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Delhi has a denser population than Tokyo and New York: study

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    Delhi has a high level of social inequality and nearly twice the population density of New York and Tokyo, yet it has a very low level of violent crime—less than half of New York, says a study released in New Delhi on Friday that compares the Indian capital with eight other global cities.

    The statistics was compiled in preparation for the 13th Urban Age conference being held in New Delhi on 14-15 November. The conference is organized by LSE Cities, a research centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society. It is hosted in partnership with the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).

    The research was developed by LSE Cities, supported by Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society. It compares Delhi, London, Bogota, Tokyo, Lagos, New York, Istanbul and Berlin across various parameters.


    However, the result of this high density is that Delhi’s citizens have less access to green spaces—Delhi has only 2 sq. metres of green space per person. That’s better than Lagos (0.002 sq. m) and Istanbul (1 sq. m), but leagues behind London and Berlin, which have by far the highest amount of green space per person, at 36 sq. m and 39 sq. m, respectively.

    On economic parameters, the research shows that Delhi’s projected increase in income per capita is one of the largest among the nine cities. From 2012-2030, its average annual gross value added growth will be 7%, compared with London (2.8%), Lagos (6.6%) and Tokyo (only 1.1%).

    Nevertheless, the level of income inequality, as measured by the GINI index, remains high in Delhi at 0.6. This compares with 0.36 for London, 0.29 for Berlin and 0.64 for Lagos. (The index is based on residents’ net income, and reveals the gap between the rich and poor. The values range between 0 and 1, with a higher value indicating greater inequality.)

    Delhi also suffers from high pollution levels, with annual mean PM10 (particulate matter) levels of 286 microgram per cubic meter, which is twice the level for Lagos (122), but over ten times the level for Berlin, New York, London and Tokyo.

    The study attributes this to high levels of traffic congestion in Delhi. Just under half of daily trips, 42%, in Delhi are made by public transport, lower than Lagos (70%) and Tokyo (67%). Car ownership in Delhi at 131 cars per 1,000 people is less than London’s 307 and Berlin’s 334.

    Over 60 experts and policymakers from 22 cities in 10 countries are attending the conference.

    This year’s theme for the conference is Governing Urban Futures, and the experts will explore the links between urban governance and the future development of cities, with a special focus on Delhi.

    China and India will have the largest number of megacities of over 10 million people by 2030, the press release said.

    “The question facing us is not: ‘Will urbanization continue?’ The real question is: ‘Will urbanisation continue to be a force for good?’," Anshu Jain, chairman of the board of trustees of the Alfred Herrhausen Society and co-chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank, said.

    “Understanding cities in an Urban Age requires understanding complexity and contradiction. Learning from different cities we all have a better sense of how to ensure better governance for our urban citizens," said Ricky Burdett, Director, LSE Cities and Urban Age, LSE.

    Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN Habitat: “We are failing on how we plan, build and manage our cities. Subsequently, we are failing in creating a sustainable future for us and our next generations. If urbanisation is to be truly inclusive and sustainable, participatory mechanisms and integrated human settlements planning and management practices are crucial."

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    Published: 14 Nov 2014, 05:41 PM IST


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