TACKLING ISSUES OF PERI-URBANISATION: A SMART REGION APPROACH

Co-Authored by Vibhu Singh

INTRODUCTION

Cities are the main centers of urbanization and economy generation but with rapid population growth, the lifestyle at urban centres is deteriorating. The urban dwellers relocate due to economic factors, land speculation or over congested city centres which leads them to settle in peri-urban areas. Change in land use, occupation pattern, reducing farm activities and growth of built structures, inadequate planning and governance in peri-urban areas can cause various problems (Aijaz, 2019). With India urbanizing and the scarcity of land in megacities, the pressure on peri-urban areas has grown further. In this article, taking Pune (Maharashtra) as an example in which the city area comprising Pune Municipal Corporation and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.  Pune Metropolitan Region which includes the urban agglomerations, is currently managed by Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA). It is observed that there are various remarkable efforts put in by Smart City Mission but a city doesn’t stand in isolation. It is expanding spatially which is proven by analysis of satellite imagery through Landuse Landcover (LULC) technique. The smart solutions at the city level cannot help at regional level, therefore, they should be applied to a larger area which in this case is PMR. This regional focus ensures that the critical resources of the region are not exploited or destroyed by urbanization.

Smart city initiative integrates information technology and infrastructure to make better lifestyle in the urban area. It aims to bring environmental and social sustainability for the people of the city. These initiatives are concentrated and doesn’t take into account any areas outside the city which may or may not be a source of problems within the city. This is a major drawback which can be tackled by accounting for a bigger area for development through smart solutions.

Smart Region is about how institutions, people and technology work together to create an interpersonal space where people and region connect. It blends community and technology with social good to curb the issues of that region. The smart formula is not necessarily to imply technology but innovation and innovative ideas (Igniting a Smart Region Movement, 2018). A region covers a city and the surrounding small towns, many times the governmental institutions only rely on city for economy and other prospects but a city is just a part of a region. Hence a smart region is more than just big data and technology it’s about livability and better quality of life, it’s about the overall connect between city and region. The smart region initiative focuses and fosters the identity of the region using its resources for a sustainable, healthy, resilient and equitable region (Starner, 2018).

PUNE DISTRICT, MAHARASHTRA

Pune is a district in the state of Maharashtra, India. The district's population was 9,429,408 and the area is 15,642 sq. km. The population density is 600persons/sq. km. Out of the total population, 77% is concentrated in the core. The total area of the PMR is 7,257 sq. km. of which only 25% is occupied by the core (Census of India, 2011).

Figure 1: Regional Setting of Pune, Maharashtra

In the Pune District, there are two municipalities which are Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC). The PMC covers an area of 331.26 sq. km. and has a population of 3.4 Million. The PCMC includes the industrialized towns of Chinchwad, Akurdi, Pimpri and Bhosari, these areas were part of extended city limits (City Development Plan , 2012). The start of Pune industrial hub was in 1945 by the Kirlosker Oil Engines Ltd at Kirkee Pune. In 2007, many big companies like Volkswagen, General Motors and General Electric came to Pune. The trend continued there came 150 German companies in Pune. Pune has now emerged as a new start-up hub, education hub and the industrial hub with approximately 300 industries (Iyer, 2018). The accessibility and the technology have grown so much that the skilled manpower and the world of information isn’t far away. The universities in Pune area are a century old, where students from all over the country come to study with the readily available jobs at the firms and the industries, students stay there only. Also, with the global industries setting up here, the city has become the prime location for leading manufacturers (Gour, 2016).

Some of the main areas of Pune include, CBD area of Pune comprises areas such as Koregaon Park, Kalyaninagar, other retail office zones situated in Aundh, Balewadi, Pashan, etc. which are major attractions for employment i.e., people from residential areas travel to these areas on a daily basis (City Development Plan , 2012).

Magarpatta is a 450 acre, privately owned gated community in the Hadapsar area of Pune, India. It is one of the premium societies which has a commercial area, residential area, hospital with several specializations, shopping malls, restaurants, a gym, Aditi Garden (a 25-acre park) and schools. In total, 30% of the area is made up of green space.

PUNE SMART CITY

Pune is one of the first 20 cities selected for the smart city mission, launched on June 25, 2015. There were two broad initiatives i.e., PAN city approach and ABD (Area Based Development) implemented in Pune. PAN city initiative focused on the mobility aspect of Pune i.e., lack of public transportation, along with the sudden increase in the private vehicle over the last decade and also dilapidated pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. Further it aimed to fill infrastructure gaps such as metro, ring roads, and BRT systems.

For ABD, Pune aims to create a model neighbourhood of liveability and sustainability matching global standards in the selected local area (Aundh-Baner-Balewadi – ABB) by fully deploying all 24 smart city features keeping in mind the need of the future population (Pune smart city annual report, 2017).

Figure 2: Area Based Development Region in Pune, Maharashtra



Figure 3: Smart City Initiatives in Pune

ANALYSIS OF DEMOGRAPHIC GROWTH TREND AND LULC

The population of Pune city is about 3.1 million as per census 2011. The city population has increased six times in last 60 years, due to enhanced economic activities, more job opportunities which has increased the immigration in the area. The city experienced rapid growth due to industrialization of the PMC/PCPM after 1960. Also, growth of IT and education attracted people to Pune. (Nitin N Mundle, 2014)