Homes and office buildings are densely packed into an area of Jaipur, India. The colorful urban area is also known as the "Pink City."

Photograph by Kedryn Samson, MyShot
  • India is experiencing rapid urbanization. This means Indians are migrating from rural areas and suburbs to cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, and Jaipur, above.

    More than a million people migrated to Jaipur between 2001 and 2011. Today, with a population of about 3 million, Jaipur is the tenth-largest city in India. The city of Jaipur and the state of Rajasthan, where it is located, work to provide safe and affordable housing to millions of new residents.

    Read discussion topics in the "Questions" tab to better understand issues facing Jaipur's busy city planners.

    1. Zoning. Jaipur's city planners must mark each area of the city for a specific use, a process called zoning. The brightly colored apartments in the image are in a residential or housing zone. What other zones do you think Jaipur's city planners need to anticipate?

      Business, industrial, municipal (government and police buildings, for example), and school zones are just a few of the areas city planners must incorporate in their plans. Each of these zones could also have sub-zones: a school zone, for example, may specify whether the area is approved for an elementary school or a university.

      Additionally, many areas are "mixed-use," allowing for a determined mixture of zones. A downtown street, for example, may be zoned for both business and residential use, allowing for commercial businesses and apartment buildings on the same block.

    2. Services. An urban area the size of Jaipur provides access to many city services. What are some services city planners usually include when zoning a residential area?

      Access to clean water is a primary service. The large structure on the right of the image is a water tower, for instance, which provides clean water for drinking and hygiene to local residents. Reliable, safe access to sewage systems and a source of power (usually electricity or natural gas) are other key city services.

      In India, as in most nations, residents pay for these and other services either by direct bills or through municipal and state taxes.

    3. Infrastructure. What are some of the buildings and other physical structures city planners need to include in their designs?

      Urban infrastructure includes: roads, bridges, power plants, electric and fiberoptic cable networks, cell phone towers, pipelines for water supply and disposal, levees and other flood-control systems, WiFi hubs for Internet access . . .

    4. Transportation. Public transportation (also called mass transit) systems are networks where transportation is shared by many people. What sort of public transportation systems do you think Jaipur's city planners consider?

      In Jaipur itself, city planners and transportation engineers design roads, bridges, and trails for car, bus, bike, and pedestrian traffic. They also plan for rail and metro (subway) systems. Jaipur is near lakes and rivers, so some amount of ferry traffic must also be considered.

      In addition, a city the size of Jaipur usually has a nearby airport. (Jaipur International Airport is located 40 kilometers (25 miles) away in the town of Sanganer.)

    5. Environment. Urbanization often comes at the expense of the natural environment. What are so-called "green areas" city planners incorporate into their designs for cities and neighborhoods?

      Public parks are the most popular form of green area. Others include bike trails, walking paths, nature reserves, and public gardens.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    cable Noun

    strong set of cords or wire ropes.

    city Noun

    large settlement with a high population density.

    city planner Noun

    person who plans the physical design and zoning of an urban center.

    electricity Noun

    set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow of electric charge.

    environment Noun

    conditions that surround and influence an organism or community.

    fiber-optic Adjective

    having to do with the transmission of light through transparent fibers.

    housing Noun

    shelters where people live.

    hygiene Noun

    science and methods of keeping clean and healthy.

    infrastructure Noun

    structures and facilities necessary for the functioning of a society, such as roads.

    levee Noun

    bank of a river, raised either naturally or constructed by people.

    Encyclopedic Entry: levee
    migrate Verb

    to move from one place or activity to another.

    mixed-use community Noun

    development of an area for more than one purpose, such as housing (residential) and shopping (retail).

    municipal Adjective

    having to do with local government.

    natural gas Noun

    type of fossil fuel made up mostly of the gas methane.

    Encyclopedic Entry: natural gas
    power plant Noun

    industrial facility for the generation of electric energy.

    public transportation Noun

    methods of movement that are available to all community members for a fee, and which follow a fixed route and schedule: buses, subways, trains and ferries.

    rural area Noun

    regions with low population density and large amounts of undeveloped land. Also called "the country."

    Encyclopedic Entry: rural area
    sewage Noun

    liquid and solid waste material from homes and businesses.

    suburb Noun

    geographic area, mostly residential, just outside the borders of an urban area.

    tax Noun

    money or goods citizens provide to government in return for public services such as military protection.

    urbanization Noun

    process in which there is an increase in the number of people living and working in a city or metropolitan area.

    water tower Noun

    elevated structure used for storing water.

    zoning Noun

    system of sectioning areas within cities, towns, and villages for specific land-use purposes through local laws.