Category Archives: Press articles and quotations

Rurban India: The new consumer frontier

One consequence of the urbanization defined by the spurt in census towns has been changes in buying preferences

In a recent study, analytics company Nielsen charted the rise of the small-town consumer in India: “In a land of over 8,000 towns and 600,000 villages, where is demand the strongest?” the report asked. It found that value growth for packaged consumer goods was led by the smallest of small town consumers. “While middle India (100,000-1 million towns) leads the pack in same-store sales for the last three-year period, smaller towns with a population of 1 lakh and below have surged far ahead of the rest in 2011,” the report said. (…).

As a result, Bihar’s urbanization goes largely uncaptured by the census data, said Eric Denis, head of the social sciences department at the French Institute of Pondicherry, who worked on the e-Geopolis project (of which the Indian constituent, Indiapolis, attempts to map all settlements of over 10,000 people in the country using satellite imagery and census data). On Denis’s map, Bihar looks densely agglomerated, but, as the report notes, only 15% of the settlements shown on the map are officially designated as towns.

Cordelia Jenkins, Anupama Chandrashekharan and Anuja for live mint – 04 Oct. 2012

Full article here

A tale of many cities

The share of the urban population is less than a third of India’s population. But there are social scientists who seriously believe that the extent of urbanisation is much higher if conventional and new data sources are analysed “against the grain”. On the other hand, India is also considered to be “an extremely reluctant urbaniser”, according to the CEO and MD of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation. (…).

More importantly, while some census towns are, no doubt, concentrated around the big metropolises, more than four-fifths of these are situated outside the proximity of such cities. The process of spontaneous transformation of such settlements, thus, is widespread. “Subaltern urbanisation should result in vital smaller settlements outside the metropolitan shadow, indicating a pattern of urbanisation that is extensive, widespread, economically vital and autonomous,” states Mukhopadhyay in a joint paper with Eric Denis and Marie-Helene Zerah recently published in the Economic and Political Weekly.

By N Chandra Mohan: A tale of many cities for Business Standard 4th Oct. 2012

See the link

Decadal journeys: debt and despair spur urban growth

A Paper by P. Sainath from the Hindu, September 26, 2011. Some arguments, following his paper from the 25 September, which could explain the fact that urban population rise exceeds the rural rise: farming collapses and increase of footloose migration. These arguments are in contradiction with the main idea of Suburbin and don’t take into account the slow-down of the  metropolitan areas growth compared to the proliferation of small towns. See the link