Bulding the City: India's Urban Future
September 1, 2010
The shadows of the Beijing Olympics and World Cup loom large over India’s upcoming Commonwealth Games. Disguised as global sporting events, these nationalistic displays are designed to showcase the strength of a country’s culture, economy, and people. Indian officials have been eager to steer the narrative of next month’s Games in this direction, as the Games themselves are perceived to be a precursor to an eventual Olympic bid. However, preparations for the Games have been plagued by budgetary and infrastructure problems. While it remains to be seen whether these problems will spoil India’s “coming-out party” in October, these challenges reflect larger, systemic failures in the handling of India’s rapid urbanization. Infrastructure constraints and inefficient governance have the potential to stymie the economic growth India needs to establish itself as global power and to raise millions out of poverty. How quickly and comprehensively India rises above its infrastructural limitations will undoubtedly come to determine its economic and political strength in the years to come.