Exploring Strategies for Planned Urban Cluster Development in South Asia

Publication | April 2019

This paper explains the importance of urban clusters and the potential of planned cluster development to drive economic growth in South Asia.

It examines the concept of urban clusters and explores its application in South Asia. Drawing lessons from international case studies, it highlights the advantages of clustered urbanization. It identifies Delhi, Dhaka, and Mumbai as mature clusters; and Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Colombo, Kathmandu, and Pune as emerging clusters. It discusses evolving development priorities for these cities with regard to economic development, urban infrastructure and services, governance and citizen engagement, finance, and environmental protection and resilience. It also explores strategies for financing cluster development. Planned development of these clusters has the potential to drive regional economic growth.


  • Introduction
  • Urban Clusters: The Concept
  • International Experience
  • South Asian Cities as Potential Urban Clusters
  • Key Urban Clusters in South Asia
  • Other Emerging Urban Clusters
  • Financing Urban Cluster Development
  • Concluding Remarks
  • Annex: Shortlisting Urban Clusters

Additional Details

  • Climate change
  • Environment
  • Governance and public sector management
  • Private sector development
  • Transport
  • Urban development
  • Bangladesh
  • China, People's Republic of
  • India
  • Japan
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
  • 56
  • 8.5 x 11
  • WPS190072-2
  • 2313-5867 (print)
  • 2313-5875 (electronic)

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