Key Messages

As a populous, dense, and developing country, India needs a comprehensive urbanisation strategy for the coming decades to control its greenhouse gas emissions trajectory. This will also impact the quality of life of Indians as they migrate to urban areas. While many of India’s big cities currently rank poorly in the global liveability index, we believe that planning for policies towards doughnut cities can help achieve sustainable development without exceeding planetary boundaries. In this study, we used principles of systems thinking and modelling to identify key interventions that can support cities transitioning to doughnut cities. Our modelling results showed that strategies like mixed land use, integrated city planning, adoption of green and smart buildings, and (clean) electrification of urban transport can reduce annual GHG emissions by almost 75% while meeting basic development goals more efficiently. Finally, we discuss the existing institutional framework, policies, and key actors critical to achieving the transition to a doughnut city development model.

The content is published under Chapter 12 of the book titled 'India’s Energy Revolution: Insights into the Becoming of a Global Power'.

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Systems thinking for doughnut cities