Book on “Urbanisation and Land: Challenges for Smart Cities in India”, edited by Dr. P.K.Mohanty, Chair Professor, Land, Housing, Transport and Urban Economics and Dr. Alok Kumar Mishra, Assistant Professor, School of Economics and Coordinator HUDCO Chair Programme was released on the World Habitat Day, October 3, 2016 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi by Sri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honurable Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information and Broadcasting.

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The book is based on a year-long research undertaken by a dedicated team of researchers in the School of Economics led by Dr. Mohanty and Dr. Mishra under the HUDCO Chair Programme. This book acknowledges the hard work and dedication by young researchers: Prerna Panda, Shibani Mishra, Tulika Rohilla, Namrata Panwar, Saloni Bhutani, Subba Lakshmi Tirukoti and Ravi Kumar. It specially thanks Prof. B. Kamaiah, Dean, School of Economics for his contribution to research. It also places on record gratitude to Prof. Appa Rao Podile, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hyderabad for his continuous support and guidance.

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The other guests and dignitaries present in this occasion included Sri Inderjit Singh, Honorable Minister of State, Ministry of Planning and Minister of State for Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Mr. Yoshinobu Fukasawa, Director, Regional office for Asia and the Pacific (UN-Habitat), Mr. Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP representative in India, Dr. Nandita Chatterjee, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Ravi Kanth, Chairman and Managing Director, HUDCO, and Dr. Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. This book was released by the Union Minister along with India Habitat III National Report. The Hon’ble Minister appreciated the efforts put in by the University under the HUDCO Chair programme to assist the Government of India in the implementation of national missions of Smart Cities, AMRUT and Housing for All.

About the book:

1. Urbanisation and Land: Overview
2. India’s Spatial Transformation: Urbanisation Trends, Prospects and Issues
3. Urbanisation and Land: Framework for Urban Land Policy
4. Developing Smart Cities: Innovative Models of Land Assembly
5. Making Cities Inclusive: Inclusionary Zoning and Housing
6. Land-based Instruments for Financing Smart Cities
7. Property Tax Reforms: Municipal Autonomy and Accountability
8. Urbanisation and Land: Challenges for Smart Cities in India

India’s urban population, estimated at 410 million in 2014, is projected to rise to 814 million by 2050. Providing land, housing, workplaces, infrastructure and civic services to the huge numbers in cities and towns, existing and to be added, is a daunting task for policy-makers and planners. In particular, the affordable housing and basic service needs of the urban poor, including slum-dwellers, numbering more than a quarter of the urban residents pose major challenges. The issues are of pivotal importance as cities are the engines of economic growth, providers of employment opportunities to millions in formal and informal sectors, and generators of public finance for socio-economic development, including poverty reduction. The number at the bottom of the urban pyramid is so large that even a small improvement in their productivity due to public policy, including urban land policy, can make a big difference to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is in these contexts that the book is concerned with urban land policy in India.

A key conclusion from the research that culminated in the book is that the past approaches to urban land policy in India have looked at urban development from a narrow physical planning point of view. International and Indian best practices, however, suggest that physical planning, socio-economic planning, infrastructure development, city financing, inclusionary zoning and housing and public-private and inter-governmental partnerships must be integrated in the strategy of planned urban development. They need to be grounded in a value creation, capture and recycling framework. They must take into account local conditions, topography, population composition, mix of economic activities, stage of development, culture, governance and other aspects of cities to be successful. There is no single or simple solution to address the serviced land and affordable housing needs of India’s urbanisation. However, keeping in view theory and practice, a mix of methods and approaches will be necessary. The smart cities of India need to revamp the basic systems of planning, land management, inclusion, financing and governance to be able to apply ‘smart’ solutions aimed at transforming cities. The book is concerned with India’s spatial transformation.

The book is based on the premise that the foundation of smart cities must be built on known principles and best practices. It examines the themes of land assembly for planned urbanization; land for housing and workplaces of the urban poor; land-based financing of urban infrastructure; and property tax reforms. Specific themes covered by the book include:

• India’s urbanisation trends, prospects and issues.
• Characteristics of urban land and its inseparable relationship with spatial planning and infrastructure.
• Land assembly for planned urbanisation – housing, workplaces and infrastructure.
• Inclusionary zoning (IZ) and inclusionary housing (IH), aimed at addressing the concerns of ‘exclusionary urbanisation’ in India.
• Land based financing instruments, including land-based taxes, land development financing tools and value capture financing
mechanisms.
• Value increment financing of cities to usher in a self-financed process of urban development.
• Reform in property tax, the most important land based tax with ULBs in India.
• Key elements of urban land policy to deal with the emerging issues of serviced land, floor space and infrastructure and meet the
challenges of urban land policy.

We express our sincere thanks to the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) for funding support to the University of Hyderabad under the HUDCO Chair programme for many of the research in themes covered in this book. The support by HUDCO has strengthened the- Land, Housing, Transport and Urban Economics Programme at the School of Economics, the first of its kind in the country. It has enabled a number of scholars to pursue research in emerging issues of India’s urban transformation. We particularly express our gratitude to Dr. H. S. Gill, Executive Director, HSMI for intellectual support and facilitation. Last but not the least, we acknowledge the valuable cooperation of Dr. Manika Negi, Fellow and HUDCO Chairs’ Coordinator, HSMI, for facilitating the smooth implementation of projects.

This book is meant to assist researchers and officials of urban local bodies, planning authorities and urban development entities in India to analyse contemporary urban issues. It is also meant for policy-makers to design policies and urban sector reform agenda. We hope the book will be of immense use value to planners, policy-makers and researchers in India. It establishes the uniqueness of the programme of land, housing, transport and urban economics in the country as an initiative to promote policy-relevant research and advocacy.

Dr. Alok Kumar Mishra
Assistant Professor and Coordinator, HUDCO Chair Programme
School of Economics, University of Hyderabad

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