Hitesh Vaidya

Hitesh Vaidya
Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs(NIUA)

Urbanisation is an irreversible global trend. Cities, often referred to as the engines of economic growth, play a pivotal role in shaping a nation’s prosperity. These dynamic, complex ecosystems give birth to ideas, innovations, and the convergence of industries. As we navigate an evolving global landscape, it is evident that the future of nations is intricately linked with the strength and resilience of their urban centres.

The theme of World Habitat Day 2023 also resonates well with the current urbanisation trend: “Resilient urban economy: Cities as drivers of growth and recovery.” It examines how urban areas may arrange their economy to benefit their populace. World Habitat Day, observed annually on the first Monday in October, according to a resolution passed by the UN General Assembly in 1985, serves the dual purposes of recognizing the universal human right to sufficient shelter and inspiring grassroots action to eradicate poverty housing.

Robust and resilient urban economies are the lifeblood of nations. Cities foster innovation and knowledge exchange and boast critical infrastructure such as transportation networks, logistics hubs, and digital connectivity. Education and skills development are essential components of urban resilience. Cities with a well- educated workforce can quickly adapt to changing economic conditions and attract industries demanding a skilled labour force. Digitization too has played a crucial role in building resilient urban economies, especially post-pandemic. Cities embraced remote work, e-commerce, and digital services, opening up new avenues for economic growth.

Also Read | Urban 20 (U20): Shaping the Global Discourse on Urban Development

Resilience also implies sustainability. Many cities are investing in green infrastructure and sustainable practices such as renewable energy sources and efficient waste management. This not only addresses environmental concerns but also creates green jobs, ensuring long-term economic stability.

This special issue of eGov Magazine on World Habitat Day 2023, in partnership with the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), highlights that in the face of various challenges, cities will continue to adapt, innovate, and lead the way in economic growth and resurgence. This issue is a collection of enlightening and thought- provoking articles authored by seasoned policymakers and field experts in their respective domains.


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