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Issue - 8
As part of India’s G20 presidency, NIUA and the Smart Cities Mission India, with support of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MoYAS), hosted the National Youth Conclave on 13-14 March 2023 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The two-day conclave brought together young minds, and city champions to deliberate on the U20 and Y20 priority areas and foster young bright leaders, through competitions, panel discussions, presentations, games, networking etc.
The Conclave highlighted the need to empower, involve and facilitate youth's participation in key policy and decision making to create sustainable and inclusive urban future for ALL.
The conclave was attended by key dignitaries including Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Hon'ble Minister, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs , Shri Kaushal Kishore, Hon'ble Minister of State, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, India and Mr. Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator, Shri Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Lakshit Mittal, Track Chair, Health Wellbeing and Sports, Y20 India 2023 and Shri Anmol Sovit, Chairperson of the Y20 Secretariat.
Inclusive Cities Centre (ICC)
Hitesh Vaidya, Director, NIUA and Utsav Choudhury, Lead BASIIC team attended the 10th Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) 2023 from 27-30 March 2023.
Mr Vaidya presented key strategies on Building Accessible and Inclusive Cities and Communities in Asia and the Pacific. The discussions at the forum involved an insightful exchange of ideas, knowledge and practices on the #SDGs, particularly in the context of the Asia-Pacific region.
The Forum focussed on building and fostering inclusive cities post-COVID-19; localising global goals and practices; redefining good governance through adaptable, accessible, accountable, and agile approaches.
Key takeaways from the panel discussion included:
BASIIC team at NIUA organised the third and the final webinar of the Inclusive Mobility Series - Enhancing safety in public transportation systems to foster Inclusive cities in collaboration with Institute for Transportation and Development policy (ITDP) India on 29 March 2023.
The webinar included a presentation of the 'Nirbhaya' app created by the Sagar Smart City and a panel discussion with key sectoral experts. The discussion investigated a host of topics - ranging from initiatives breaking the binary notion in transport planning; participation and safety for creation of public spaces and transport; role of Government, Private And Academia in improving accessibility; use of technology for enhancing safety; and building gender and marginalised-inclusive mobility.
Key takeaways from the panel discussion include:
BASIIC at NIUA conducted a two-day, online training workshop with 40 Central Public Works Department (CPWD) officials on the fundamentals of disability inclusion and universal accessibility on 20- 21 March 2023.
The workshop introduced the officials to the various tenets of inclusion and the existing acts and mandates promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. Other aspects included: creating a universally accessible built environment, which includes training on understanding universal accessibility and Inclusive planning; Universal design in internal and external environments; wayfinding and signages.
Training of Trainers (TOT) of five training delivery agencies was successfully completed by School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) Delhi on module 1 & 2 under implementation level course in March 2023. Module 1 is based on Creating Accessible Parks & Play Spaces and Module 2 on Planning & Implementation toolkit for ITC centric projects developed under two programmes of NIUA - Child friendly Smart cities and ITCN capacity building programme, respectively.
The five training delivery agencies, who were the beneficiaries of the ToT, were All India Institute of Local Self Government, Mumbai; Centre for Good Governance; Dr. R. S. Tolia Uttarakhand Academy of Administration, Nainital; Engineering Staff College of India, Hyderabad; Kerala Institute of Local Administration, Thrissur and Regional Centre for Urban and Environmental Studies, Lucknow.
Climate Centre for Cities (C-Cube)
The Climate Practitioners India Network (CPIN) is providing an engagement platform to the youth seeking solutions to combat climate change. CPIN Talks was hosted by C-Cube team during the National Youth Conclave (NYC) at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 13 -14 March 2023. It was a forum where changemakers showcased new and innovative solutions that have worked in the field of climate and sustainability. The talks emphasised the need to respect and preserve local knowledge in maintaining natural systems, and the importance of collaboration within communities, schools, and cities. The potential of technology and green entrepreneurship in creating sustainable change were also highlighted. The session left the audience with the takeaway that not just degrees but passion is necessary to bring about change.
