Liv­abil­ity quo­tient: A par­a­digm shift in In­dia’s emerg­ing cities

Top 10 in­clude Navi Mumbai, Pim­pri­Chinch­wad, Mo­hali Ma­garpatta, Palava, Gr Noida, Mane­sar, Ra­jarhat, Technopark and MWC

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Ramesh Nair feed­ Ramesh Nair is CEO & coun­try head, JLL In­dia

It is a well-es­tab­lished fact that ur­ban­iza­tion is by far the big­gest trig­ger for In­dia’s real es­tate growth story. How­ever, there is a darker flip side - ur­ban­iza­tion has re­sulted in mas­sive strain on the lead­ing cities of In­dia, which are strug­gling to cope with ev­er­ris­ing pop­u­la­tion and den­sity.

The idea of creat­ing new Smart Cities was mooted in the face of a clear need to de­con­gest In­dia’s Tier 1 cities and im­prove their liv­abil­ity quo­tients. How­ever, even be­fore the Smart City mis­sion was for­mal­ized, the model of creat­ing cities around the pe­riph­eries of Tier 1 cities (or satel­lite cities) has al­ready es­tab­lished a proven track record for mit­i­gat­ing the dire ef­fects of ur­ban sprawl and boost­ing liv­abil­ity quo­tient.

In JLL In­dia’s pro­pri­etary re­search re­port ‘Liv­abil­ity Quo­tient – A Par­a­digm Shift in In­dia’s Emerg­ing Cities’, 10 prom­i­nent emerg­ing cities have been closely eval­u­ated for their city ad­min­is­tra­tion prac­tices, sus­tain­abil­ity, and over­all liv­abil­ity. Sev­eral fac­tors were iden­ti­fied un­der the broad pa­ram­e­ters of plan­ning, con­nec­tiv­ity, util­i­ties, leisure, smart gov­er­nance, safety, jobs, en­vi­ron­ment, real es­tate per­for­mance and fu­ture scope of ex­pan­sion.

The top emerg­ing cities as­sessed in this re­port are Navi Mumbai, Pim­pri-Chinch­wad, Ma­garpatta City, Palava City, Greater Noida, Mane­sar, Mo­hali, Ra­jarhat, Technopark and Mahin­dra World City (MWC).

On the back of ma­jor evo­lu­tion­ary leaps in the in­te­grated town­ships model, it now makes log­i­cal sense to in­clude pri­vately-man­aged cities( large town­ships or com­mer­cial-cum- res­i­den­tial hubs man­aged by pri­vate de­vel­op­ers) while com­par­ing cities. The rea­son is clear – in the era of smart cities in the daily ad­min­is­tra­tion of which pri­vate play­ers will be in­creas­ingly in­volved, it is im­por­tant to look at pri­vate de­vel­op­ers as fu­ture city ad­min­is­tra­tors.

As a re­sult, some of the coun­try’s larger in­te­grated town­ships now qual­ify as stand­alone satel­lite cities in their own right – and, in fact, have taken city ad­min­is­tra­tion and gov­er­nance to an en­tirely new level.

To date, only a hand­ful of de­vel­op­ers in In­dia have suc­cess­fully demon­strated their ca­pa­bil­i­ties for city ad­min­is­tra­tion. Go­ing for­ward, many more such de­vel­op­ments will crop up on In­dia’s real es­tate land­scape, es­pe­cially in times when large in­te­grated town­ships are be­ing pro­moted.

The re­port ‘Liv­abil­ity Quo­tient – A Par­a­digm Shift in In­dia’s Emerg­ing Cities’ re­veals sev­eral im­por­tant as­pects that con­ven­tion­ally-man­aged cities (mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­i­ties) can learn from pri­vately-man­aged cities (pri­vate de­vel­op­ers or coun­cils).

In terms of adopt­ing tech­nol­ogy for ef­fi­cient man­age­ment of re­sources and also cer­tain sus­tain­abil­ity pa­ram­e­ters, pri­vately-man­aged cities have man­aged to score higher, thereby ex­hibit­ing the ‘skill’ re­quired of city ad­min­is­tra­tors

On the other hand, fac­tors that demon­strate ‘scale’ (or scal­a­bil­ity) – con­nec­tiv­ity, fu­ture ex­pan­sion po­ten­tial, job cre­ation, etc. – have seen greater suc­cess in con­ven­tion­ally-man­aged cities.

This clearly in­di­cates that the ad­min­is­tra­tors of both city for­mats must learn from each other and demon­strate both ‘skill’ and ‘scale’ in or­der to cre­ate the smart and liveable cities of the fu­ture.

In­te­grated town­ships with mixed-use devel­op­ment are in­creas­ingly be­com­ing the pre­ferred op­tion for res­i­dents, and con­cepts like ‘walk-to-work’, ‘last mile con­nec­tiv­ity’ and ‘in­clu­sive­ness’ are go­ing to be de­ci­sive fac­tors in choos­ing the right in­te­grated town­ship devel­op­ment.

The pa­ram­e­ters that call for def­i­nite and well-de­vel­oped skill lev­els in­clude: Plan­ning, Util­i­ties and daily needs man­age­ment, Leisure and re­cre­ation, Smart gov­er­nance, Safety and se­cu­rity, and En­vi­ron­ment and sus­tain­abil­ity.

There are two main rea­sons why these pa­ram­e­ters are suc- cess­fully im­ple­mented by the pri­vately-man­aged cities:

1. Con­tin­u­ous en­gage­ment with ci­ti­zens through real-time feed­back.

2. Im­ple­men­ta­tion of tech­nol­ogy for ef­fi­ciency in re­source uti­liza­tion.

In some cities, the coun­cils have a good rep­re­sen­ta­tion of ci­ti­zens or have mech­a­nisms for faster real-time re­dres­sal of is­sues in place. Also, in most cases, state-of-the-art mon­i­tor­ing and sur­veil­lance tech­nolo­gies are in use to keep the city safe and se­cure.

As ur­ban­iza­tion picks up pace in In­dia, the emerg­ing cities will play a key role in ac­com­mo­dat­ing fu­ture ex­pan­sion needs of ex­ist­ing ur­ban ag­glom­er­a­tions. Most im­por­tantly, these cities will play a cru­cial role in bal­anc­ing growth in a more sus­tain­able man­ner, thereby en­hanc­ing the liv­abil­ity quo­tient for res­i­dents.

The en­su­ing cross-learn­ing ex­er­cise on the part of both large pri­vate town­ship de­vel­op­ers as well as the city mu­nic­i­pal coun­cils will be highly ben­e­fi­cial. With­out a doubt, the next gen­er­a­tion of megac­i­ties in In­dia will see an un­prece­dented scale and qual­ity of trans­for­ma­tion when it comes to meet­ing the real es­tate needs of the fu­ture.


Till date, only a hand­ful of de­vel­op­ers in In­dia have suc­cess­fully demon­strated their ca­pa­bil­i­ties for city ad­min­is­tra­tion.

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