UN body has praise and some caution for City

UN body has praise and some caution for City

The UN State of the World’s Cities Report-2012 has put Bangalore at par with Silicon Valley in the US,  acknowledging the advancement the City has registered in various sectors, even as it expressed concern over the adverse impact the city’s environment has suffered in recent years.

The report released on Wednesday by Eduardo López Moreno of UN-Habitat, Kenya, said Bangalore has succeeded owing to top-class academic and research institutions.

“Some cities in developing countries have embraced the model of world-class innovation clusters, such as California’s Silicon Valley or Boston’s Route 128, to become “high-tech hubs.” Those that have met with success in this endeavour, such as India’s Bangalore, owe it to the same basic factors: The presence of top-quality  academic and research institutions as well as substantial public and corporate investment,” the report said.

According to the report, experts “saw a strong link between research and development (R&D) on the one hand and enhanced prosperity on the other with public authorities and other stakeholders playing significant roles in the areas of business, industry and technology.” The report placed two cities of India, Bangalore and Hyderabad, in the list of Asian cities which share this quality. “This was the case in Singapore, Hyderabad and Bangalore (India), Shenzhen and Chongqing (China), Gaziantep (Turkey) and Cebu (the Philippines),” it said.

The emergence of Bangalore as a knowledge hub is having a visible impact on policy, entrepreneurship and innovation, the report said.

With more than 66 engineering colleges and 55 polytechnics, the city has developed as a centre for scientific innovation, research in aeronautics and electronics with strong public research facilities,” it said.

However, the report noted that all is not well with the knowledge city of India and expressed concern over the poor health of environment and uneven growth infrastructure.

It quoted several observers who claimed that the city needs to pay more attention to infrastructure development and to ensure that the benefits of growth are evenly distributed among its population.

 “Experts point to poor air quality, depletion of ground water tables and fast receding lakes (in the city),” it added.

Quoting an expert opinion survey, the report said there were differences across cities.

“For instance, economic growth is not perceived to have been matched by adequate infrastructure and services in Bangalore, Lahore, Ho Chi Minh city and Hyderabad,” it added.

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