Urban Policy

India has seen significant growth in its urban population over the past few decades, resulting in both challenges and opportunities. Data from the 2011 Census shows that the urban population increased from 17.3% in 1951 to 31.2% in 2011 and is expected to surpass 40% by 2021. This rapid urbanization has placed heavy demands on India’s cities, particularly in terms of infrastructure, housing, employment, and basic services such as water, sanitation, and health care.

Given this situation, it is essential to implement effective urban policies to address these challenges and opportunities. These policies should aim to improve the quality of life for urban residents, promote sustainable urban development, and tackle poverty, housing, transportation, and infrastructure issues. Proper urban policies can ensure the benefits of urbanization are widely shared and that cities become livable, inclusive, and sustainable places for all residents.

Faculty at ADCPS focus on various aspects of India’s urban policy, including residential segregation, services, aging, labor, and housing.

Residential segregation is a major challenge in India’s urban areas, with many cities exhibiting stark disparities based on caste, class, and religion. Residential segregation leads to unequal access to resources, services, and opportunities, which can have a profound impact on individuals’ health, education, and economic outcomes. It also contributes to the persistence of socio-economic divides, and can lead to the formation of distinct, often isolated, communities within cities. This can result in a lack of social cohesion and increase the likelihood of conflict and tension. For these reasons, addressing residential segregation is an important policy goal. Researchers at ADCPS have been working extensively on documenting residential segregation in Indian cities and its effect on unequal distribution of public goods.

With India’s population rapidly ageing, the country is facing new challenges in terms of providing adequate care and support for its elderly citizens. Older adults in urban India also often face challenges in accessing quality health care, finding, and maintaining employment, and securing affordable housing. Many cities in India lack the infrastructure and services required to support an aging population, including accessible public transportation, walkable streets, and age-friendly community spaces. This will require investment in public services, affordable housing, and infrastructure, as well as policies that support social engagement and active aging. This highlights the need for policies and initiatives aimed at addressing the needs of an aging urban population in India.  Researchers at ADCPS have been dedicating their efforts to study the growing challenges faced by older adults in urban India. The goal of this research is to identify the root causes of the challenges faced by older adults in urban India, and to develop evidence-based policies and initiatives that can help to address these challenges.