Special Issue on JNNURM : Volume III Issue 2


New opportunities abound, for the development and renewal of cities throughout India. The Jawaharal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) - as the thought-provoking articles in this review expound can become a milestone for sustainable cities, just as it can be a hallmark of failure. The stakes are high, and of global significance. India’s urban population - the second largest in the world, will soon be as numerous as the entire population of the nations of the European Union or of the African continent. The future of the cities of India and its inhabitants will directly impact the course of the world - environmentally, politically, socially, economically and culturally.

Urbanisation as a phenomenon is a global reality, a trend that will be further expedited by the globalisation of the world economy and the industrialisation of food production. The crucial urban-rural linkage, and delicate mutual interdependence needs to be harnessed, as India becomes a global economic force. JNNURM, as well as other national schemes to support urban development, such as the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) or the Integrated Housing Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) amongst others, represent a response to this reality and demonstrate a political commitment by the Government of India to promote a new type of urbanisation, going beyond the mere growth of urban facilities. Substantive financial support is to be injected to make decentralisation and participatory democracy function as laid out in the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act. The diversity within the unity of India, the country’s strongest asset must not be jeopardised in the process. On the contrary, it needs to be carefully protected, enriched and valorised. The cultural wealth of Indian cities-amongst the earliest in the world, cannot be and must not be, lost in exchange for the “international” model that takes no heed of the specificity of the inhabitants and their mode of life. India’s cities are as diverse as its people, their beliefs and their natural features that together determined its architecture and urban pattern. “Cultural heritage” goes way beyond the grandeur of an individual or the sum of historic monuments and archaeological sites protected by the Archaeological Survey of India and the State Archaeology Departments. Defining it as such does not do justice to the centuries of human creativity that India has nurtured. Its urban and rural settlements, its sacred sites and views, its cultural landscapes, tell the many stories of India that merit being recounted and witnessed by future generations of humanity.

For UNESCO, as the intergovernmental organisation of the United Nations System, mandated by the world community to foster peace through educational, scientific and cultural cooperation and to communicate the need for world unity, promoting the protection of natural and cultural diversity is one of its major duties. UNESCO looks towards India - one of its most influential Member States, for examples it can show the world. How to maintain the peaceful co-existence of all major religions and many indigenous belief systems; how the industriousness and creative genius of its population can be fostered to ensure the fair distribution of wealth and opportunities among all its people through inclusive and sustainable development; and how the quality of life for all can be ameliorated without adding to the global environmental risks … are among the many challenges facing India.

The Network of Indian Cities of Living Heritage, established in September 2006 at the initiative of UNESCO and under the aegis of the Ministry of Urban Development, and in close consultations with the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India, thus aims to support the urban local authorities and the citizens in addressing these issues. As a platform of reflection, of solution exchange and technical support, its objective is to promote sustainable urban development by building on accumulated knowledge bequeathed from the past. Many examples, both good and “regrettable”, from within India and abroad exist on how insalubrious urban conditions can be improved through a combination of traditional and modern technologies and social management systems. Policies and programmes to improve housing, sanitation, social welfare, urban mobility, mass transport systems, generation of employment opportunities, spatial and social organisation for a people-centered city, big and small, from around the world can serve to enlighten the future course of India’s cities, which can turn into examples to serve other nations. Each city requires its specific solution, but all solutions require reflection and technical competence in planning, programming and implementation. UNESCO, having served as a member of the Taskforce on Heritage, in the JNNURM, is committed to the protection, conservation and enhancement of urban heritage – in all its forms - tangible and intangible - as a vital force for urban renewal and development.

We stand ready to join the grand assembly of stakeholders to harness the future development of India’s cities, strengthened by the identity and knowledge imbedded in their unique heritage for citizenry, civility and civilisation.

On behalf of UNESCO, I congratulate DRONAH, for bringing to the public arena, the current discourse over the JNNURM and the cities of India, for the sharing of information, reflection and public debate is the key to progress.

Minja Yang
Director, UNESCO, New Delhi Office

Minja Yang is UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka and Director of the UNESCO New Delhi Office since October 2005. Her 27-year experience in human settlements, urban conservation and heritage-based local development spans across many countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. During her 17 years at UNESCO HQs in Paris, she served as Director for Museums; Deputy-Director of the World Heritage Centre and concurrently as Coordinator of World Heritage Cities; Head of Asia-Pacific Region of the World Heritage Centre; Chief of Angkor Unit, after 10 years working at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) dealing with issues of emergency human settlements, population movements and political asylum.


About this Issue


Methods and Approaches — JNNURM Mission
JNNURM: Towards Integrated Spatial Planning
M Subash Chandira
Robust City Development Plan: Imperative for Achieving JNNURM Goals
Amitava Basu
National Urban Renewal Mission: Potential to Strengthen Local Governance
Binoy Acharya
Beyond JNNURM: An Approach for Civil Society
Ravikant Joshi
JNNURM: Transforming Urban Government, Governance and Citizenship
Swati Ramanathan

Methods and Approaches — States and Cities
The Impact of JNNURM in Andhra Pradesh
Veena Ish and Srinivas Chery Vedala
Renewal of Urban North East: Issues and Imperatives
Binayak Choudhury
JNNURM: Hope for Urban Renewal in Jharkhand Towns
Ajay Khare
Chattisgarh: Rejoicing in Rebirth
Khatibullah Sheikh
Local Governance and Development: The Kerala Experience
Sunny George
The Way Forward for Urban Development in Tamil Nadu
G Dattatri

Methods and Approaches — Metropolitan and Mega Cities Planning and Governance in Metropolitan Cities in the Context of JNNURM
BN Singh
City Development Plan (CDP): How Innovative is the Concept?
—A Study of Kolkata Situation
Sibabrata Halder
Participatory Urban Governance — the Issue of Elite Capture in Delhi
Debolina Kundu
Bangalore-Mysore Metro Region: The Possible Emerging scenario under JNNURM
Monideep Chatopadhyay
Envisioning the Mega city: Visions of Mega Buildings or Building the Mega Visions?
Yatin Pandya

Methods and Approaches — NURM Issues in Cities with Heritage Two Good Ideas do not become Too Good Ideas
Sathya Prakash Varanashi
Historic Core City Development: Musings on the Eve of JNNURM
Sharvey Dhongde
Future to Ujjain ‘s Heritage: JNNURM Initiative
Meera Ishwar Dass
Urban Renewal Mission in Mysore City
GSV Suryanarayana Murthy
Heritage Conservation in Pune: Issues and Actions
Narendra Dengle
Assessment of INNURM in Goa: Case Study of Panaji
Poonam Verma Mascarenhas and Ashish K. Sinai Rege
Jaipur Heritage Management Plan: A Preview
City Development Plan: The Case of Varanasi
Navneet Raman

Sustainable Solutions
Addressing Sustainability through Good Governance
P Anuradha and Vivek Misra
Whose Sacred Heritage?
Amita Baig