Mumbai slums Subhash Sharma/ZumaPress

L’aria letale delle città indiane

SINGAPORE – La Cina e l’India stanno guidando l’andamento della popolazione e dell’urbanizzazione dell’Asia. Secondo uno studio McKinsey del 2010, i due paesi saranno responsabili del 62% della crescita della popolazione urbana del continente tra il 2005 e il 2025, e addirittura del 40% della stessa crescita a livello mondiale.

Dati di questo tipo sottolineano l’urgenza di un’efficace pianificazione urbanistica e gestione della crescita. Ma è altrettanto importante riconoscere le differenze cruciali che esistono tra i due paesi. Alcune variazioni nei rispettivi percorsi di sviluppo urbano, così come nell’approccio alle politiche ambientali, rendono i problemi legati alla popolazione dell’India molto più difficili da risolvere.

Malgrado la Cina ospiti il 20% dell’umanità, da oltre due decenni il suo tasso di crescita demografica è inferiore a quello di “ricambio” (necessario a mantenere l’attuale livello della popolazione), e le stime di crescita della popolazione prevedono un tasso negativo entro i prossimi vent’anni. Di conseguenza, l’India, dove invece si prevede che la crescita della popolazione manterrà un trend positivo nel prossimo futuro, è destinata a diventare il paese più popoloso a livello mondiale. Secondo gran parte delle previsioni, la popolazione indiana supererà quella cinese entro il 2022.

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