Migration Governance as Proxy SDG for Cities: A New Framework

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 great potential for understanding long term scenario planning as countries like Singapore or even other parts of the world which are human magnets (such as Bangalore for Indian Internal Economic Migration) which have a substantial temporary guest worker population need good migration governance for long term sustainability.

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 and corrupting the mainstream identity. The social fabric gets ruptured. The social 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 if it is not embedded in local culture. Every city is different, the 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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