The seven key speakers during the CPIN Talks were - Mr. Ramveer Tanwar from Say Earth and PONDMAN, Ms. Maitreyee Kamble from स्वRA-Sanitech and DICCI, Mr. Anshu Sharma from SEEDS, Mr. Ranjan Panda, also known as the Water Man of Odisha, and founder of Youth4WaterIndia, Dr. Ruby Makhija from Why Waste Wednesdays Foundation, Mr. Shiekh Intekhab Alam from EMARA, and Mr. Vedika Nair, a student.
The C-CUBE team moderated the CLAP NOW interactive session at the National Youth Conclave, on 14 March 2023, prompting the participants to reflect on urban climate concepts related to their hometowns.
The event had 100+ attendees, and aimed to increase young participants' awareness of climate issues and prioritise interventions for a sustainable and low-carbon future with community support. Explore the game here.
The session concluded with a presentation by Ms. Astha Jain and Mr Aman Randhawas, RTI International on a knowledge product - Sustainable Urban Networks For Dynamic and Resilient (SUNDAR).
The Climate Cafe at the National Youth Conclave was designed as an interactive space focused on Learning by Doing ClimateAction, where the C-CUBE team helped over 400 individuals to experience the fragility of Himalayan ecosystems and the aftermath of Chennai floods by using VRX technology. More than 500 participants pledged to make individual lifestyle changes for climate action.
The Climate Cafe team inspired more than 600 participants to make informed decisions regarding city management through the use of the ‘Stop Disaster Game’, developed by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and allowed for experiential learning.
C-Cube’s Sarath Babu M G spoke on the Race to Zero initiative in the technical session along with K. K. Pandey in the panel at the National Workshop on U-20 Agenda for Municipal Services, Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi on 22 March 2023.
ClimateSmart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF) and its five themes: urban planning, green cover and biodiversity, energy and green building, mobility and air quality, water management, and waste management were the focus of the presentation.
Anshul Abbasi from C-Cube participated in the Urban Act Regional workshop held from 20-24 March 2023 at Bangkok. Urban-Act supports a transformation of urban development in China, Indonesia, Philippines, India and Thailand towards low-carbon & resilient development.
NIUA, TERI, GIZ India along with ESCAP, UCLG ASPAC, University of Stuttgart and University of Dortmund are working on three cities in India - Shimla, Coimbatore and Panjim. Learn more about Urban-Act.
NIUA’s Climate City Alliance organised a Dialogue, Creating Equal Futures in an Unequal World, analysing the youth-intended policies which remain influenced by gender inequalities, mainly in spaces of education, equal employment and accessibility, and family and care responsibilities.
The speakers were engaged on:-
NIUA’s Climate City Alliance organised a partners driven monthly discussion on Urban River Management Plans: Governance for water security. Improved river management, vertical and horizontal partnerships, and governance, which are critical to economic growth, equitable development, and welfare were discussed.
The dialogue looked at governance, policy, partnerships and implementations in the Urban River Management Plan (URMP) framework through case studies.
The CITIIS program organised the first Urban Climate Film Festival on 24-26 March 2023 at Alliance Française de Delhi. The festival, held under U20 engagement events, showcased a curated selection of 11 films from nine countries to create wider awareness of the impact of climate change on life in cities.
The inaugural session was chaired by G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant. Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Richa Sharma delivered the keynote address. The films screened spanned topics like water conservation, clean energy, sustainable architecture, and protecting green cover and biodiversity. These films were selected out of the 150 entries received through the global call for entries for the festival. The screenings were complemented by engaging activities as well as a panel discussion with eminent filmmakers. After the launch in Delhi, the festival will travel to Mumbai in April 2023.
NIUA’s CITIIS program organised the National Conference on Climate Finance for Cities on 20 March 2023 at the India Habitat Centre, Delhi. The objective was to help cities access climate funds to reduce emissions and adapt to the changing climate.
The panelists and participants included various experts, policymakers, urban practitioners, funders, etc. from government bodies, international funding agencies, multilateral organisations, municipal authorities, policy think tanks, research and academia.
Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary & Mission Director (Smart Cities Mission), MoHUA, and Hitesh Vaidya, Director, NIUA led the inaugural session. Various sessions deliberated on:
Restoring and rejuvenating urban waterbodies is crucial for tackling issues of water scarcity and heat in cities. The Housing and Urban Development Department of Odisha, in collaboration with NIUA's CITIIS program is building the capacities of municipal officials and public representatives from all 115 ULBs of Odisha to map and assess urban wetlands.
The training is being conducted through a series of workshops divided into seven clusters. The sixth and seventh cluster trainings, focused on Urban Waterbody Rejuvenation, were conducted on 3 and 6 March in Angul and Cuttack, respectively. About 130 people from 14 ULBs participated in the Angul workshop, including the Chairperson of the Angul Municipality. In Cuttack, close to 250 trainees from 23 ULBs took part in the training sessions. The Mayor of Cuttack Municipal Corporation was also present at the training.
Under the umbrella of G20, the Water & Environment vertical of NIUA organised a session on the importance of Ensuring Water Security and Nudging Environmentally-Responsible Behaviour at the National Youth Conclave on 13 February 2023.
Th event included:
Experts such as Mr. Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Former DG, NMCG and Chief Technical Advisor, NIUA, Mr. Madhish Parish, Founder, Elixir Foundation and a few others commended the work done by the youth while also sharing their valuable insights on what more the youth can do to make our cities water wise and a better place for the future.
NIUA co-hosted a session on Building Water Resilience: How cities are transforming water challenges into opportunities at the '2023 Cities on the Frontline Speaker Series' on 23 February 2023. The event was jointly organised by Resilient Cities Network and the World Bank.
The discussion centred on lessons learned from Indian cities regarding water resilience and dwelled on the challenges and methods used, as well NIUA’s role in fostering flood resilience.
On the occasion of World Water Day, NIUA representatives were invited as guest speakers and panellists for a seminar organised by the Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi on 29 March 2023.
With the theme for this year, Accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis, the agenda of the seminar was based on the water supply and sanitation aspects in the NCT of Delhi. Mentioning the existing water and sanitation infrastructure in Delhi, three key directions, i.e. moving towards demand management; incorporating water sensitivity in urban design and nudging citizen behaviour, adopted in Master Plan Delhi 2041 were highlighted.
The session shed light on the dependency of Delhi on river water, thus implying the need for Urban River Management and NIUA’s role in it. The actions required to bridge the gap between the basic water and sewerage services were identified, along with the interventions in the water governance system to make it more participatory and inclusive.
NIUA's SCBP team participated at the 21st AFWA Congress & Exhibition and the 7th International Faecal Sludge Management Conference held in Cote d’Ivoire from 19-23 February 2023. SCBP team presented at the Forum on Inclusive and Resilient Water and Sanitation in Hill Cities of the Himalayan range, emphasising bridging the gap between water, sanitation, and people, and linking it with climate change.
Key takeaways from the presentation include:
SCBP at NIUA in association with the Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA), supported by WASH Institute (WASH), conducted a three-day training programme on Integrated Used Water and Septage Management from 28 February - 2 March 2023.
The training was delivered using tailor-made modules based on case methodologies and exercises on real-life scenarios, to provide a holistic understanding of designing used water and septage management solutions. The workshop was aimed at addressing the priorities under SBM-2.0 and AMRUT-2.0 for all grade Health Inspectors from more than 20 ULBs of Kerala.
NIUA's SCBP team participated in the UN Water Conference organised by the International Water Association (IWA) on 21 March 2023. The session, Resilient and Inclusive Sanitation in Combatting Climate Change events and extremities highlighted the growing consequences and implications of climate change, especially on sanitation. The session brought the real experiences from the public, private, and social sectors and outlined innovative and new adaptation options for strengthening climate resilience related to sanitation governance, policies, systems, and services.
SCBP team showcased its work on Resilient and Inclusive Sanitation in one of the Himalayan states i.e. Uttarakhand. A key activity under SCBP’s climate resilience initiative was the formulation of a Forum on Inclusive and Resilient Water and Sanitation Hill Cities of India. The forum will facilitate the documentation and dissemination of the vanishing indigenous wisdom in response to climate actions, and provide a platform for capacity building, networking and technical support in the hill region.
