India: Urban Poverty Report 2009Feb 3, 2009
Urban India has a high incidence of poverty despite being hailed as an engine of growth and instrument of globalization. Eighty-one million people subsist in urban areas on incomes that are below the poverty line. The pace of urbanization in India is set to increase, and with it, urban poverty and urban slums. However, public policy measures for urban India have lacked focus and proper allocation of funds. There is thus an urgent need at the national level to document the key issues in urban poverty, to assess the tasks at hand, and plan for the future.
The India: Urban Poverty Report 2009 identifies the problems faced by the poor and focuses on the systemic changes that are needed. It looks at the process of globalization and the development strategy in the country, and asks why the poor exist in urban India and how they are being physically and economically absorbed into the system. It analyses the processes of urbanization, migration, changes in the economic structure, and the pattern of infrastructural investment, highlighting how these impact on the well-being of the poor.
The central concerns of this report include:trends and patterns of migration;dynamics of urban land and capital market;marginalization of the poor to the urban periphery;changes in urban governance;gender dimensions of urban poverty; unorganized workforce and the informal sector; provision of and access to basic services and amenities indicating quality of life; and appalling conditions in slums.
The essays present both the challenges as well as some of the innovative solutions that are being tried out in different parts of the country. With a focus on the goal of inclusive cities in India, this report will be an important contribution to the re-evaluation of existing policies and programmes to redress urban poverty. Combining data with case studies, it will be useful for policymakers, civil society organizations, urban planners, and researchers in the fields of urbanization and development studies. UNDP India Press Release on India’s first report on urban poverty launched .