The perfect time to visit India as urbanisation takes off (by Chris Johnson)

The 11th Metropolis World ​Congress to be held in Hyderabad this October will see a resurgent India with a new energy coming with the election of Mr Narendra Modi as the new Prime Minister. Already there have been statements about re-energising the education system and of building many new cities across the country. It will be the large number of existing and proposed cities on the sub continent that will most gain from the pro development policies of the Modi government.

The key Indian city decision makers will be coming to Hyderabad to learn from the leaders of the Metropolis network of cities. They will be looking for the new ideas in technology, in governance, in transport and the social issues that make cities great. Those visiting from outside India will find a very receptive audience for their expertise and their knowledge. The mood in India will be upbeat with a new confidence and a keenness to connect to global cities. Of course the rich culture of India’s traditions will be on display at the Hyderabad Congress with an exotic series of banquets and performances.

Having organised a previous Metropolis Congress in Sydney, Australia in 2008 I can understand just what will be in store for delegates to Hyderabad in 2014. The timing for an Indian cities congress could not have been better. The country is urbanising fast, the new government is looking for ideas to help manage the dramatic growth in the urban population and the mood is about being more businesslike and about connecting more with the rest of the world.
I will be in Hyderabad and I urge all those interested in the future of cities, whether you are from India or from the world at large, you need to be at the Metropolis Congress in Hyderabad this October,

Chris Johnson
Director of the Sydney Metropolis Congress 2008


Chris Johnson is CEO of the Urban Taskforce, an Australian industry group representing property developers and financiers. He was formerly the NSW Government Architect for 10 years and Executive Director of Planning. He has written numerous books on urban planning and was the Director of the Metropolis Congress in Sydney in 2008.