Hyderabad: Vijayawada has been ranked third in the world in urban population density per square mile or square km of urban built-up area.
Demographia, a US-based international urban agency, in its 12th edition of Demographia World Urban Areas: 2016, revealed that Vijayawada had a projected population of 17.7 lakh living in 57 square kilometres of land area – 31,200 people in every square km.
The city ranks third after Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Hyderabad, Pakistan, out of the 1,022 urban areas across the world that were considered for the study.
Vijayawada ranked 278 among the world’s built up areas. Tokyo stood at the top of the list in built-up area.
Demographia World Urban Areas is the only annually published inventory of population, corresponding land area and population density for urban areas with populations of more than 500,000.
The total population of the 1,022 cities that were studied is estimated at 2.12 billion in 2016, 53 per cent of the world’s urban population. According to Demo-graphia, new census data and estimates as well as later satellite imagery have led to some substantial revisions in the 2016 edition of Demographia World Urban Areas.
An urban area is defined as the “urban footprint” – the lighted area that can be observed from an aeroplane (or satellite). Prof. Abdul Razzak Mohammed of the department of planning in the School of Planning and Architec-ture, Vijayawada, said, “Vijayawada is a low-rise and high-density populated area unlike some cities which are high-rise. It is populated in a few clusters. People have a close attachment with the land and till recently tended to live in independent houses.
There are more than 110 slums which are densely populated, including water canal encroachments.” He added, “With Amaravati coming up, labour camps will be set up and the density will increase. Transit houses, housing for urban poor and satellite townships are the solutions.”
School of Planning and Architecture in-charge director Sirikonda Ramesh said, “Vijayawada is compact with barriers like hillocks and canals. Gandhi Hill, Indrakeeladri, Gunadala Hills and Eluru, Ryves and Bandar canals and the Budameru rivulet are all barriers for the expansion of the city.”
He said that with new bridges being built, the Inner Ring Road, the new master plan and Outer Ring Road coming up in the future, things may change and Vijayawada in future will become less densely populated.
Hyderabad has better space ratio
Hyderabad fares far better than many other cities when it comes to urban density; it also has a reasonably large built-up area. According to Demo-graphia, Hyderabad stands 48th in large built-up areas in the world after Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru. The ranking is based on the urban built-up area based on the figures provided by the governments or through satellite imagery.
Hyderabad ranks 463 in urban density among 1,022 cities worldwide. The city’s urban built up area has a population of 77.5 lakh – 6,300 people per sq km.
Cities with populations of above 5 lakh were considered for the study. Guntur stands 24 and Nellore 75 in urban density. Warangal has been ranked 250, Tirupati 272, Visakha-patnam 504 and Rajah-mundry 266.