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India's Path to Better Urban Infrastructure

Developing cities around the world face major issues with traffic and difficulties with commuting. The toll that this takes productivity are just recently being calculated. When traveling just a few kilometers can take up to an hour, not only does work productivity decline, but people living in rapidly gowing urban areas face problems of access to hospitals, schools and other necesities. The rates of traffic accidents are also increasing as drivers become impatient and take creative and dangerous routes.

Facing these very issues, India's Ministry of Urban Development launched the Sustainable Urban Transportation Project (SUTP). SUTP is an umbrella organization with 3 regional offices in Bangkok, New Delhi, and Bogota. Although SUTP works within Africa, it has not scaled to the level of activity in Latin America or Asia yet. Each of the regional programs under SUTP have different partners from private enterprises to the UN.

"SUTP Asia is a partnership between the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), CITYNET and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)... SUTP is, at its core, a private-public partnership, and that is promising. Working with international private sector know-how and financing makes the scope of a project like SUTP more achievable for the Indian government."

Implications from Intellecap:

"Projects like SUTP offer a way for cities to tackle the burden of the future capitalizing on an already established knowledge bank: the successes and failures of mature cities that have already broached the urban transportation issue by way of sustainable methods."

Implications from Institute for the Future:

Addressing these very basic infrastructure concerns is a pressing issue for all rapidly developing cities. It is important that governments build much needed partnerships with caution. While SUTP seems to be actively working with local governments to address a human and environmental needs, other partnering organizations and governments may be more interested in personal gain. Much debate is currently taking place as to the long-term harm that China's increasing work in Africa may have. Although the benefits of paved roads and functioning transportation are undeniable, perhaps the costs may outweigh the benefits as these infrastructures will primarily be used for resource extraction and better access to local markets which in the long run may hurt a country's development.

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