At the onset of the 21st century, 47 per cent of the world’s population was urban: 74 per cent in the more developed regions and 41 per cent in the less developed regions. Further, among the less developed regions, levels of urbanization in Asia and Africa were the lowest, that is, about 37 per cent. According to UN HABITAT, 2006, Asia and Africa will host the largest population in the 21st century and not only cities will continue to be the sites of extreme inequality, it is also feared that Asian cities may not be able to cope with the pace of urbanization. Keeping with the trends in the world, there is also spurt in urbanization in India, which poses serious challenges for both urban development and urban governance. Earlier, urban development did not receive much attention in India, primarily due to low rate of urbanization. In 2005, it was taken as a serious agenda by the government when Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission was launched.
Divided into three sections, the present anthology focuses on the challenges of urbanization and urban development for the ongoing and future governance. Due to unprecedented urbanization and urban growth, urban development has got a serious setback and is also depleting the quality of urban life. The challenges are manifold and in that context urban governance needs to be looked at from a fresh perspective and be given serious consideration to avoid further urban chaos and crisis. The present volume is an effort to bring together diverse perspectives on the urban governance to have comprehensive mapping of the urban issue in India.