Livable Neighborhoods

A “livable neighborhood” is one that offers a healthy environment and provides for shared spaces that brings together people along with offering convenient access to core services.

More than a third of India’s population lives in cities, and within our lifetime this figure is likely to reach three-quarters. Urban interventions that focus at the city scale sometimes fail to identify local differences, needs and expectations. Focusing on neighborhoods becomes easier to collate relevant data and identify and co-create appropriate solutions suited to specific communities’ needs and aspirations.

Interventions in strategic neighborhoods is also likely to have city-scale implications — improving well-being, resilience, sustainability and economic prosperity that go beyond the neighborhood itself. For example, improving access to hubs of employment can change the labor market geography for the entire city.


We believe it is possible to achieve goals of livable and compact cities by prioritizing people-centered urban design, and planning, along with involving communities in decision making. The leading principle for creating more sustainable cities is transforming its basic unit— the neighborhoods into livable places to live, work and play. The WRI India Ross Center ‘Livable Neighborhoods’ solution works at two levels:

  • Neighborhood-level interventions in urban design, place-making, and infrastructure strategy that aim to show how cities can be healthier, more socially inclusive and more appealing places to live in while simultaneously reducing material use, emissions, and waste.
  • Technical support for city and regional policy and planning to scale up and institutionalize the prospects for livable neighborhoods. Tangible, on-ground demonstrations of possibilities, coupled with strategic support for policies and institutions that shape the city in its entirety, will help build public support that is essential to timely urban transformation.