Sustainable urbanization using high speed rail (HSR) in Karnataka, India

TitleSustainable urbanization using high speed rail (HSR) in Karnataka, India
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsVerma, A., H. S. Sudhira, S. Rathi, R. King, and N. Dash
JournalResearch in Transportation Economics
Date Published02/2013
KeywordsHigh speed rail, HSR, India, Karnataka, Urbanization

Considering the present trends of urbanization and motorization in India, there is an urgent need for integration, revitalization and renewal of the smaller towns and cities to make urban areas in India more sustainable. Unless our regional space is reorganized to upgrade development of towns and cities and integrate them with each other and the larger cities, the urbanization process in India will become unsustainable. It is argued that High Speed Rail (HSR) can play a role in achieving this more balanced and sustainable development of towns and cities, opening up opportunities for growth across a wider, inter-connected, region, with the benefit of taking the pressure of the larger cities to absorb additional burgeoning populations. This paper will make the case that in the current Indian context, current patterns of mega-city growth are unsustainable, and that HSR can play an important role in providing opportunities for medium and smaller size cities through their interconnections. It begins by highlighting the role that railways have played in India and other countries, noting that merely economic analysis of their costs and benefits generally underestimated their contributions to development. It then provides an introduction to HSR and its potential impact in general, before applying this to the example of the State of Karnataka in South India.


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