NUPF : A Quick Guide

The National Urban Policy Framework lists down 10 important functional areas or 10 pillars of urban space and management. This quick guide explains the background on each of these pillars and the action suggested as per policy.

The 10 Functional Areas :

Background:

1. Ancient Indian town planning practices and post-modernism tenets are similar: walkability, smaller lots clustered together, houses close to plot line, narrow streets in grid pattern, functional integration, socio-economic and lifestyle integration.
2. Post-independence planning was preparation of Master Plans with rigid land use, zoning and development controls based on Town and Country Planning law of U.K.
3. Modern Planning Challenges:
4. Static built environment largely disconnected from rapidly changing socio-economic conditions.
5. Master plans unconnected to investment planning at city, state and national levels.
6. Missing link between spatial and functional aspects.
7. Lack of the gender/child friendly perspective.

Actions Suggested:

  • Making urban planning dynamic, iterative, adaptive, gender-responsive and evolving:
  • Issue new guidelines on principles of comprehensive planning-dovetail all schemes
  • Planning area boundaries to extend beyond municipal borders
  • Invite application from public once in two years to amend or review master plans
  • Dynamic master plans with an action oriented plan, Execution plan should flow from ward level consultations
  • Spatial planning exercise to be participatory
  • Master planning to be more efficient and inclusive through use of GIS, GPS, remote sensing
  • Participatory mechanism at all stages of master plan
  • Issue of census towns to be considered during urban policy making
    • Master plans to build for density
    • FAR as an instrument to achieve development objectives: 2-Tier FAR, move away from single FAR across city to traded FAR, Division of master plan into TDR zones on basis of prevailing property prices, Small proportion of original FAR of zone can be released into the market through auctions, TDR validity to be restricted to 5 years
    • MoHUA to formulate master plan guidelines that promote differential FAR, area based development control norms, legal document to enable sale of FAR, model FAR trading system, FAR bond trading and auctioning framework.
      • Shift to Form-based codes
      • Use the intended form and character of a place as an organising principle. Labelling of zones as ‘traditional’ instead of ‘single family residential’ for example.
        • Focus on integrated development of planning areas
        • Divide cities into planning areas and use tools such as Local area based plans and Town planning schemes.
          • Public spaces, Walkability and Resilience
          • Urban areas should provide for quality public spaces that are networked and easily accessible to all, revitalise derelict neighbourhoods and low-performing areas, make cities adaptive to disasters and resilient to climate change through people-centered planning and management practices

Background:

1. Urbanisation is a strong contributor to GDP. Clustering of people and economies – agglomeration economies leads to higher levels of productivity.
2. Congestion i.e when infrastructure and basic services are unable to keep pace with the demands of increasing population prevents exploitation of the advantages of an agglomeration economy which is the case in India.
3. Urban development in India has remained isolated from National Development.
4. Skewed urbanisation – few large cities and large villages – impacted by lack of integration between urban/rural and regional in sectoral investment plans.

Actions Suggested:

  • National and state level policies for economic development:
  • Recognise urbanization as a driver of economic growth – make city linkages to the hinterland, spatial planning integrated with economic and social planning.
  • Move away from ideas of decongesting larger cities into investing in urban growth centres. MoHUA to prepare detailed guidelines to pick cities. States to strategise on integrating informal sector into the economy.
    • Adequate investment in skilled labour and local economic development
    • Develop human capital in cities and surroundings linking job demand with skill development. Career counselling centres to be integrated with ULBs and create vocational courses based on demand assessment
      • Empower and strengthen the role for ULBs
      • ULBs to provide social protection to informal workers and vulnerable groups
      • Local economic development to be moved from State parastatals to cities and wards-with matching fiscal tools for ULBs
      • Promote business improvement districts, market streets in colab with informal/formal businesses
      • City economic councils in larger cities as clearing house between business and government
      • Quarterly city dashboard capturing investments, GDP, employment, status of infra projects

Background:

1. Source of water supply is located at far off distance enhancing cost and leakage. 3 water management models in India: by State, by ULBs or by exclusive water supply & sewerage board. Gap between revenues and cost of water supply prevents municipal bodies from making any substantial investment in improving standards.
2. Toilets are at household, community public level. The condition in slums is much worse impacting women and girls to a large extent. Co-production models for sanitation have been tried in slums with some success.
3. Urban areas have inadequate sewerage systems, public toilets lack water supply and many are not connected to sewerage systems causing environmental impacts. Decentralised sewage treatment – is a cheaper alternative to larger sewer systems as suggested by the national commission (1988).

