By the middle of the century, India’s population is likely to grow by 400 million people to around 1.7 billion in total. Over the same period, an estimated 300-400 million Indians will migrate to cities. As per some estimates, cities receive nearly 30 people per minute. India’s potential to leapfrog into a service led economy will depend majorly on the extent to which smart urban governance is able to leverage technology in order to bring about the innovation, sustainability and inclusiveness needed to produce balanced socioeconomic growth.
Yet, building social, green and inclusive cities requires more than financial resources and technological prowess. In a multicultural, pluralistic, decentralised polity, decisions cannot simply be imposed top down, but need to be accepted by social majorities. What is needed, to stir a fragmented and diverse polity onto a common trajectory, is disruptive reform with a view of shifting the policy paradigm. The social and political struggle to bring about such path shifting reforms is called Transformative Change Making (TCM).
Around 15 experts on urban issues including academia, practitioners, NGO representatives, think tank representatives, advocacy groups got together in the first Seed Community Meeting of the Urban Transformation project under the FES workline on Economy of Tomorrow. The experts came from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, and were introduced to TCM in the context of urban transformation.