We need to reimagine urbanisation in India says Anand Mahindra

At the third edition of 'Mahindra World City Confluence' in New Delhi, Chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra spoke about the importance of urbanisation for productivity in the country.


At the third edition of 'Mahindra World City Confluence' in New Delhi, Chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra spoke about the importance of urbanisation for productivity in the country. Joined by a number of speakers including Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, Antoni Vives, former Deputy Mayor of Barcelona, and others, the agenda of the event was around smart cities and how we can build cities that last.

Mahindra said, "Urbanisation, even in the smallest of towns creates productivity. I believe there is need to empower the people and the communities. Spaces do not conquer people. We need to find new solutions and become one of the biggest startup nations. Decentralisation can make a huge difference in making this happen."

Taking the point of urbanisation forward, Amitabh Kant added, "Unlike the United States which had all the resources for successful urbanisation, India has had to bend itself to make it happen. Cities and people need to learn to monetise the land value. The government alone cannot do all the urbanisation. It needs the private sector. Having services provided at a fair market price is necessary. Urbanisation is one of the areas where India can leap frog and place a good example among many countries and we can create better livable creativity of the future through the process of urbanisation."

Probably the best point that was made was by Barcelona ex Deputy Mayor Antoni Vives, "Instead of dividing the world into developed and developing, we should look it as urbanisation and under urbanisation. To move towards creating a smart city, there is a  need of a proper planning along with need of smart developer for the smart cities. Smart Cities need smart developers."

The aim of the confluence was to provide a forum for engaging with diverse stakeholders to participate, collaborate and exchange ideas around urban development. It was divided broadly into three sessions including two panel discussions and two in-depth presentations.

The first panel discussion titled "Cities: Learnings and Experiences" saw some of the leading experts talk about the pros and cons of new and emerging cities. This was followed by presentations by artist Shombit Sengupta, founder and creative strategist at Shining Consulting and Eytan Schwartz, CEO Tel Aviv Global.

The final panel discussion was around urbanisation where the panelists concluded that if India wants to accelerate urbanisation, it should learn from other countries and create a model of its own so that other nations can follow.

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