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India :   Sustainable Urban Development





Taj Mahal, Agra Issues (and links to Agenda 21):




Bank of the River Gages, Varanasi Urbanisation in India

The growth of urban population in India has been extremely rapid during the course of this century. While the total population of India has grown by 3.5 times from 1901 to 1991, its urban population has increased by approximately 9 times from 25 million to 217 million over the same period. The share of Class I cities (with population 100,000 and above) to total urban population has increased from 26% to 65% during this period. The concentration of population in the `million plus' cities has been particularly striking. Their number has increased from 1 (1901) to 23 (1991). These 23 cities ( Table 1 ) account for 32.5% of India's total urban population. Well being of the urban areas is very important, as they contribute to nearly 55% of the GDP of India and this share is expected to rise further in the coming years. Not only efficient public transportation system-a pervasive element of life in urban areas, but also good sanitation facilities are thus very critical for maintaining and improving the productivity and quality of life in the cities as well as for the overall economic growth of the country.



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Color Icon WHO Healthy Cities Programme

The Healthy Cities project was begun by WHO's Regional Office to develop local strategies and action for health for all. Healthy Cities project aims to enhance the physical, mental, social and environmental well being of the people who live and work in the cities. The project is a long-term international development effort that seeks to put health on the agenda of decision-makers in cities and to build a strong lobby for public health at the local level.


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