PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION:  MAJOR EMERGING CURRENT CHALLENGES AND CONCERNS TO URBAN LOCAL BODIES By Dr. Shazli Hasan Khan[1]

Abstract

The proportion of world population living in cities has surpassed rural population. Many cities are therefore facing major challenges in maintaining and restoring the environmental ecology on which they depend for their functioning and at the same time provide equitable access to natural and man made resources to all city dwellers. Rapid and unregulated urbanization has led to deterioration and degradation of our environment. Following the discourse about Sustainable Development based on the Brundtland Commission’s report and the processes in the UN Committee on environment and development, a sustainable urban development would require considerably more ambitious policies than today in order to limit energy consumption, reduce pollution and protect natural areas and arable land. Local city government and urban local bodies can actively coordinate and mainstream mitigation, adaptation and resilience into urban planning processes to prepare their cities to lead with climate risks and impacts. Low-carbon development strategies are one way of promoting mitigation, adaptation and resilience at the same time they are best implemented through an environmentally oriented and integrated city planning process. All members of society are the stakeholders of Sustainable Development. Maintaining occupational, cultural and economic heterogeneity of population is on the whole a major challenge facing urban local governments in achieving Sustainable Development. Therefore, urban local bodies could directly promote environmental protection and sustainable development and work towards the welfare of the people by providing civic, social and economic infrastructure services and facilities in urban areas. Sustainable urban development had not been a priority for India. But this changed in 2005, when finances for sustainability strategies were allocated to Indian cities under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM). After several separate initiatives and schemes, to address urban problems and sustainable urban planning, JNURM emerged as flagship scheme, which adapted reform-based funding approach that would help Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) receive funds for infrastructure development and basic services for urban poor. Sustainability and resilience can be promoted through a combination of strategies such as integrated urban planning, identifying synergies between disaster risk reduction and adaptation, building efficiency of urban service quality and delivery and promoting green buildings and sustainable transport. The present paper explores the role and challenges which the urban local governments and urban local bodies are facing in practical implementation of resilience, sustainability strategies and promotions of sustainable urban development, so as to reduce climate impact caused by carbon emission and rapid environmental degradation. This paper also provides a conceptual framework and analysis for the decentralized and improved local/urban governance in promoting efficient sustainable development and environmental protection.

Keywords: Environmental protection. Climate resilience, Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Urbanization, Urban Local Bodies.

[1] Senior Assistant Professor, Dept. of Education& Training,MANUU, Hyderabad.

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