Actions Suggested:

  • Administrative reforms to improve infrastructure delivery
  • Enhance autonomy of ULBs, link recovery of user charges to cover O&M, capital costs to be met by grants etc. or value capture framework of MoHUA.
  • Develop specific roles for ULBs or establish SPV.
  • Professional institutions for each area of urban infra to be set up to guide local bodies.
    • Formulate policy and programs for efficiency and rationalisation of existing urban infra systems.
    • Handbook on service level benchmarking developed and released by MoUD – standard parameters, minimum framework for monitoring and guidelines to operationalise in phases.
    • Based on model plan of Center, States to develop strategic plans and set targets for monitoring.
    • Freeze on sub-functions – on way is to use the principle of subsidiarity.
    • Decentralised approach to service delivery. MoHUA to focus only on high-level objectives and not operations which is upto the States.
    • States to improve service delivery by switching to performance based contracts.
    • States to decide on model for solid waste management and governance for ULBs.
    • Use intergrated digital technologies.
    • Integrate spatial plans with infrastructure plans.
      • Ensure services are available, accessible, affordable.
      • Infrastructure to be supported by participation of people and citizen awareness with focus on women.
        • Environmentally friendly infrastructure
      • Eco-friendly designs and construction methods
      • Harness natural ecosystems
      • Dense, medium and low rise developments can sustainably meet energy needs
      • Energy conservation building codes through municipal bye-laws.
      • Centralised data platforms for disclosure of energy, water and waste use
      • Use decentralised networks to treat sewage

Background:

1. Urban poverty features-growth of slums, rapid growth of informal sector, poor civic services.
2. Service sector in India is different from west
3. Not uniform access to education, gender bias, closure of municipal and government schools
4. Declining public delivery of health services, issues of access and affordability
5. Cultural heritage

Actions Suggested:

  • Integrated approach to poverty alleviation
  • Progressively move to direct benefit transfer for all government schemes
  • Conditional cash transfer to complement the above to take care of specific objectives
    • Health
    • Entire value chain to be brought under ULBs. Use AYUSH practitioners to provide preventive health care. ULBs to establish area level sub-centres to work as single-point health and wellness centres.
    • ULBs to implement a health insurance scheme (AYUSHMAN) to make healthcare affordable.
    • Preventive healthcare.
      • Culture and History
      • Investment for protection and promotion of heritage cities and historical monuments.GIS based heritage mapping to be done. Public participation and awareness targeting youth and children.
      • Training local officials and organising events to interact with heritage sites.
      • Renovation of old public libraries and museums and opening new libraries.

Background:

1. Center has tried several alternatives ranging from fully subsidised to market based housing options.
2. Technical group report in 2012 estimated housing shortage of 18.78 million units of which 95% belong to EWS and LIG category.
3. Housing policies such as under JnNURM or RAY or Maharashtra’s SRA put emphasis on creating new housing units for all, yet, these programs are unable to address the scale of the problem – further evidence that private or public sector alone or together cannot address unmet demand.
4. Property rights are to be evaluated against India’s unique environment: terms of exchange, protection from forced eviction and protection from market-induced displacement.
5. Land availability varies across urban centers, scarcity arises when new units are to be built and scarcity has to be evaluated against the context of large publicly held land.
6. Public policy has not encouraged rental housing and ownership seems to be the singular aim.

