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City Management
Technology in Cities
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Environmental Sensitivity
  Articles & Videos
Architecture that repairs itself?
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As cities grow, transportation plans must head for the future

One of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission's (JNNURM) visions is to have cities where the public mass transport system rules.....

Sounds familiar…
  • Road outside your house is dug up because BMC is fixing the water lines. Two days after the crew leaves, BEST digs up the road again for maintenance of Power lines. Two days after they leave, the road has been dug up again by some other agency!
  • The open garbage dump right across the road from your house
  • Mayor blaming the government, the government blaming the mayor!
While the issues may be different, the reason is the same- ineffective city management

A successful city management system should create a strategically-oriented organization that optimizes its operations to serve the city’s residents in the most effective and efficient way possible. However, Indian ULBs are anything but effective. Even after three years Mumbai still floods every year during the monsoons, water supply in Delhi is still erratic, our biggest rivers still dirty and polluted and slum population in out metros continue to grow.

While most of the blame is partaken by ill-thought city planning and inefficient governance structure fraught with fiscal leakages, city managers cannot be completely absolved of the blame. In India, the citizens of a city do not have a direct say in the appointment of the municipal commissioner. The incentives for a municipal commissioner to align her actions with the needs and expectations of the citizens are thus, limited. This is a systemic error independent of the inherent abilities of a city manager/commissioner.
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