Tuesday, May 12, 2009

India's cities

This Wall Street Journal article about megacities in India is filled with interesting facts:
  • [The city of] Lucknow has more than 780 slums, overflowing sewage pipes and streets choked by gridlock. Its population of 2.7 million, nearly triple the number in the 1980s, is adding as many as 150,000 new residents a year.
  • [Lucknow] hasn't completed any major new sewage infrastructure since before the country won independence in 1947. As much as 70% of residents don't have sewage service
  •  Mayor Dinesh Sharma, a university professor, says his annual budget is $139 million. Some similar-size cities in the U.S. have budgets in the billions. 
  • India has at least 41 cities with more than one million people, up from 23 two decades ago. A half dozen others will soon join the megacity list.
  • 70% of the population still lives in the countryside.
  • India is expected to add 10 million people a year between 2000 and 2030 to its 5,161 cities, according to the United Nations.
  • The country already has 25 of the world's 100-fastest growing urban areas...That compares with eight in China. 
Read the whole thing!