Actions Suggested:

  • Create national housing stock under NUP framework
  • States to develop Strategies to prevent slums
  • Housing programs and schemes to be inclusive and non-discriminatory
  • Self Built Housing
  • Incremental improvement and not redevelopment and creation of new units, only actors that have built affordable housing at scale are households, communities and local contractors. Create coalitions to co-create solutions (ward sabhas, neighbourhood associations)
    • Land titling
    • Different types of property rights must be evaluated against multiple ends: 1) enabling market exchange, 2) securing tenure, 3) protecting against market induced displacement. In urban India, the two that have benefits and reflect current context are community titling and buying development time (patta system). No eviction guarantees.
      • Scarcity of land
      • Housing of low-income HHs is located largely on land owned by public agencies-using TDR can unlock land owned by railways and augment supply. Identify vacant land and bring it to the land market..
        • Inclusionary Zoning
        • 2 innovations– 1) ZEIS – zone of special interest as legal mechanisms to turn occupied ULB land into social rentals or establish community titled in-situ upgrading. This could also incorporate livelihood to create mixed use spaces. 2) Incrementally built dwellings do not fit within development control norms or service level benchmarks and are often rejected by ULBs. Incremental development controls can overcome this issue- a milestone that communities must reach post-gaining security of tenure within a specified period. Combining incremental and flexible controls with zones of special interest and community titling instead of individual.
          • Rental Housing
          • State policies should be designed to deliver and manage rental housing.
            • Beneficiary Involvement
            • Low-rise, high density forms to be applied and move towards a communal, flexible model suited to say, migrant workers
              • Fixing the other end of the housing market:
              • viability gap funding for smaller developers to enter the market, reducing approval times, addressing land prices vis a vis low cost technology options for construction, financial instruments, NULM shelters, city level initiatives to involve private partners, CSR and NGOs. (examples of baan mankong, yerwada, chile). Support from local NGOs to accommodate pavement dwellers.
                • Slums and Pavement Dwellers
              • Support from local NGOs to accommodate pavement dwellers into improved housing. Genuine consultation with R&R households to ensure alternative housing is habitable, affordable, accessible and sound

Background:

1. Importance of streetscape in Indian culture destroyed by urbanisation and the increase in motorisation
2. Private vehicles have gained precedence over inadequate public transit impacting air quality and fatalities. <.br> 3. Policy based reforms that incentivise private vehicle usage has added to traffic congestion.
4. National Transport Policy 2017 of GoI acknowledges the importance of public transit.
5. Different modes of public transit operate in fragments, lack of focused investment in road-based transit, lack of street infrastructure, no comprehensive parking policy, women safety concerns.
6. Priorities mention the use of ‘social zones’ for integrating car and pedestrian movement.
7. Inclusive transport – elderly and women’s perspective.
8. Master plans to encourage a dispersed by functional and closely knit pattern of urban settlements replacing traditional home-work relationships with transit oriented development.

Actions Suggested:

  • Provision of public transport will be subsidised by the centre
  • Active transport
  • City and neighbourhood development plans must include allocations for creation of street furniture such as footpaths, streetlight etc Some design standards to be followed in the construction and financing of footpaths and cycle tracks.
  • Comprehensive street vending policy – reorganise street activities as in the smart streets being developed under the smart city mission.
    • Integrate public transport
    • Last mile connectivity should be ensured for all modes of transport.
    • UMTA must be created across all Indian cities and towns with multiple modes of public transport
    • All future airports, buses, trains and metro stations should be designed in a way to ensure seamless transits for commuters switching modes
    • Transport and stations should be physically accessible
    • Multimodality should encourage feeder services to metro rail systems
    • Urban bus fleets should be doubled in the next 5 years.
    • Fiscal measures to discourage private vehicle use: higher motor vehicle and fuel taxes.
    • Prioritise high density mixed land use
      • Utilize Technology and Data
      • Intelligent transport systems to monitor bus performance
      • Bus route information and real time data should be disseminated to commuters through smart apps
      • Knowledge sharing platforms for early adopters of ITS to share learning
      • Greater financial incentives to operators to embrace green technology
      • *Traditional policy response is to build more roads, IT platforms can integrate people, businesses – an emerging alternative that provides Peer-to-Peer services or shared services to match public and private transit options.