NIUA in collaboration with GIZ, UNEP, and CEEW, hosted a two-day conference titled Circular Resources for our Common Future: Cities as Drivers on 1-2 March 2023, at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The conference brought together over 150 participants from around the globe, including representatives from 35 Indian cities. It provided a collaborative learning space for city officials and experts to discuss global policy discussions, develop new practical insights, and foster relationships that will drive the transition to a circular economy.
The conference featured plenary sessions on international perspectives, thematic sessions on waste, sanitation, water, habitat, governance, transport, and mobility, peer circles for small group discussions, and presentations on circularity tools and solutions. Participants gained insights and practical solutions for driving transformative changes in the circular economy. An idea of establishing a 'Centre for Circular Cities' was mooted and possibly making this into an annual event.
The key takeaways were:
Centre for Digital Governance (CDG)
NULP announced the biggest learning challenge THE अRBAN LEARNATHON, with the aim of recognising and celebrating the best practices/urban solutions and innovations in the urban domain. The challenge was launched by Sh. Hardeep Singh Puri, Hon’ble Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs at the National Youth Conclave 2023, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on 13 March , 2023.
The objective is to collect, share, and consume the best practices/urban solutions and innovations created by city champions towards making cities function better.
The 45 days challenge is taking place on the NULP web portal and inviting participation from employees of ULBs, Smart City SPVs, State/ Parastatal bodies, and other Urban Development Bodies across India. Individuals as well as groups representing cities, SPVs, and other government entities are eligible to submit entries.
The winners of the challenge will receive cash prizes of up to Rs. 3,00,000 across all categories and will also be invited to the NULP’s national event in 2023. For more information and to submit the entries, please visit the website.
NUDM and NDMC officials held a meeting on municipal governance, digital governance and finance, aimed to increase efficiency in managing urban areas. The Urban Platform for deliverY of Online Governance (UPYOG) designed by the NUDM team at NIUA was explored for streamlining governance processes.
A demonstration was made on the municipal governance system by the Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Company (PMIDC) team.
A meeting was held between MoHUA and NIUA officials to review online property tax services in Manipur. Kunal Kumar, JS, Smart Cities Mission (SCM) and Hitesh Vaidya, Director, NIUA along with other senior officials met with H.Deleep Singh (retd.) Chairman, Manipur Municipality Property Tax Board (MMPTB) to implement Urban Platform for deliverY of Online Governance (UPYOG)'s Property Tax module in the state, and adopting other municipal services on the platform for faster rollout and maximum citizen benefit.
NIUA organised a meeting with the Building Plan Approval Expert Group under National Urban Digital Mission (NUDM).
The Expert Group discussed various aspects of harmonising terminologies and processes for Building Plan Approvals in India and deliberated on components of building plan approvals, state-specific issues and possible solutions.
Manpreet Singh, Chief Programme Officer, NUDM-NIUA, moderated the third U20 Manthan on 31 March 2023 on Catalysing Digital Urban Futures, aimed at exploring the role of digital technologies in shaping the cities of the future. The event featured a panel discussion with leading experts in the field.
NULP organised a State Engagement Workshop for 14 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of the Ambala cluster of Haryana on 10 March 2023 to sensitise the officials about NULP.
The workshop was attended by Secretary of the Municipal Committee, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, District Coordinator (SBM), Sanitary Inspector, Sr. Accounts Officer, etc. from Haryana ULBs.
The officials were given a live demonstration of the platform's functionality to facilitate better understanding of its features. The workshops also highlighted the role of cities and states as learners, creators, and reviewers for the platform. The participants shared their city priority areas and learning needs as part of the 'Learning Needs Assessment' exercise, which will contribute to the development and delivery of demand based content on the platform.
The workshop was a preliminary session to a prolonged engagement between the ULBs and NULP, aiming at facilitating seamless adoption of the platform for skill enhancement.
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Editor: Ila Singh