About Surat city
Surat is located in the western part of India, in the state of Gujarat. It is situated on the banks of river Tapi and has Arabian sea towards the south-west. Surat has been a famous port for trading for centuries. It is among one of the fastest-growing cities in the country with a population count of about 5 million people. Today, Surat is an industrial hub, famous for its diamond and textile trade. Along with that, it is also listed for the futuristic proposal of being a smart city.
What is a resilient city?
Resilient strategy is structured such that it articulates solutions. Resilient cities are structured with the ability to absorb and prepare for future disturbance, which can be anything in terms of environmental, economical, or social aspects. Urban resilience is the ability of any city to adapt and be prepared for such undulating times, along with its urban systems and inhabitants. In present times, there is an extensive need for the resilience characteristic for a city to survive its future shocks. And developing this characteristic requires an immense amount of detailed planning and understanding of different layers of the city. Enhancing the resilience of the city promotes its overall sustainable growth.
The city’s resilience is measured in four major aspects: economy, society, governance, and environment. The inclusive demographic study helps to understand these aspects in depth. A resilient character in the community creates a well-connected society that is proper infrastructure for health and easily accessible to well-being all the layers of masses. It promotes communal as well as individual growth which strengthens the society and creates a strong basis for holistic development.
Surat’s Resilience strategy :
1. Existing Issues
The main aim of the Surat Resilience Strategy is to turn the existing challenges into opportunities. As urbanization is increasing rapidly, which creates the need for new solutions to tackle the upcoming problems. The strategy developed for the well-being of the city does not only aims towards the physical challenges but also the social issues.
Impact of Environmental Issues
Surat city faces a high risk of flooding and sea-level rise. The case of flooding has increased gradually in the past two decades. Surat city is located near the sea and has Tapi flowing through it. Tapi river has been one of the major sources of water for the masses. There has been constant flooding during monsoon, which causes a great impediment to the people.
Impact of Poverty and settlements
As per the 2001 census, about 20% of Surat’s population lived in slums, this mostly comprises of migrants who cannot afford permanent houses. This slum area is mostly situated in the proximity of tidal creeks and along the river banks, these locations make them more vulnerable to rising water levels. The increasing number of migrants is also a problem, as the demands for resources are rising simultaneously.
Impact of Increasing Urbanization
Surat has developed to be a mega business hub and attracts a lot of people all over the country for labor and entrepreneurship. As industrialization and migration are increasing the population rate of the city, the need for a proper urban system is also growing. Lack of efficient infrastructure also causes haphazard during the time of crises, it leads to severe consequences on the people. To ensure that the social system of the city is an asset rather than a problem in extreme events, it is necessary to create a more impartial and harmonious social planning.
2. Vision of the Resilient Strategy
In simpler words, the Resilience strategy for a city can be defined as the ability of the city to ‘Bounce back’. The effort is to create a mechanism that helps the people and the social system survive through the adversities and recover from them rapidly. The primary focus would be on meeting the basic needs of people from all sections of society. Providing the basic needs includes providing a better living urban quality. The key highlights include –
- Developing efficient infrastructure to tackle the existing problem of lack of inability.
- Flood and other disasters management, aiming for rapid disaster management and recovery.
- Fosters future inclusive planning which leads to rational growth.
- Availing coherent health system for every section of the society.
- Providing a dependable network of public transport for mobility.
- Ensuring availability of Affordable housing, and eventually reducing the number of temporary settlements.
- Imparting quality education to the masses and creating awareness amongst them is the first step in laying the foundation for creating a responsible society.
- Creating a system for correct disposal of waste,
- Regulating and enforcing impenetrable laws.
The effort is to develop an efficient module that uplifts the quality of urbanscape which eventually will also lead to enhancing the quality of life. The Gujarat Energy Regulatory Commission (GERC) role is crucial in bringing about policies, which will further enhance renewable energy development. In the end, it’s the collective effort of the legal authorities, planners, and the common masses, to bring this strategy to fulfillment.