New Lucknow: The emerging cityscape

Dr Binti SinghWhile driving through the highway I came across a board reading New Lucknow  that compelled me to pause for a while. What is New Lucknow?

The Lucknow, I know, conjures up images of an old, decaying city, narrow lanes and gullies, dated modes of public transport, high levels of pollutions et al. Some of these images of the city do conform to places in the inner-city areas of Chowk, Aminabad and Hussainabad. What then is New Lucknow?

New Lucknow is the emerging cityscape characterised by gradual densification of peri urban areas expanding the city limits.  This expanding landscape is dotted with several residential, commercial and infrastructure projects that are currently underway like the International cricket stadium, convention centre, Ring road and Kisan path.

Economic forces have triggered horizontal expansion of the city connecting it with its hitherto rural belt. Some erstwhile agricultural land was acquired in the process and the urban sprawl is dotted with upcoming residential complexes, posh educational institutions and hospitals, golf courses and new cultural centres like the Awadh Shilp Gram. New Lucknow is particularly visible with the changing cityscape.

Lucknow is witnessing increasing global linkages and is emerging as a centre of business and commerce with global private firms like Ikea opening their centres in the city Around the State in Three Days.The state government of Uttar Pradesh is aggressively projecting Lucknow (the capital of Uttar Pradesh) as a modern city that is globally connected with the launch of several urban development programs, and urban policies.

Under the recently launched smart cities paradigm, Lucknow is all set to promote itself as a smart city with its rapidly growing physical infrastructure like international airports, flyovers, upcoming metro rail, IT parks, real estate development and city extensions along with rapidly growing social infrastructure like hospitals and educational institutions. Urban development include major investments on the following big projects: extending the Delhi Agra expressway to Lucknow; Lucknow metro, four lane highways linking 44 district headquarters; a new IT city in Chak Ganjaria; a cancer hospital in Lucknow and a new international cricket stadium.

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