New Delhi: Seeking to change unsustainable patterns of urbanisation with smarter and sustainable system, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said there is a need to adopt low carbon paths in cities.
He also highlighted the importance of PPP in sustainable urbanisation programme.
"We need to adopt low carbon paths as we build new cities and renovate the urban infrastructure in the existing ones while paying attention to sustainable livelihood for people," Naidu said here while inaugurating the regional policy dialogue on sustainable urbanisation in South Asia.
South Asia is currently the least urbanised region in the world with only 31 percent of its population living in cities compared to 56 percent in East Asia and nearly 80 percent in Latin America and 73 percent in Europe, according to the UN study.
"The urban population is expected to rise rapidly as South Asian countries develop and catch up with the developed world. India alone would be expected to add 404 million people to its cities by 2050," he said.
Considering the mammoth financial requirements for sustainable urbanisation in South Asia, public-private partnerships have to play an important role.
He said rapid urbanisation cannot be arrested as people from rural areas migrate to cities in search of better opportunities in education, health and employment sectors.
Advocating "thoughtful actions" and "strategic planning", he said, "Harnessing of new technologies for low carbon paths is required as we mobilise investment in crucial areas like housing, sanitation, transport, energy, and other infrastructure to ensure preventive environment management and social cohesion."
Describing cities as "engine of growth", Naidu said despite occupying only about 2.3 per cent of land areas and only 31 per cent of population, cities produce 60 per cent of the GDP."
He said government is working towards a model of urban system that can allow aspirations of all sections of society and offer investment climate for intellect and money.
Referring to the proposed Smart City plan, he said, "Government is embarking upon on a mission to create 100 smart cities in the country. These cities would be developed as satellite towns of large cities and by modernising the existing mid-sized cities."
He said these smart cities would provide sustainable economic, social and physical infrastructure ensuring high quality of life, affordable housing, health care, 24-hour power and water supply, security among other facilities.