Urban population in Asia rockets from 678 million in 1980 to 1.85 billion in 2000 (UN-Habitat 2005), with China and India being the leading countries. Several cities in India have dramatic rates of urban expansion, such as Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Bangalore (Hove 2006). Among them, Bangalore grows the fastest in Asia and its urban area began to form in 1986. Bangalore is the capital of Karnataka. Because of its burgeoning IT industries, Bangalore is nicknamed India’s "Silicon City.” Also, it is an international air hub. Bangalore is now known as Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP, Bruhal Bengaluru City Corporation), the biggest urban area with an extent of 850 sq. km. By 2012, Bangalore will join Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkatta as a mega city in India (Taubenböck et al. 2009).
Urbanization in Bangalore Karnataka, India
The urban area keeps expanding the last 60 years, especially past decade (Table.1).
Population rises from 4.3 million in 2001 to estimated 5.3 million in 2009 (World Gazetteer 2008). Majority of population have settled in urban areas with urban population of 5.8 million and "population density in Bangalore city alone is 19,435 persons per sq.km" (Hunse 2008, 6).
It is estimated that the population will rise to 7.74 million by the end of 2015 (Taubenböck et al. 2009).
By 2003, it is estimated that the build-up area is approximately 23-24%, compared to 16% in 2000 (Sudhira 2003).
The livelihood is better in Bangalore with the rapid pace of urbanization. The expected real income in urban areas is larger than that in rural areas, especially as people are more likely to find a job in the city. Additionally, better educational environment and business prospects also drive people to move to city (Datta 2006).
Bangalore is now the commercial center of new technology of India. Approximately 35% of professionals are engaged in IT and related industry works in Bangalore, and many international IT companies are hiring people from other cities in India. Four new companies start business in this state every week and they create 50,000 new jobs in one year (Siliconindia 2005).
Irregular rainfall in Bangalore has caused the failing yield of crops, causing the agricultural population to move to an urban center in order to find another source of income. People in India migrate to cities "not due to urban pull but due to rural push" (Datta 2006, 12).
Bangalore City, which was formerly known as Garden City, is now losing its green patches due to urbanization. In 2003, the percentage of parks and open spaces including lakes and water tanks was approximately 2.5-3%, much lower than 4.4% in 2002 (Sudhira 2003). Many of these tanks have now been converted to infrastructures as a result of rapid urbanization, such as bus stands, stadiums and playgrounds, etc. (Sudha and Ravindranath 2000). Government is now planting more tree saplings along the trenches to provide green canopy for the area.
The urban expansion around Bangalore has put enormous pressure on ground water supply (and water in general), which could present a huge issue as Bangalore relies heavily on ground water. Ground water contributes to fifty percent of the urban water requirements and eighty percent of the drinking water in rural areas (Hunse 2008). Due to increasing water consumption in Bangalore, the level of ground water keeps declining. Recent satellite images show that only 34 lakes are visible (Sudhira 2006).
Due to rural migration, lack of infrastructure becomes a major impediment to the urbanization in Bangalore. "District administration is facing the challenging task of providing necessary infrastructure for related economic activities, trade, commerce and housing facilities", according to Hunse (2008, 6). The rural poverty will transfer to urban poverty when large amount of illiterate and unskilled migrations move into urban areas. City may suffer from urban poverty, unemployment and housing shortage because of the incapability to accommodate migrants from rural areas (Datta 2006, 13).
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Hunse, T. M. December 2008. Ground Water Information Booklet, Bangalore Urban District, Karnataka. 1-26 http://cgwb.gov.in/District_Profile/karnataka/BANGALORE_URBAN_BROCHURE.pdf (last accessed 27 October 2009)
Siliconindia. 28 April 2005. Karnataka IT exports up by 52%. http://www.siliconindia.com/shownews/Karnataka_IT_exports_up_by_52-nid-2... (last accessed 27 October 2009)
Sudha, P., N. H. Ravindranath. 2000. A study of Bangalore urban forest. Landscape and Urban Planning 47 (1-2): 47-63
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Taubenböck, H., M. Wegmannb, A. Rotha, H. Mehla, and S. Decha. 2009. Urbanization in India-Spatiotemporal analysis using remote sensing data. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 33(1): 179-188
UN-Habitat. 30 May 2005. Changes in Asia’s fast growing cities are closely watched across the world. http://www.citymayors.com/society/asian_cities.html (last accessed 27 October 2009)
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