Background:

1. Evolution of municipal institutions from the British period till now – with a slow but sure devolution of powers to local bodies without settling the question of local finances.
2. 74th constitutional amendment (1992) act did not provide for a municipal finance list to match the municipal functions – still leaves financial decisions to the States.
3. Municipal bodies can levy and collect taxes that state governments choose to devolve from their powers.
4. State finance commissions are meant to augment resources of local bodies – State have set up SFCs but not followed their recommendations.
5. 5 sources of finance for ULBs: tax revenue (property tax, advertisement tax), non-tax revenue (rent, fees, parking, public utility fees), devolution of funds from State, Grants from State or Centre for development schemes and borrowings.
6. Inefficient collection of taxes and limited borrowing capacity of ULBs.
7. Recent development of municipal bonds some backed by State guarantees – some smaller ULBs in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have pooled municipalities to issue bonds.
8. Use of PPPs as a form of resource mobilisation also.

Actions Suggested:

  • Legislative and policy changes
  • All states to set norms for cities to meet revenue expenditure – different for different size cities.
  • Insert a local bodies finance list along lines of the union and state list
  • Central govt. to provide guidance on devolution on the basis of formula
  • SFCs to be set up on time so that CFC has their reports for consideration
  • Strengthen SFCs and ensure that state government accept their recommendations
  • All States to have a clear policy on PPP
    • Revenue Mobilization plan
    • Property tax- general and service component
    • Property tax should transit gradually from ARV to tax based on capital value
    • Base for property tax should be comprehensive with no exemptions
    • Base for levy of property tax should be revalued every year based on annual indexation for inflation – will avoid large increases in property tax
    • ULBs to have flexibility to fix tax rate subject to meeting a portion of their revenue and expense – state government to issue guidelines.
    • Professional tax: ceiling of 2500 should be revised to 10,000 by making making amendment to constitution
    • Professional tax to be fully retained by ULBs.
    • Non-tax revenue: user charges structured to meet operations and maintenance. If costs still cannot be met, then use the VCF tool prepared by MoHUA.
    • The Value capture finance framework to be completely implemented by all states and cities.
      • Municipal revenue enhancement plans
      • ULBs who have credit rating to implement these, ULBs with investment rating to issue bonds, Guidance on issuing bonds and PPP, SEBI regulations to be amended to enable pooled financing State government clearances for ULB borrowing on agreed principles and not ad-hoc Incentivise cities to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure-Green Bonds
      • Improve procurement and contracting

Background:

1. Origin of municipal bodies with British aimed at mobilising local fiscal resources for local amenities – water, drainage, education, health
2. Urban issues are a State subject till a shift in governance was aimed through the 73rd and 74th amendments in 1993 – granting municipalities the power to function independently – however, this has not led to real decentralisation due to incomplete financial devolution.
3. State appointed Commissioner (of municipal corporation) has all the executive power instead of Chairperson of municipality whose role is not clearly defined and Mayor of city has no functional role.
4. Large number of parastatals that operate within city limits but not answerable to local bodies as they are State appointed bodies.
5. Limited capacity of ULBs and frequent transfers of officers does not support continuity of effort.
6. Platforms for people’s participation are not functional.

Actions Suggested:

    Actions Suggested:

    • Fragmentation and multiplicity of agencies to be addressed together with empowering the mayor: codify roles of mayor, commissioner and council by State
  • Explore contemporary ways of accountability
  • Principle of subsidiarity should be used to devolve funds and functions
  • Responsiveness of municipalities – compensate citizens for non-redressal of grievances, digitally enabled social audit.
  • Transparent municipal operations.
  • Indicators for measuring efficiency
  • Citizen participation means the institutional arrangements that permit citizens to work in partnerships..move beyond informing and consultation to delegation of power and control. Digital technology has potential to make this happen.
  • Capacity of local bodies to be developed.
  • Gender and child sensitive approach.
  • Community development corporations to be encouraged in India
  • In line with 74th CAA, local bodies to be empowered rather than creating SPVs for infra provision and maintenance
  • Digital technology to register property transactions – use of blockchain technology for all land titles.
  • MoHUA to review and revise model municipal law 2013.
  • Responsibility of managing, planning and resource raising and allocation to be transferred to municipalities

  • Background:

    1. Conventional ways of using IT so far have ignored the value hidden in human interactions with the city’s infrastructure and environment.
    2. Climate group calls the interaction between people, systems and technology-hidden interactions and capturing these has the potential to generate economic growth.
    3. Cities consist of systems: transport, water, electrical, parks which will require systems of AI, IOT, big data, cloud based data and so on, as new ways to deliver services to citizens.
    4. ICT related planning challenges are lack of data, updated or accurate base maps, lack of underground infrastructure maps, inadequate data sharing, absence of real-time monitoring and inadequate technical skills.

    Actions Suggested:

    • Integrated City Centres

    • Spatial data infrastructure, build command and control centres to serve as the nerve system of the city.
      • Urban Planning & Management

      • Issue of building permission, birth and death using technology, smart water systems, use of GPR, LIDAR, high resolution satellite imagery etc. for large scale mapping
        • Urban Mobility

        • IICT enabled applications to make travel efficient and provide services to different modes of transport.
          • Energy and Utilities
          • Use of ICT to include renewable energy in electricity grids and make existing grids efficient
          • Deploying monitoring and metering systems
            • Urban safety and security
            • Use of intelligent LED street lighting and surveillance
            • CT for disaster mitigation and management
              • Citizen services
              • Digital platform for e-governance services with single access and interactive
              • Develop a standard operating procedure for citizen grievance redressal system
              • Implement open data policies and empower citizens through transparency and engagement
              • Implementation of citywide common payment card
              • Use of local language on citizen service portals

    Background:

    1. India is signatory to multiple international agreements-Paris agreement, Sendair Framework, Quito Declaration etc.
    2. Low carbon, resource efficient, sustainable aim reflected in Nationally determined contributions to the Paris agreement.
    3. Cities are worst affected in terms of air pollution impacted by emissions from industry, power plants, construction dust, crop and garbage burning etc.
    4. Water supply challenges are related to availability, quality and reliability, depletion in potable water sources and untreated wastewater.
    5. Inadequate waste collection capacity
    6. Increased vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change
    7. Energy use in buildings and vehicles as key contributor to urban heat island effect

    Actions Suggested:

    • Urban air quality
    • E xpansion of pollution monitoring stations, real time sharing. Switching to CNG and electric vehicles, facilitating cleaner fuel switch and 100% LPG penetration, Bringing forward Bharat VI automobile standards, Stricter monitoring of industrial emissions, better maintenance of roads and garbage collection, stricter monitoring of construction sites, adoption of AQI goals, increase in green space, lead investment in renewable energy, mandate city level targets, ban open burning of waste, congestion charging.
      • Urban water resources
      • Develop urban water management plans, prepare action plans for sewage management, decentralised common treatment plants, policy tools to conserve water, compulsory rainwater harvesting, protect natural water resources, adopt urban water management measures.
        • Solid waste
        • Implement solid waste management rules 2016, adopt methods of solid waste management utilising govt. schemes, promote concept of the circular economy, registration of workers in recycling, pilot community based integrated resource recovery centres, encourage manufacturers to take on a greater role, pilot new technologies
          • Disaster risk reduction and resilience
          • Plan and implement disaster plans, GIS based disaster zoning maps, prepare risk profile of cities, invest in climate proofing critical infrastructure, strengthen technical and financial capacity of ULBs, acknowledge local area level as smallest scale of disaster-risk reduction planning – introduce community resilience awareness programs and integrate local data
            • Energy
            • Net zero energy buildings, energy efficiency, renewable energy deployment, data driven decision making, reliable energy supply