Esha Chhabra


Delhi, India

#Delhi is #4 on The 2014 GOOD City Index.

To the untrained eye, the endless urban sprawl, notorious smog, and congested traffic make Delhi seem like any other developing world metropolis housing 17 million people: messy, chaotic, polluted, and unorganized. Yet Delhi is no longer just a town marked by a dichotomy of poverty and the glitz of old money. In 2014, the city is quickly growing and modernizing: Tech companies and startups are spreading to neighboring Gurgaon, an extension of the capital, while farmlands in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are being transformed into high-rise offices and apartment buildings to accommodate the tide of regional migrants. Delhi has become a destination for global brands like Uber and Apple, both of which expanded their presence earlier this year in the hopes of capturing the city’s huge market. Various initiatives—both at the grassroots and city level—are addressing the rape and sexual assault crisis that has plagued the region. This growth and modernization, coupled with the determination of rural Indians hoping to become Delhi locals, are signs that a new sense of possibility is in the city’s ether.

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