmental impacts;

• A major expansion of sustainable urban infrastructure investment to support the development of more compact and connected cities, with a particular focus on improved urban transport;

• Reforms to urban local government and financing, to support stronger coordination and governance of urban development strategies and major infrastructure investment plans.