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Mobility- Responsive Urban Planning

1. Mobility is the measure of how populations move over time, which is increasingly circular, semi or non-permanent.

2. It may be regional or long-distance and interstate.

How mobility/migration transforms places?

1. Reasons for migrations include work, economics, education, health resources, etc.

2. These create specific demands on city infrastructures and services.

3. A neglect of these needs pushes people into creating their own makeshift solutions.

4. This leads to informal settlement, emergence of rental housing, slum formations, etc.

5. A proactive approach to migration can lead to significant benefits for the city economy and vibrancy.

Which way do migrants contribute?

1. Temporary forms of migrants contribute to the city economy and direct their efforts towards places from where they come.

2. They contribute in terms of remittances, investments, asset building, and state revenues.

3. They contribute significantly to the economic flows and outputs, extract less resources form the cities, and bring new ideas.

Where lies the issue?

1. Public policies in cities are being transformed by the presence and contribution of migrants.

2. But these policies are not in sync with the presence and needs of migrants.

3. Most urban policies, initiated at central or state level, have overlooked emerging forms of mobility.

4. Most migrants are forced to find solutions that are accessible to them and outside the formal system.

5. Migrants face difficult living conditions in domains of shelter, basic services, education and healthcare.

6. There is an urgent need to equip city governments with necessary capacities, resources and powers to recognise and respond to issues of migrants.

7. Also, the methodology used to measure the number of migrants underestimates their number leading to potential neglect of policy.

Why is the methodology insufficient?

1. The conventional mode of understanding migration is based on census definition.

2. The census defines a migrant as a person whose residence has shifted from the place of residence enumerated in the previous census or one who has shifted from his birthplace.

3. But this creates a significant underestimation of migration in census data as it neglects the short-term and circular migration.

4. Mobility in India is significantly increasing, and the forms of mobility are varied and do not correspond to a permanent move.

What needs to be done?

1. Conventional data measuring more permanent movement show burden on infrastructure and housing.

2. So, there is a need for a vision supporting migrants in Urban Policy in terms of providing Short-term Housing.

3. Short-term housing is one of the most critical and unmet needs of migrants to Indian cities.

4. Contemporary Indian cities lack options like dharamshalas to serve the needs of low-income group people who may need a residence for a few months.

Who can deliver on these issues?

1. A concerted effort from the governments is needed for this.

2. Local governments with the on-ground knowledge of realities will be able to respond to such issues as opposed to State Governments who have a more top-down approach.

3. Local governments need to be equipped in terms of capacity to recognize such issues, collect data, and to posses the powers and resources to respond to dynamic phenomena such as migration.