Smart Urbanization – Key to Sustainable Cities

Bansal, Neha and Shrivastava, Vineet and Singh, Jagdish (2015) Smart Urbanization – Key to Sustainable Cities. REAL CORP 2015. PLAN TOGETHER – RIGHT NOW – OVERALL. From Vision to Reality for Vibrant Cities and Regions. Proceedings of 20th International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society. pp. 551-560.

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Urbanisation is a major change taking place globally. It is estimated that 500 million people will be urbanised by 2030 which is around 60% of the world’s population will be living in cities. Cities fuel economic development through mobilizing capital, work force, knowledge/information and technology and offer better chances of wealth generation, better health facilities, education and a good quality of life with better services and facilities. This has led to the increase in “megacities” (urban areas with a population of 10 million or more) and primate cities (leading cities in the region disproportionately larger than others in the urban hierarchy) across the globe. Urbanization propelled by economic reforms are putting cities under perpetual pressure of population concentration and energy intensive growth model. The cities are often confronted with a multitude of key problems like high urban densities, traffic congestion, energy inadequacy, unplanned development and lack of basic services. Due to high land values, migrants often have no choice but to settle in shantytowns and slums, where they lack access to decent housing and sanitation, health care and education thus adding to urban poverty. Urbanisation is also contributing significantly to climate change as 20 largest cities consume 80% of the world’s energy and urban areas generate 80% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The challenges of rapid urbanisation are to deal with the social, economic and environment development through more effective and comprehensive land administration functions, supported by efficient per capita infrastructure supply , resolving issues such as climate change, disaster management, insecurity, energy scarcity, environmental pollution, and extreme poverty. Urbanization must be able to support urban planning to achieve sustainable development in order to meet the growing energy and housing demands, reliable public transportation systems and be able to meet essential urban services without putting pressure on resources. Therefore it needs to support innovative urban planning policies and strategies beyond traditional urban planning paradigms. Urbanisation on the positive side provides an unparalleled urban planning opportunity to pre-address social and environmental problems, including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions combined with the retrofitting and upgrading of facilities and networks in existing urban centres, as well as smart urban planning of cities can provide better education, healthcare and high-quality energy services more efficiently and with less emissions because of their advantages of scale, proximity and lower geographic footprints. Thus “Smart Urbanisation” is the key to safer cities of tomorrow. Building cities sustainably using smart growth principles, compact development planning form, using eco-city concepts, concept of low carbon electricity ecosystem etc, provides an opportunity to avoid future sources of greenhouse emissions, while developing more liveable and efficient urban centres. It could also alleviate population pressure on natural habitats and biodiversity thus reducing the risks to natural disasters. High-level integration of existing technologies to deliver a smart energy network, enhanced electricity transmission, energy efficient transportation, and low carbon building footprints, will make it easier to manage the unfolding urbanisation, and could have much positive impact on energy use and consumption. Policy interventions and government investments are important determining tools to its success. This paper attempts to discuss the principles of “smart urbanisation” in light of sustainable cities of tomorrow.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: liveable, smart, integration, urbanisation, ecocity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2016 10:56
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2016 10:56

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