Delhi to grow faster than London, New York

Capital city is also safer and denser than others in a group of selected eight global cities

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Pratap Vikram Singh | November 15, 2014



Delhi’s projected increase in per capita income is one of the largest among a group of global cities including London, New York and Tokyo between 2012 and 2030. According to a report released by London School of Economics (LSE) and Alfred Herrhausen Society, Delhi’s average annual gross value added (GVA, measure of value of products and services produced in a city) growth in the metro area would be 7 percent. In the same duration, London would have 2.8 percent, Lagos 6.6 percent and Tokyo 1.1 percent of GVA growth.

The study on eight cities — Delhi, London, Bogota, Tokyo, Lagos, New York, Istanbul and Berlin — was released at Urban Age Conference organised by the renowned varsity and the society, which is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) wing of Deutsche Bank.

It is interesting to note here that the study has found Delhi safer than New York. In terms of number of murders per one lakh population, Delhi stands at 2.7 and New York at 5.6. Bogota (a Latin American city) tops the list, with16.1 homicides per one lakh population.

The population of the Delhi metro area over the same period would only grow by two percent a year compared to Lagos at 6.4 percent per year. Tokyo would actually shrink by 0.1 percent.

Delhi, the study found, is also one of the most denser cities among the group. “Despite its relatively low-rise urban landscape, Delhi has an extremely high average density of built up area of 19,698 people per square kilometre, nearly twice the levels for wider New York metro area (which at 11,531 people/sq km includes high-rise Manhattan) and Tokyo with 11,025 people/sq km,” the report said.

As a result, Delhi has only two square metres of green space per person. “Istanbul fares even worse with one square metre person while lower density London and Berlin, with front and back gardens and extensive parks, have a generous 36 square metres and Berlin 39 sq metres respectively,” the report said.

Delhi still has a high level of inequality, measured by the GINI Index. The lower value of index signifies greater level of social equality; the higher value indicates greater inequality. “While London has an index of 3.6 and Berlin 2.9, Delhi has a relatively high figure of 6.0, yet lower than Lagos at 6.4 and many other African and Latin American cities,” the report said.

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

Ricky Burdett, director, LSE Cities and Urban Age, LSE, 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.”

Joan Clos, executive director, UN Habitat, said, “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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