DECOUPLE POLLUTION FROM GROWTH Asia also has among the highest numbers of premature deaths linked to air pollution, especially in countries with high growth rates. Within a few years India, which has the highest growth rate of the G20 countries, will surpass China as the world’s most populated country. With rural to urban migration severely straining city infrastructures in India, the Indian government plans to invest EUR 6.5 billion in creating 100 smart cities. The aim is to facilitate sustainable urban growth, for instance, by using smart technology to provide adequate water systems, stable power supplies, and reliable public transport.
Taking some of the first major steps in the initiative, Ramboll is conducting a pilot study in the historic city of Udaipur in Rajasthan. The pilot study is intended to build understanding of the challenges and determine how international experience from places like the Nordic countries and Singapore can benefit Indian cities. “Studies from around the world reveal that when cities grow environmental quality and thus also liveability deteriorates. Many Indian cities also suffer from water and air pollution. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to decouple pollution from growth,” says Neel Strøbæk, Group Market Director for Planning & Urban Design at Ramboll.