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Delhi dilemma: transit makes housing less affordable

The introduction of metro stations in Delhi neighborhoods raises housing prices for the city dwellers who need public transit. (Varun Shiv Kapur/flickr/cc)

Delhi faces a paradox: India’s capital needs more public transit to make the city more livable. But when transit options are introduced, residential units become less affordable. Prerna Vijaykumar Mehta and Alokeparna Sengupta write on The City Fix blog that this dilemma is particularly acute given Delhi’s affordable housing shortage.   

The Dakshini Pitampura neighborhood in northwest Delhi highlights the trend, the article says. Since the arrival of metro rail in 2004, residential property prices have increased by about a third each year. Commercial property prices have doubled.

In its 2021 Master Plan for urban development, Delhi promotes the importance of equity and low-cost housing. Mehta and Sengupta emphasize that those goals must translate into planning decisions that don’t hurt the vulnerable populations they’re designed to help.

“The effectiveness of [transit-oriented development] depends heavily on the connection between land use and transport planning,” they write. Maintaining “equitable policies” governing both housing and transit “is necessary for a modal shift to occur.”

The City Fix

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