India is fast transitioning towards urbanization & it is estimated that nearly 35% of India’s 1.2 billion population already lives in one of its 9000 cities/towns, today in 2017. But the definition of a “census town” ( any urban hub with a 5000+ population) is often a political label & the small town & its infrastructure is no different from the largest of India’s 600,000 villages. The economic growth & much of the investment of urbanization over the past 50 years has mainly been focused on India’s largest 42 metropolis cities. However, the rapid spread of the mobile phones & related internet access to 320 million+ Indians in the past 5 years, has created an opportunity for e-commerce lead economic upliftment in at least 500 cities already.
Global research on the complex subject of Urban-Planning has in recent years settled on a consensus that the urban versus rural development is a pointless debate & that true development can only happen with a “ bio-regional” development focus i.e. a balance between Nature & Culture through building & managing Cities in conjunction with the villages & ecology in its vicinity.
The 9000 cities & 600,000 villages of modern India have politically been divided between 29 states & 7 union territories today. However the geographical unit of measurement ( Census) in India has historically focused on a region i.e. District. For most Indian cities & villages, there is no data available on key development metrics like employment & GDP, but at a District level, historical trends too are available. The district aligns well with the bio-regional urban planning focus & Prarang has therefore chosen to focus on the following cities in the context of their district & the villages & ecology, in its proximity: