Ismail Haque, Simi Mehta, Arjun Kumar | Observer Research Foundation

­India’s metropolitan cities are the testing ground for policy innovations on areas as wide-reaching as economic and infrastructure development, land-use planning, provision of civic amenities, and housing. Indeed, cities are presumed to be dynamic and vibrant, attracting greater investments and contributing to economic growth.

However, recent spatial and demographic growth behaviours of India’s metro cities are posing challenges to nurturing their sustainability and inclusivity. This special report studies the challenges facing Kolkata—India’s oldest metropolitan city and administrative capital of West Bengal—vis-à-vis the country’s Smart Cities Mission.

The report discusses issues pertaining to Kolkata’s haphazard urban expansion and the various measures taken by the Government of West Bengal and the city authority to maintain its liveability and sustainability. The report concludes with recommendations for efficient and effective policy interventions.

Towards sustainable and inclusive cities: The case of Kolkata