India will have two more megacities with more than 10 million residents each by the year 2030, according to a report from the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat.)
Currently, India has five major megacities. New Delhi, the largest has a population of 26.7 million, making it the second largest city in the world after Tokyo, followed by Mumbai, host city to Global Citizen’s India Festival on November 19, and then Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Chennai.
Nearly 10 million people are expected to move from rural regions to New Delhi alone by 2030, according to the 2016 World Cities Report from the UN. And the growing global trend toward urbanization is also projected to create two more megacities in India: Hyderabad and Ahmedabad are suspected to surpass the 10 million mark by 2030. Hyderabad, which is expected to grow to a population of 12.8 million, could become the tech and tourism center of India, according to the report.
India is young, vibrant, and the country, which recently claimed the number three spot for top tech start-up cultivation, surpassing both China and Israel, has a strong growing economy. India is home to more than 4,500 successful startups, and its overall economy is expected to grow 7.6% in the next year, also passing China’s growth, according to the International Monetary Fund.
So, what exactly about India is driving this growth?
The rise in startups in India could be aiding in investments and acts as an incentive for people to stay or return to India, according to the "Wall Street Journal."
Investments for infrastructure are already starting to pick back up. After some delay and lack of investment, Prime Minister Narenda Modi plans to invest $3.66 billion into infrastructure in the next three years. Though small compared to the $1.5 trillion financial gap regarding investments needed to make the necessary infrastructure happen in the next 10 years, this is a start to accommodate the millions of people expected to flock to India’s cities.
However, there is one tale of caution for this quick expansion. As these cities grow and as the UN’s report found, there’s good news and bad news. While megacities "create wealth, generate employment and drive human progress" they also can exacerbate inequality, and climate change.
As 10 more megacities are expected to rise from Africa and Asia in the next 13 years, finding a balance for sustainable urban growth for both India and other rising megacities and economies will be essential for all future successful cities.