Context: The Prime Minister invited the investors to invest in the Indian urbanization at the 3rd Annual Bloomberg New Economy Forum.
Takeaways from PM’s speech
- Urban life hit: The pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of cities that served as the world’s growth engines till now
- Many cities around the world declared themselves on the brink of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
- Things like community gatherings, sports activities, education and recreation are not the same as before.
- Need for restart: We must rejuvenate cities that were now home to half the world’s population.
- Urban development should focus on ensuring better housing facilities and work environments as well as shorter and efficient travel options for citizens.
- New protocols: There is a need for post-COVID-19 change in protocols, similar in scale to the post-war rebuilding efforts, to develop more sustainable and resilient cities.
- COVID-19 had provided a similar opportunity to develop new approaches in every field.
Rejuvenation of the urban centres: A good starting point would be the rejuvenation of our urban centers.
The Prime Minister emphasized the centrality of the people in the recovery process.
The post-Covid world has to be built by nurturing this key and fundamental resource.
- Sustainability: During the lockdown, many cities saw cleaner lakes and rivers as well as cleaner air.
- It has been our endeavour in India to build urban centres which have the amenities of a city but the spirit of village.
Tech versus travel: India is simplifying norms for technology and knowledge-based tech businesses that would allow people to work from home or anywhere.
- In today’s age, empowering people to work from anywhere, to live anywhere, to plug into global supply chains from anywhere is an absolute necessity.
- The choices will also help us maintain a better work-life balance.
He mentioned recent initiatives for revitalizing the Indian urban landscape such as Digital India, Startup India, affordable housing, Real Estate (Regulation) Act and Metro Rail in 27 cities.
Smart cities: India has selected 100 Smart Cities through a two-stage process.
It was a nationwide competition upholding the philosophy of cooperative and competitive federalism.
These cities have prepared projects worth almost two lakh crore rupees or 30 billion dollars.
India offers investors in urbanisation, mobility, innovation and sustainable solutions. These opportunities come along with a vibrant democracy, a business-friendly climate, a huge market.
Image source: UNEP