by: The World Bank
Urbanization beyond Municipal Boundaries informs policy priorities to manage India's urbanization. Incisive
analysis of the patterns of India's urbanization using geo-referenced data from various rounds of the
population and economic census highlights rapid suburbanization of people and firms around the country's
largest metropolitan areas. However, the move to the suburbs is accelerated by land and housing shortages
in metropolitan cores, coupled with high transport costs between the metropolitan core and its periphery,
and much worse infrastructure access and quality for water, electricity, and sanitation in the urban periphery.
What are priorities for policy reform?
First, investing in India's institutional and informational foundations that can enable land and housing
markets to function effi ciently while deregulating land use in urban areas. To achieve this, planning for land
use and planning for infrastructure must be coordinated so that densifi cation of metropolitan areas can be
accompanied by infrastructure improvements.
Second, expanding and delivering better infrastructure services to improve livability. Policy makers need to
institute reforms that would help providers recover costs yet reach out to poorer neighborhoods and
Last, strengthening physical connectivity between metropolitan hubs and their peripheries to improve those
areas that attract the majority of people and businesses over the medium term. Investments in network
infrastructure alongside logistics improvements can facilitate the smoother movement of goods. Land policy, infrastructure services, and connectivity-coordinated improvements in this triad can help India reap dividends from improved spatial equity and greater economic efficiency that come with urbanization.
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