Urbanization in India is expected to peak in 2050. The Smart Cities Mission was launched in 2015 to transform and improve livability in urban areas in the country.
Rapid urbanization puts tremendous stress on Indian cities. In the last 2 decades, India’s urban population has increased exponentially, with 420 million Indians—33% of the population—living in cities in 2015. Experts estimate that urbanization will peak in 2050, with more than half of India’s population living in cities. In 2015, the Smart Cities Mission was launched to transform and improve livability in urban areas through various redevelopment strategies including land-value capture mechanisms. This paper assesses one such measure, Floor Area Ratio incentives, and draws on lessons learned from international experiences to understand the potential for stimulating urban redevelopment and improving quality of life in Indian cities.