Migration Governance as Proxy SDG for Cities: A New Framework

Manishankar Prasad

courtesy: New Scientist

The frame which Sustainability operates has been reduced to a risk management smart beta, where it is a proxy for qualitative risk on a project level. But the conceptual lens has a great potential for understanding long term scenario planning as countries like Singapore or even other parts of the world, referred as human magnets (such as Bangalore for Indian Internal Economic Migration) have a substantial temporary guest worker population and need good migration governance for devising long term sustainability strategies.

Migrants who do not have a structural buy-in will feel permanently at a cognitive level at best called alienation. The home population will have the perception of migrant nodes of a city as slums, corrupting the mainstream identity. As a result, the social fabric gets ruptured. The social alienation is best avoided when the sustainability frameworks are drawn up disconnected with the political economy of the place.

Sustainability is local, frameworks from the global north have limited purchase value if not embedded with the local culture. Every city is different and their social realities have varied drivers. Sustainability is a vital ‘value’ when long term strategies are drawn up.

Water, Waste Management and Energy consumption is driven by community behaviour. Migrants are prone to have different attitudes towards waste disposal rather than a local; as the levels of buy in and engagement are different. It’s time for migration governance to be a mainstream sustainable development theme. The City is a SDG theme, how can Migration be behind?

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