The capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, is known for its green ambitions and bicycles. What is not as well known about the green city is the social and economic benefits of the city's approach to urban planning. How does a city improve quality of life, expand, and at the same time reduce car usage and CO2 emissions? Intelligent urban planning is part of the answer.
Through strategic urban planning and a history of environmental ambition, Copenhagen has created swarms of cyclists, large recreational areas, pedestrian streets, clean water in the harbor and world-class integrated public transport.
- Increased mobility through integrated transport and cycling solutions has reduced congestion significantly and improved health of the citizens. Since 2005 one billion DKK have been invested in bike lanes and super cycle highways and 45 % of the Copenhageners are biking to work or school every day.
- Cleaning the harbor has lead to attractive urban areas with better quality of life, improved local business life, created jobs and generated revenue in the area. The harbour is now so clean that Copenhageners swim in it.
- A very efficient district heating system where 98 % of all households are connected.
- A new district cooling system where cold is taken of the harbor water. It saves 70% of the energy compared to traditional air-conditioning.
In 2001, about 286 Million were living in urban areas across India. It had the second largest urban population in the world. As per the Indian Census, 2011, the urban population had increased to 377 Million, thereby registering a growth of around 32%. As per recent estimates, nearly 590 Million people will live in Indian cities by 2030. Present levels of urban infrastructure are inadequate to meet the demands of the existing urban population. There is need for re-generation of urban areas in existing cities and the creation of new, inclusive smart cities to meet the demands of increasing population and migration from rural to urban areas. Future cities of India will require smart real estate and urban infrastructure.
The Government of India is in the process of launching a new urban development mission. This will help develop 500 cities, which include cities with a population of more than 100,000 and some cities of religious and tourist importance. These cities will be supported and encouraged to harness private capital and expertise through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), to holster their infrastructure and services in the next 10 years.
To provide quality urban services on a sustainable basis in Indian cities, the need of the hour is that urban local bodies (ULBs) enter partnership agreements with foreign players, either through joint ventures, private sector partners or through other models.
50% of the demand for construction activity in India comes from the infrastructure sector, the rest comes from industrial activities, residential and commercial development etc. The Indian construction industry is valued at over USD 126 Billion. An investment of USD 1 Trillion has been projected for the infrastructure sector until 2017, 40% of which is to be funded by the private sector. 45% of infrastructure investment will be funnelled into construction activity and 20% set to modernize the construction industry.