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Spatial order beyond cities : Integrating spatial planning at the regional level in India

October 17 2016, Quito

On October 17, 2016, a moderated discussion with the participants of Habitat III was held at the German Pavilion in Quito as part of overall event. The panellists for the discussion were Dr. Jachnow, Mr. Matthias Nohn and Dr. Akshay Sen. Ms Aparna Das and Mr. Georg Jahnsen from GIZ did the moderation. At the outset Ms Das set the context by representing an overview on the India’s urbanization. She highlighted the scale and the pace with which India is urbanising accommodating world’s second largest urban population. The Indian Census 2011 reported 833 million people living in 640,000 villages and communities and 377 million people are living in 8,000 cities (31 percent). The definition of “city” in India is no longer appropriate. Urban structures are politically under represented. There is a need for an integrated spatial and territorial planning that keeps the urban and rural areas at the regional level in focus. India's urban-rural regions are shaped by extreme disparities in development and are deprived of adequate basic services and housing. This underlines the need for a strong urban economy that supports the regional balance of the city and the country. Such a paradigm shift requires a systematic and consistent planning approach on all scales. A video montage and poster graphics were shared to support these statements. 

After the introductory kick off presentation, Mr. Georg introduced the panellists. Dr. Jachnow shared his views highlighting the fact that cities need to be conceptualised as places where ideas are shared and not mere economic growth. He emphasised on governance and how different power relations are negotiated. He emphasised on the public spaces that are shareda city. Mr. Nohn highlighted the criticality of financing cities to make it productive so that urban development can be carried out in a sustainable manner. Dr. Sen presented the merits of the rural urban linkages to make urban development work. The discussion ended with an interactive question answer session between the audience and the panellists.