Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology of the RWTH Aachen University

Monthly Archives: August 2011

Some thoughts on urban sprawl in Indian cities

As the population of a city grows, new housing space has to be created. Basically, there are two ways to fit more people in a city: to increase population density in existing quarters, or to build new quarters. Of course, in most cases, there will be a mixture of both approaches; however, until the city reaches a certain spatial size that makes commuting to the centre unaffordable, economic considerations typically lead to a horizontal expansion – involving a higher consumption of land. Excessive land consumption by loosely built-up quarters in the surrounding of a relatively densely populated core city is called urban sprawl. The process was first observed in the United States, when in the 1950s people began to move out of the inner cities to escape congestion, crime, and other downsides of urban life – the onset of suburbanisation, which has become typical for many American cities (take a look at Las Vegas in Google Earth for an extreme example). Read more »

Water supply in Indian cities – Not only a challenge for the poor

Dorothee already wrote an entry about the very poor water supply in slums and squatter settlements (click here) but also the people in India who are better off have difficulties when it comes to water supply. Of course they don’t face the same plight as the urban poor but to deal with the shortages, irregular supply and bad water quality they have to invest considerable amounts of money into coping strategies. Read more »

The Monsoon and water logging in Indian cities

The Indian subcontinent is characterized by a tropical monsoon climate which means that India is among the countries which receive seasonal rainfall in contrast to countries like Germany where precipitation occurs throughout the year. Most of India receives rain for only around 100 hours each year. The monsoon is highly important for India as it fills up water reservoirs, replenishes ground water and is essential for the Indian agriculture of which around 70% are rainfed.. Read more »

Waste Management of Varanasi

Due to fast urbanization and lack of waste management, plastic bags, bottles and papers etc. littered the roads of Varanasi City.  This is one of the major “visible” surface pollutant causing serious problems such as soil/water pollution, livelihood for bacteria, insects and stray animals and sewer clogging etc. In order to improve city’s image and life standards, action must be taken from government and citizen. Read more »

Literature Survey: Urbanization in India

For this literature survey a selection of papers and books is chosen. This range thematically from general urbanization in recent history to particular issues of actual Indian urbanization processes. The scattering in time and space permits to identify and assess the specialties of actual Indian urbanization processes. Read more »