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Inequalities in urban exposure to infrastructure, services, and environment in million-plus cities of India

Surendra Kumar Patel, Manas R. Pradhan

Abstract

Unplanned spatial development, unregulated migration, and changing energy consumption patterns are likely to increase the vulnerability to climate change of populations inhabiting in urban areas. This study aims to estimate urban exposure level and examine the inequalities in the availability of infrastructure and the provision of services in million-plus cities in India. Using data from Census 2011 for 40 million-plus cities, this study measured urban exposure through the urbanicity scale ranging from 0 to 70 points. The urbanicity scores revealed a transparent gradient in the level of urban exposure across these 40 million-plus cities, with the scores ranging from 45.59 (the lowest, in Meerut) to 61.47 (the highest, in Delhi). The economic activity scores were similar for all the million-plus cities, whereas the health infrastructure scores showed a wide variation from 1.0 to 8.8 points. Population, health, educational infrastructure, and built environment contributed the most to the inequality. Unless addressed urgently, these inequalities in infrastructure and services will affect the sustainability of these million-plus cities and may hinder the country’s achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 13 on climate change.


Keywords

Urban exposure; Environment; Urbanicity score; Million-plus city; India

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18063/ijps.v6i1.1051
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