The Impact of Path Dependency on Planning Systems - the Case of India

Xinrui Li


There is relatively little research on path dependency, planning culture and the impact of institutions on the planning systems of India and other countries, as well as on the opportunities and obstacles for India to transfer planning practices internationally. For India, the concepts and theories of path dependency, planning culture, and the role of institutions are equally important for understanding its planning system. India's existing infrastructure planning and services have struggled to meet its rapid urbanisation, as Mathews et al.(2018) claim that there are several issues hinder urban land planning and service, including the limited use of mapping technology such as GIS, municipal government lack of fundings and advanced technical devices, and land market distortions. Thus, the fundamental reasons for these major problems of urban planning are closely linked to path dependency, planning culture and the role of institutions in India. India's international transfer of planning practice has tended to be dominated by imports, mainly from Britain during the colonial period. Conversely the output side has certain limitations, mainly due to its rapid urbanisation, while the planning of infrastructure has failed to meet the demands of rapid urbanisation.This essay will critically discuss the role of concepts and theories that important to the Indian planning system.


Path Dependency; Planning Culture; Institution; India

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