#7 Pointers for Inclusive Growth of Cities and Business Together Cities are becoming more important as a hub for trade and commerce and urbanization. A supporting, interdependence, collaborative, consultative relationship between the city administration and business community can bring in the desired growth

By Abhishek Joshi.

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Cities across the globe are the nodal points for trade, economics, technology, innovation, education, and development. A lot of efforts are being invested in developing a world-class city that could represent a progressive civilization and holistic growth of the nation. However, vulnerabilities always creep into the system making it weak and collapse. In the context of the present discussion on finding out ways on how cities and businesses can work together for growth, here are seven pointers that intellectuals, policymakers and implementers must give thought.

1. Circular economy

Most of the developed economies depict "circularity' in their nature. The city needs to generate revenue out of its investments made in a way that there is always a surplus of income so that the facilities and amenities needed for trade and economic development receive proper "operation and maintenance' support. For this, the city has to first ensure quality service on time. Businesses must be willing to contribute to the growth of the city hassle-free and spontaneously. The economic policy has to be customised in that accord, which would be conducive for the business environment.

2. Governance

Good governance brings ease of doing business. This is the driving force behind the spontaneous growth of the people and the place. Government framework must target growth beyond the stipulated national average. City administration needs to formulate its own set of development agenda, which must be over and in excess of the national policy. Businesses have to extend their complete agreement and support for the same. For businesses to support city growth, good governance is essential.

3. Spatial growth of citifies

Many cities undergo huge infrastructural reforms in the wake of development. Most of them fall into the trap of vertical growth rather than spatial growth. This makes city growth a one-dimensional, leaving the option for future expansion. At a stage when it becomes saturated, businesses face tremendous operational and logistical challenges. The city administration has to give priority to spatial growth together with sustainable landscaping and green development.

4. Interconnectedness

Communication takes 95% credit for any human intervention. For inclusive growth of city and business, interconnectedness is a key determinant. People, places, and processes need to connect with each other. In this regard, transport and logistical infrastructure, IT & Telecom infrastructure, and communication between people play an important role. It has to be a mixed-use neighbourhood of the residential, commercial, and institutional units to make amenities more accessible. The city needs to be connected with its peripheral units through all modes.

5. Law and order

When growth becomes voluminous, it breeds greed and injustice. There can be a number of parameters that can be assigned for the inclusive development of business and the city. However, without the code of conduct of businesses and behaviour of citizens being ethical, holistic growth is a distant dream. This single factor can overpower all positivity. Businesses and the citizens need to respect the law and order and the city needs to ensure that the custodians of the legal system are adept and honest towards their responsibilities.

6. Green factor

Unplanned urbanization in the name of growth is a threat to the organic growth of business and the city. Technology and modernization alone cannot bring in growth; the entire system needs to be close to nature. Environmental protection, peripheral development, and protection of the ancient heritage in the vicinity are also important factors. They give a pleasant ambiance and improve the quality of living of the people residing there; moreover, they give an identity.

7. People

People make the place. At the base of a progressive city and flourishing trade, it is the hands and the brains of the people who formulate and foster it. A people-centric approach must be adopted, where the development of the people should be the top priority. Their health, education, livelihood, mental well-being, social engagement, and all other aspects are directly linked to the inclusive growth of the city and the business.

Abhishek Joshi.

Social Entrepreneur

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