Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/222114
Title: SUSTAINABLE CITIES IN INDIA : A SOCIO ECOLOGICAL AND GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK FOR URBAN SUSTAINABIITY IN CHENNAI
Authors: SATHYANARAYANAN SRINIVASAN
Keywords: Environmental Management
Master
Malone-Lee Lai Choo
2009/2010 EnvM
Eco-City
Settlement history
Social ecological planning
Socio-economy
Stake holder participation
Sustainable urban development
Urban ecology
Urban governance
Issue Date: 13-Apr-2011
Citation: SATHYANARAYANAN SRINIVASAN (2011-04-13). SUSTAINABLE CITIES IN INDIA : A SOCIO ECOLOGICAL AND GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK FOR URBAN SUSTAINABIITY IN CHENNAI. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Chennai is poised to leap into the league of megacities by bursting the 10 million population barrier as early as 2011. The rapid urbanization currently manifesting itself in Chennai and other Indian cities in exacting a heavy toll on the social fabric of the city and its fragile ecology. The aim of this research project is to bring out the role of socio-ecology in the plan making process for the typical Indian city, and to analyze the critical gaps in the conventional master planning. The first part of this project aims to understand the concept of sustainable cities with a specific reference to the concept of an eco city. Critical issues such as socio economic organization, urban morphology & city structure, sustainable transportation, energy and resource flow and urban ecology have been identified as the vital components that go into the planning of eco cities. The literature study identifies exemplary case of urban sustainability across the world and distills the key approaches that would help enable the dream of a sustainable urban future for the world The second part of the project uses the city of Chennai in south India as an example to prove the need for integrating social and ecological concerns in the planning process. The research methodology adopted consists of a historical over view of the settlement planning and urban governance structure of Chennai in order to trace the evolution of its current social and ecological problems. This is followed by a sample survey among the key stakeholders to analyze their perceptions of urban sustainability and governance to fill the gap between stated objectives of policies and current realities; A wide ranging case study of the Chennai metropolitan area complements the historical analysis and the stakeholder interviews to present a comprehensive understanding of the current urban problems of the study area. The major findings of the study reveal that the current ecological and urban problems are a result of poor land use planning that has overlooked key ecological concerns. A weak urban governance system, corruption and poor implementation of city improvement schemes coupled with the lack of public participation has compounded the city’s urban problems. There is also very little understanding of urban sustainability principles among the key stakeholders. The final part of the study combines the findings of the literature survey, the stake holders concerns and critical environmental needs as identified in the case study to build a socio ecological framework for sustainable urban development in the Chennai Metropolitan Area. The framework also suggests pragmatic and context based solutions to improve the performance of urban governance and planning process to address the current barriers to urban sustainability. The desired result of such a framework is not only to achieve urban sustainability in Chennai but also serve as a template for other similar Indian and south Asian cities.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/222114
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