Inequalities in urban exposure to infrastructure, services, and environment in million-plus cities of India
Unplanned spatial development, unregulated migration, and changing energy consumption patterns are likely to increase the vulnerability to climate change of populations inhabiting in urban areas. This study aims to estimate urban exposure level and examine the inequalities in the availability of infrastructure and the provision of services in million-plus cities in India. Using data from Census 2011 for 40 million-plus cities, this study measured urban exposure through the urbanicity scale ranging from 0 to 70 points. The urbanicity scores revealed a transparent gradient in the level of urban exposure across these 40 million-plus cities, with the scores ranging from 45.59 (the lowest, in Meerut) to 61.47 (the highest, in Delhi). The economic activity scores were similar for all the million-plus cities, whereas the health infrastructure scores showed a wide variation from 1.0 to 8.8 points. Population, health, educational infrastructure, and built environment contributed the most to the inequality. Unless addressed urgently, these inequalities in infrastructure and services will affect the sustainability of these million-plus cities and may hinder the country’s achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 13 on climate change.
Allender S, Foster C, Hutchinson L and Arambepola C. (2008). Quantification of Urbanization in Relation to Chronic Diseases in Developing Countries: A Systematic Review. Journal of Urban Health, 85(6):938-51. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-008-9325-4.
Allender S, Lacey B, Webster P, Rayner M, Deepa M, Scarborough P, Arambepola C, Datta M and Mohan V. (2010). Level of Urbanization and Noncommunicable Disease Risk Factors in Tamil Nadu, India. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 88(4):297-304. https://doi.org/10.2471/blt.09.065847.
Allender S, Wickramasinghe K, Goldacre M, Matthews D and Katulanda P. (2011). Quantifying Urbanization as a Risk Factor for Noncommunicable Disease. Journal of Urban Health, 88(5), 906-18. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-011-9586-1.
Angkurawaranon C, Wisetborisut A, Rerkasem K, Seubsman SA, Sleigh A, Doyle P and Nitsch D. (2015). Early Life Urban Exposure as a Risk Factor for Developing Obesity and Impaired Fasting Glucose in Later Adulthood: Results from Two Cohorts in Thailand. BMC Public Health, 15(1):902. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-015-2220-5.
Central Pollution Control Board. (2014). National Air Quality Index. New Delhi: Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India.
Christian H, Zubrick SR, Foster S, Giles-Corti B, Bull F, Wood L and Boruff B. (2015). The Influence of the Neighborhood Physical Environment on Early Child Health and Development: A Review and Call for Research. Health and Place, 33:25-36. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2015.01.005.
Cyril S, Oldroyd JC and Renzaho A. (2013). Urbanisation, Urbanicity, and Health: A Systematic Review of the Reliability and Validity of Urbanicity Scales. BMC Public Health, 13(1):513. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-13-513.
Dahly DL and Adair LS. (2007). Quantifying the Urban Environment: A Scale Measure of Urbanicity Outperforms the Urban-rural Dichotomy. Social Science and Medicine, 64(7):1407-19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.11.019.
Jones-Smith JC and Popkin BM. (2010). Understanding Community Context and Adult Health Changes in China: Development of an Urbanicity Scale. Social Science and Medicine, 71(8):1436-46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.07.027.
Kundu, A. (2006). Trends and Patterns of Urbanization and their Economic Implications. India Infrastructure Report, 29, 27-41.
Mendez M and Popkin B. (2004). Globalization, Urbanization and Nutritional Change in the Developing World. In: Globalization of Food Systems in Developing Countries: Impact on Food Security and Nutrition, No. 5580. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization.
Montgomery M, Stren R, Cohen B, Reed H. (2003). Cities Transformed. London: Routledge.
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. http://www.mohua.gov.in/cms/schemes-or-programmes.php. [Last accessed on 2020 Jan 18].
Novak NL, Allender S, Scarborough P and West D. (2012). The Development and Validation of an Urbanicity Scale in a Multi-country Study. BMC Public Health, 12:530.
ORGI. (2011). Urban Agglomerations and Cities. New Delhi: Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India.
Panda S, Chakraborty M and Misra S. (2016). Assessment of Social Sustainable Development in Urban India by a Composite Index. International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment, 5(2):435-50. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-530.
Peng X, Chen X and Cheng Y. (2011). Urbanization and its Consequences. Paris, France: Eolss Publishers.
World Urbanization Prospects. (2018). Revision of World Urbanization Prospects. New York: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. https://doi.org/10.18356/cd4eece8-en.
Reckien D, Creutzig F, Fernandez B, Lwasa S, Tovar-Restrepo M, McEvoy D and Satterthwaite D. (2017). Climate Change, Equity and the Sustainable Development Goals: An Urban Perspective. Environment and Urbanization, 29(1):159-82. https://doi. org/10.1177/0956247816677778.
Riha J, Karabarinde A, Ssenyomo G, Allender S, Asiki G, Kamali A, Young EH, Sandhu MS and Seeley J. (2014). Urbanicity and Lifestyle Risk Factors for Cardiometabolic Diseases in Rural Uganda: A Cross-Sectional Study. PLoS Medicine, 11(7):e1001683. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001683.
Sorensen, A. (2018). Institutions and Urban Space: Land, Infrastructure, and Governance in the Production of Urban Property. Planning Theory and Practice, 19(1):21-38. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649357.2017.1408136.
Sothmann P, Krumkamp R, Kreuels B, Sarpong N, Frank C, Ehlkes L and May J. (2015). Urbanicity and Paediatric Bacteraemia in Ghana a Case-Control Study within a Rural-Urban Transition Zone. PLoS One, 10(9):e0139433. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0139433.
UN-Habitat. (2016). Urbanization and Development: Emerging Futures: World Cities Report. Vol. 3. United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). New York: United Nations.
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. (2019). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision (ST/ESA/SER.A/420). New York: United Nations. https://doi.org/10.18356/cd4eece8-en.
United Nation. (2017). Sustainable Development Goals. United Nation: https://www.unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2017/goal-13.
Vlahov D and Galea S. (2002). Urbanization, Urbanicity, and Health. Journal of Urban Health, 79(1):S1-2.
World Health Organization. (2006). WHO Child Growth Standards Based on Length/Height, Weight and Age. Acta Paediatrica Supplement, 450:76-85.
World Health Organization. (2017). Inheriting a Sustainable World? Atlas on Children’s Health and the Environment. Geneva: World Health Organization. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1651-2227.2006.tb02378.x.
World Health Organization. (2018). WHO Global Ambient Air Quality Database (Update 2018). Available from: https://www.who.int/ airpollution/data/aap_air_q.
World Health Organization. (2018). WHO Global Ambient Air Quality Database (Update 2018). Available from: https://www.who.int/ airpollution/data/aap_air_quality_database_2018_v14.xlsx?ua=1.