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James11 12-15-2011 10:33 PM

Future of urban housing: Public-Private responsibilities
 
By the end of this decade, India is likely to have an urban population of 250 million, which is likely to increase to 500 million in 2025 AD when the total population of the country would be two billion (according to the estimates compiled by the United Nations). This is indeed a very large number. This urban population is more than the total population of Europe or the United States.

Perhaps, only China will have a similar urban population by that time. However, because of a long-term centralized planning and development process with respect to housing development in China, this country has managed its housing development schemes quite effectively. However, there is an acute shortage of space in the urban houses being developed in China. The Chinese government follows a minimum standard of housing space (42.4 sq m), and it is being implemented all over the country. In view of these facts, there are hardly any visible substandard houses or temporary houses (often termed as ‘slums’ in the urban centers of China).

The report says that, “Contrary to other developing nations which rely heavily on market solutions to their housing problems, the state, as demonstrated in the above example, is clearly trying to set new standards to improve the urban housing conditions. In China, many urban residents have suffered from limited living spaces and overcrowded environments since the year 1948. However, urban slums and squatter settlements, which are so common in many settlements, in developing countries, are indeed non-existent in China. Housing, particularly the urban housing sector, may have received a low priority due to the inconsistent national development policies in the past. With the implementation of new economic and political reforms since 1978, government intervention in the urban housing sector has been very active.”

Now compare the developments in China with that of the state of Kerala. In Kerala Property developments got accelerated only when the government agencies exited from the housing scene totally. The private sector is now being credited with the major developments in this emerging sector.


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