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The United Nations urban growth projection and its impact on urban development and regional disparities in India

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  1. The UNPD projection methodology: Assessing the Urban Rural Growth Differential (URGD).
    1. The evolution of the URGD over time.
    2. The initial formulation and its 1974 extrapolation.
    3. The 1980 refinements.
    4. URGD: A method that has proven disputable both theoretically and empirically.
  2. The impact of an overestimated urban growth on political choices: Widening regional disparities.
    1. A positive correlation between urbanization and development: Analyzing the liberal paradigm.
    2. From urbanization growth to development: the hidden regional disparities.
  3. Appendix.
  4. References.

The United Nations Population Division (UNPD) has been publishing and revising its World Urbanization Prospects since 1991, the latest being the 2002 revision, and this has become a popular source of data and analysis of the past, current and future proportion urban in each country, region or continent of the world. As urban issues get more attention, notably in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), it is increasingly used by other international agencies such as UNDP, World Bank, EIA, UN-Habitat as an instrument for projections of some other global trends, like poverty, energy consumption, environment and resources. Projections and even estimations, for recent years, of other global trends cannot indeed afford to do without urbanization projections, as they are often a key indicator of global integration. No other organization than the UN has been successful in compiling a database on urbanization that equals the UN database in scope and quality. An early attempt to offer alternative to the UN database is the GEOPOLIS database, which is using a common agglomeration and population criteria for all countries.

[...] The backward states, on the other hand, have experienced growth either below that of the country or at the most equal to that. Urbanisation process has, thus, been concentrated in developed regions with the exclusion of the backward states. Even here, the larger cities have recorded relatively higher growth?[11] The impact of urban growth disparities on urban development disparities In the absence of manifest regional disparities in urban growth according to the UN projections, the government feels allowed to pursue on the path of decentralization, which widens discrepancies between developed and backward states. [...]

[...] Cohen, B., ?Urban growth in developing countries: a review of current trends and a caution regarding existing forecasts?, World Development, vol Myrdal G., Objectivity in Social Research, Pantheon Books, New York - On urban growth, development and regional disparities Kundu A., ?Urbanization and urban governance: search for a perspective beyond neo-liberalism?, Economic and Political Weekly, n 38 vol July 2003. ?India: water supply and sanitation. Bridging the gap between infrastructure and service?, World Bank Report, January 2006. Rakesh M., ?Urbanization in India's Future?, Population and Development Review, vol December 1985. [...]

[...] The UNPD projection methodology: assessing the Urban Rural Growth Differential (URGD) 1 The evolution of the URGD over time The centrepiece of the method developed by the United Nations Population Division to estimate and project urban populations is the Urban Rural Growth Differential (URGD) or, in other words, the urban/rural growth rate difference. Its structure and mechanism, which are thoroughly explained in the appendix of UNDP's World Urbanization Prospects, have gradually evolved over time. Let us try to present them here[3]. [...]

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