Sustainable Urban and Industrial Development

Land Use Planning and Management


For more information:

Georg Jahnsen, Project Director    
+91 11 4949 5353 

Or visit the project website:

With 18% of the world’s population and only 2.2% of its land, India is a country where competition for land is intense. Without effective systematic spatial and land-use planning, land is often over-exploited and conflicts escalate between different users, whether individuals, communities or economic sectors.

Rapid population growth, industrialisation and urbanisation in recent decades have robbed the agricultural sector of increasing amounts of fertile land, and pollution from human activities has degraded still more. The loss of agricultural land poses a threat to India’s flora and fauna, as well as to food security. Less produce means higher prices, which could be disastrous for the poor and vulnerable.

Policies and institutional mechanisms are needed to ensure land is treated as a precious resource, its use planned and managed jointly by all sectors for the benefit of society as a whole. The Land Use Planning and Management project works with, and facilitates cooperation between, the three levels of government: central, state and local. The project is working with the main sector ministries to establish a coherent policy framework for managing strategic territorial development in an integrated way, i.e. involving all stakeholders.

Policy guidelines inform the work of technical specialists and managers of sector and cross-sector planning institutions at state and city level. With support and capacity development from the project, they are developing standardised tools

for integrated spatial land-use planning and management. The tools can be used, for example, to delimit nature reserves, identify locations for industrial areas, and even to determine where new roads are needed.

The processes put in place effectively mandate cooperation between ministries and agencies, and between the different levels of government in land use planning. With modern planning tools, decisions on land use will be more transparent and better able to reconcile the needs of the economy, society and the environment.