As with most Indian cities, Hyderabad has grown exponentially over the years, both in terms of land area and population size. Unfortunately, while the promise of a vibrant Hyderabad is appealing, growth in the city is not born out of desire, but as a default. Moreover, further growth is undesirable as the city has already exceeded its carrying capacity. At a low growth rate of 2% per annum, the city’s population of approximately 10 million could double in 35 years and become unmanageable in terms of the civic amenities and services required to sustain it.
Urban planning is said to be the technical or political process that deals with the design, use and development of land and other resources in a city or town. According to the 2018 Quality of Living ranking produced by Mercer, Hyderabad was found to be the most livable city in India. However, most residents of the city would argue otherwise. As a new metropolitan city, Hyderabad is faced with several challenges and yet, its greatest shortcoming is its inability to be proactive with regard to urban planning and governance. Yet, what Hyderabad lacks in vision, it makes up for in promise. In such a case, there is a critical need to look objectively at the patterns of growth and development and plan for a more sustainable, efficient and productive future. Most critical of all, is that urban planning in Hyderabad must be preceded by a development vision and all its resource sectors must be managed not in isolation, but towards serving the needs of the people and their environment.
Why does Forum's work matter?
While metropolitan cities in the country experience unprecedented growth, there is seldom any planning to regulate these demographic and land use changes, or to manage the services required to sustain it. Without proper planning, development is difficult to achieve. In Hyderabad, with the inauguration of the Hyderabad Metro Rail, there has been a long overdue focus on public transit. However, it is equally important to not treat public transit as a standalone issue. To ensure that reforms to development sectors yield good results, continuity across different infrastructural and institutional public service sectors is imperative.