Role of Urban Planning in Pandemics – UPSC GS1

Why in news?
  • All major cities acted as COVID epicentres.
  • PM Modi’s call for better urban planning to make our cities mor liveable and sustainable with better amenities.
What is needed in liveable cities?
  • Better and affordable housing
  • Better work environment.
  • Sort and efficient travel facilities.
What happened during COVID?
  • In the first hundred days of the pandemic, the top 10 cities affected worldwide accounted for 15% of the total cases.
  • In the Indian context, cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai, became the epicenters of the disease.
    • It was due to the density of the population infections erupted, and this eventually spread to smaller towns as well due to reverse migration from the cities.
  • Therefore the PM is looking at developing a strategy beyond the current pandemic.
Way forward
  • The Ministry of Housing, which until now has focused on smart cities, can work with State Governments to collect the data on housing requirements to meet the demand and supply in each city.
  • Laws on air pollution, municipal solid waste management and water quality should be implemented in its true spirit.
  • Past scourges such as cholera, the plague and the global flu pandemic a century ago led to change in waste handling, social housing and health care. It is now important that governments show the political will to reinvent the cities.
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