- Centre for Policy Research
- L’Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), Le Centre national de la recherche scientifique est un organisme public de recherche (CNRS), Hyderabad Urban Labs, Just Jobs Network, University of Burdwan, RUJAK Center for Urban Studies
The event will be a panel discussion focusing on insights from small towns for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs, in the context of demographic, economic and social transformations in small towns and the nature of service delivery and governance.
A significant proportion of urban residents currently live and will continue to live outside the large metropolises. Using national definitions of urban agglomerations, 53% of the urban population in China and 50% in India live in agglomerations of less than 500,000 people. This type of urbanisation takes many forms, but almost always involves relative large dense settlements of people who do not work on the farm.
Drawing on extensive field research on India, Indonesia and West Asia, the event will present research on such settlements in India, highlighting in-situ urbanisation, the diversity of economic processes in the globally connected micropolis and in market towns that anchor and service local economies, with spillover economic benefits for rural hinterlands. It will explore their connection to infrastructure, as also issues of culture, gender and urban politics. The event will also engage with the role of such towns in internal migration in Indonesia, and with issues of urban resilience and environmental challenges, that can often benefit from precautionary action. Further, the event will highlight their need for more modular small network and non-network solutions that serve smaller and faster growing settlements more effectively. It will advocate incorporating new approaches to governance and infrastructure planning, especially for water, sanitation, and transport. This also offers cross-learning opportunities for underserved informal settlements (slums) in metropolises. In sum, the event will spotlight critical contributions of small towns, shows how they can be better serviced and infers cross-learnings for metropolitan slums.