Cities, India’s Urban Transformation, and Global Networks

Project Expert

Alyssa Ayres
Alyssa Ayres

Adjunct Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia

About the Project

The United Nations estimates that India will experience the largest rural-to-urban population shift of the twenty-first century as more than 400 million Indians are projected to relocate to cities. This urban transition, with its many implications for how the world’s largest democracy interacts with the world, forms the subject of my new book project, Bright Lights, Biggest Cities: The Urban Challenge to India’s Future, as well as related blog posts and articles. The urbanization story is of increasing importance not only for India, but for understanding changing patterns of global interaction. In fact, more than half of humanity now lives in cities, with the number expected to reach two-thirds by 2050. One result has been cities creating their own place at the negotiating table on global issues ranging from climate change to homeland security to migration. My work maps these developments and provides recommendations for U.S. foreign policymakers seeking to understand new global city networks.