By Erin Harrison
As Alcatel-Lucent Market and Consumer Insight groups, along with a team from IMRB International, wind down their neo-urbanization research in India, this week we learn that the group landed in an area that is finding prosperity, representative of a larger trend in the country.
The final leg of Alcatel-Lucent’s three-week journey took them from Bhiwadi to Coimbatore, a “town” of 1.25 million people located at the base of the Western Ghats foothills in the Tamil Nadu region of South India.
Formerly a textile town, Coimbatore is inching towards a new level of prosperity as it evolves into a regional center for healthcare, education and information technology. This kind of transformation is mirroring a larger trend towards self-contained, technology-fueled cities across South India.
As one example, in 2010, the Coimbatore Municipal Corporation doubled the size of the city, absorbing 12 surrounding semi-urban local bodies, which has dramatically altered the limits of the city. The result is a unique techno-hub town – more neo-rural than neo-urban, according to the Alcatel-Lucent researchers.
Technology adoption is also transforming such areas as the village of Bungalowpudur, where students are now required to learn basic programming. However, despite such strides, some areas of the village are still stuck in the “old world.”
Urbanization is modernizing many areas of the world that were previously without access to healthcare, education, employment – and technology.
In particular, parts of India are becoming networked hubs that are oriented and planned around smart functionality and sustainability. In cities such as Ahmadabad, where the research group first set out, what was once home to jungle territory 10 years ago now supports large concrete buildings with rapid changes occurring on an ongoing basis.
You are encouraged to learn more about ALU’s Market and Consumer Insight (MCI) organization’s efforts, and bookmark this page to stay updated on insights as the team concludes its journey. Read, hear and see what neo-urbanization in India can teach us about the role of ICT in accelerating economic development in a rapidly changing part of the world.