Cities Need to be Planned Differently: TERI Study

Mar 7th, 2014 | By | Category: Adaptation, India, Urbanization

The Hindu (Business Line): India’s economic growth may be falling prey to a new predator: climate change. It is estimated that the country suffered a loss of ₹1,000 crore due to adverse winter in January 2013 alone, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) said in a report, urging for policy changes to make Indian cities climate resilient.

The environmental lobbyist released a policy brief, ‘Climate Proofing Indian Cities: A Policy Perspective,’ on Wednesday. “A strong regulatory and institutional backing is required which also draws out financing mechanisms to support the cause,” the paper said, referring to the various challenges of developing climate resilient cities.

It is estimated that urban centres contribute 60 per cent to India’s GDP and this proportion is only going to increase in the future and these areas are projected to contribute as much as 75-80 per cent by 2030. As such, ignoring the health of these areas is not an option anymore.

Adverse effects

Going forward, climate change induced events, such as flooding, sea-level rise, storms, and heat as well as cold waves will increase the vulnerability of densely populated urban centres, the paper said.

“Around 70 per cent of infrastructure in India is yet to be developed, which is a huge opportunity for integrating climate resilience in future infrastructure development,” the organisation noted.

The policy brief said that to address climate change in urban areas all the levels of Government — national, State and city-level, as well as sectors such as infrastructure and services, urban planning, transport, disaster risk reduction, and housing and construction, all need to be involved.

However, the paper also emphasised a difficulty, the lack of historic data. To develop risk and vulnerability analysis of cities for the future, past climate data is required.

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