Friday, January 15, 2016

INDEX it is!

There are different indices to rate countries globally like Human Development Index (HDI), City Prosperity Index(CPI), Happiness Index, Corruption Index etc. Out of these, HDI is most looked up to. India is ranked 130 (medium human development) according to the 2015 edition of Global Human Development report, released by UNDP. City Prosperity Index is a new tool created by UN in 2012 to measure sustainability of cities. It is accompanied by a conceptual matrix, the Wheel of Urban Prosperity and includes parameters like infrastructure, quality of life, equity and inclusion, environmental sustainability and governance and legislation. 

All these indices give a national picture (with exception of CPI ) and not very useful while dealing with city planning. An index is a very strong tool while planning for a city as it gives the areas which needs action and helps in assessing the improvements over the year. In our Sustainably Smart Pune study project, we plan to use socio economic equity index as it helps us to analyse how equitable the city functions. By understanding the inequities, we could identify the critical areas which needs first attention. Currently most of the master plan exercises do socio economic surveys just for namesake and neither infer anything form it nor use it in their proposals which is a main reason why many sectors are overlooked. 

Initially as part of our study, we tried to use gini coefficient to represent inequity but did not find it apt for the study. Hence we have decided to create a new city level index which holistically measures the inequity in a city. This index has horizontal and vertical dimensions which spans across entire section of people and covers various city sectors and could be replicated for any city. Formulation of the index is in progress and we invite researchers, planners, economists, sociologists or anyone interested to collaborate or share any socio economic data, primary surveys, research or study you have related to Pune. Feel free to write to us, if you would like to know more and contribute to this effort.

Anu Kuncheria