Award Information

Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Geography and Urban Studies
The impact of Delhi Metro infrastructure on the urban development of the Central National Capital Region, India

In its 16 years of operation, the Delhi Metro Rail (DMR) network has expanded to 317 kilometers and serves over 2 million riders daily. Literature suggests that such infrastructure projects are a necessary and substantial capital investment to provide mobility to masses in rapidly urbanizing geographies. DMR was a long-awaited transportation intervention needed by the city to grow economically and reduce the commuting time in the expanding urban region. It has changed the commuting behavior of the new middle-class labor force, who are now able to commute to business centers from surrounding outgrowths. While the DMR is playing a role in urban transformation, contradicting literature suggests it is not necessarily providing efficient transit service for the masses. Notably, the proximity to metro stations has become a defining characteristic of how neighborhoods in the city are favored for property development. Thus, the announcement of a new metro station is a crucial juncture to understand when the neighborhood transformation begins. The location of stations, a sleek, technologically controlled space is a feature to promote a planned and clean neighborhood amidst the chaotic, congested city; further triggering changes in the desirability of the real estate and land markets. The proposed study will test this hypothesis of neighborhood transformation with the development of DMR by using a spatial approach. It will investigate transformation by measuring the extent of change in land use, and real estate transactions. Methodologically, the project will utilize advanced techniques in remote sensing, cartography, and spatial modeling to understand the transformative effects. Based on the trends observed since 1998, the study will model scenarios to predict further spatial change in land use using Agent-Based modeling methods. Findings from this study can inform on the state of urbanization and effects of metro-rail transit for guiding urban policy.