The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


#19. Urbanization, Economy Development and the Policy in Developing Countries

2 April 1984

Author: Nigel Harris

Publication Date: 1990

The 1988 report of the National Commission on Urbanisation to the Government of India notes that, while India's urban dwellers have increased four times over since 1947 (from some 50 to over 200 million), public attitudes to cities have remained ambivalent:

"On the one hand, we see them as heroic engines of growth...On the other, these urban centres have also generated the most brutal and inhuman living conditions".

Later, the Report suggests that the second observation has more substance for "The urban centres... should be generators of wealth; instead, they have degenerated into parasites looking elsewhere for support"(1).

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