Urban Strategy for India 2025 and Mega Cities Strategy



Approval Date
Actual Completion Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type


Although urban population accounts for only 28% of India’s population, almost 60% of national GDP is produced in urban areas. The country accounts for three of the world’s twenty-one megacities, four other cities with a population between four and ten million and around five hundred cities with a population more than 100,000. While the population is urbanizing, the urban areas suffer from weak city finances, weak governance and institutions, low quality and inadequate services, and outdated planning. The Government of India is already committed to address these issues and its 11th Five Year Plan is to be prepared on the overall theme of ‘faster and more inclusive growth’ in order to achieve 9% of economic growth. The proposed activity is designed to aid the Government of India’s Planning Commission by drafting an Urban Strategy for India 2025 that would act as inputs to the 11th Five Year Plan.
The primary objective of the National Urban Strategy 2025 and Mega cities Strategy is to help GOI to produce a framework for urban reforms and initiatives to achieve significant results towards the two overarching goals of growth and poverty reduction in cities. The strategy will address policy, institutional and financial reforms in service delivery, municipal management, livelihood and governance. Support GoI ensuring that its urban and mega cities strategies are inclusive of all segments of society and develop a vision for the equitable growth of urban areas.
1) Preparation of an Urban Strategy (to 2025), with a Mega cities Strategy as an Annex, as inputs to the Planning Commission’s preparation of the 11th Five-Year Plan; 2) Preparation of an agreed vision for growth and economic development of urban areas in India; 3) Preparation of an Action Plan (short, medium and long term goals) and timeline for implementation of the strategy; 4)Additional consultation, seminars as requested by the Planning Commission.
Expected Impacts and Results
• The Note served to inform the 11th Five Year Plan, and several of the Note's key messages are reflected in the Urban Chapter of the Plan. • More broadly, however, the Note has helped to invigorate the dialogue on urban issues. This has largely taken place in the context of the implementation of JNNURM by MOUD and MOHUPA. At one level, the topics and reform proposals raised in the Note will likely be addressed in a mid-term review of JNNURM. • At another more detailed level, a set of specific recommendations were provided to the Government of India: (i) urban policy (25 recommendations) (ii) inclusive growth (7 recommendations) (iii) developing institutional capacity (8 recommendations). Some specific topics raised (e.g. access to capital markets by ULBs, institutional capacity) are already being addressed under JNNURM, with Bank assistance. • The CA funds supported work on urban planning and land use management, and helped to raise awareness of the deficiencies in the currently used "town planning" concept. More broadly, weaknesses in the City Development Plans were highlighted in the Note. This topic is being addressed in the Bank's planned Capacity Building for Urban Development (CBUD) project and will also be taken up in the Government's mid-term review of JNNURM.