Urbanisation has shown significant positive linkages with economic growth. Urban India accounted for 62 to 63 percent of the country’s GDP in 2009–10. While the true scale of urbanisation is yet to unfold, Indian cities are struggling at the current levels. Quality of life in our cities is poor as the majority of citizens find it difficult to avail of sustainable livelihood opportunities and basic services. For example 24 percent of the urban population lives in slums and many slum dwellers do not have access to basic sanitation facilities and potable water. The modal share of public transport in India is only 22 percent and share of buses was only 1.1
percent of total registered vehicles in 2001. Unfortunately, the lack of suitable livelihood opportunities further deteriorates the quality of life for many including the physically challenged, e.g. 26 percent of the urban population lived below the monthly consumption of Rs. 539 in 2004–05.
To overcome these issues, the government has stepped up its focus and launched multiple schemes to facilitate urban renewal and development. This includes the flagship schemes of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) among many others. While these initiatives have renewed focus on the urban sector, they have also highlighted several critical issues that impede urbanisation. Hence, a comprehensive assessment of urban objectives and strategies is needed to steer planned, inclusive and sustainable urban