Issue - 15
The National Urban Conclave, a pivotal event held on World Cities Day, 31st October 2023 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, was a platform to highlight the critical connection between data and capacity building in India's urban landscape. This event brought together experts, policymakers, and stakeholders from diverse fields to explore different aspects of this synergy through various sessions.
Key dignitaries, including Shri Kunal Kumar, Mission Director, Smart Cities Mission and Joint Secretary, MoHUA, Shombi Sharp, RCO, UN, Hyun Hee Ban, Chief Social Policy, UNICEF, Christian Kapfensteiner, Director & Cluster Coordinator, Sustainable Urban and Industrial Development (SUID), GIZ, and Martin Petersen, Head of Political and Economic Section, Royal Danish Embassy in India attended the conclave.
Several significant launches took place, including the NULP 3.0, Learning modules on Form-Based Codes, new name competition by MyGov under NULP, AMPLIFI 2.0 Dashboard and DeCODE challenge, NUDM's Dashboard - UMEED, NIUA Cool Cities Hub, e-learning course of SUDSC II and ITCN Knowledge Products.
The sessions focused on the transformative power of foundation models and synthetic urban open-source data, the intersection of data utilisation and inclusivity, technical aspects of transitioning from data silos to centralised repositories, groundbreaking initiatives by start-ups to address complex urban challenges, democratisation versus monetisation of data and role of data dashboards in building impactful urban data ecosystems. The sessions also showcased the successful journey of NULP as a self-paced, bite-sized capacity-building revolution and showcased the winning entries of NULP अRban Learnathon. Some highlights from NIUA's participation at the event are:
National Urban Digital Mission (NUDM):
Building Accessible, Safe and Inclusive Indian Cities (BASIIC):
Sanitation Capacity Building Platform (SCBP):
Inclusive Cities Centre (ICC)
A one-and-a-half-day Training Workshop on ‘Building Capacities to Achieve the Vision of Aspirational Toilet and Inclusive Sanitation’ for city officials in Uttarakhand was organised from 19th-20th October 2023, in Dehradunwith support from their Urban Development Department (UDD). The workshop was attended by over 30 city officials from UDD and nine Municipal Corporations of Uttarakhand - Ramnagar, Dehradun, Champawat, Mussoorie, Rishikesh, Dhaiwala, Vikasnagar, Herbertpur and Selaqui. It introduced the importance of inclusive sanitation to the participants by sensitising them towards building inclusive public toilets for all in a participatory manner through standards, guidelines and case studies.
Key insights from the workshop:
Climate Centre for Cities (C-Cube)
C-Cube at NIUA, in collaboration with EU-funded Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM) South Asia, is in the process of developing Climate Action Plans (CAP) for five pilot cities: Kolkata, Pune, Leh, Junagadh, and Jamnagar. Various consultations were organised across these cities to understand the impact of climate change and the challenges they face to co-create a vision for the Climate Action Plan:
1. Leh Climate Action Plan:
Stakeholder consultation was conducted for vision setting between 18 to 27 September 2023. Deliberations were held on the analysed findings and key focal points to identify measures that will enhance Leh's resilience to the challenges posed by climate change. Valuable recommendations and constructive feedback were provided based on the progress made. The team met with the Leh Municipal Corporation and had enlightening discussions with the Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, Brigadier (Dr) B D Mishra, Advisor Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Principal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shri Sanjeev Khirwar, and Shri Michael D'Souza.
2. Junagadh Climate Action Plan:
With the support of the Junagadh Municipal Corporation, the inaugural stakeholder consultation meeting with city stakeholders was held on 22-23 September 2023 to understand Junagadh's specific needs and challenges related to climate mitigation and adaptation. The objective was to analyse the available data further and gather additional information from the city.
This two-day consultation brought together key stakeholders, including Smt. Gitaben Mohanbhai Parmar, Mayor; Shri. Rajesh M. Tanna, Municipal Commissioner of Junagadh; Shri. Hareshbhai K Parsana, Standing Committee Chairman and Smt. Pooja Bavda, Deputy Commissioner of Junagadh, Shri. Suresh Kumar Koradia, MLA Junagadh and NIUA Advisor Shri Chetan Vaidya. The stakeholder consultation also engaged a diverse group of other NGOs, associations, industrial representatives, and developers. They came together to identify the causes of these challenges, assess their impacts, and formulate recommendations to enhance the city's resilience and sustainability.
Under the Transformative Climate Action using Participatory Data-Driven Decision-Making Platforms (T-CAP) project supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI), C-Cube jointly organised an orientation workshop along with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the United Nations University (UNU), along with the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) was organised on 19 October 2023, in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
The workshop aimed to build techno-institutional capacities among larger stakeholder groups for initiating pilot case studies at the Visakhapatnam Urban Living Lab. The workshop was attended by Smt. G. Hari Venkata Kumari, the Honorable Mayor of Visakhapatnam, who unveiled the logo and the name "Prajamukhi" for the Urban Living Lab during the event.
Throughout the day-long workshop, the participants collectively brainstormed and validated participatory frameworks and potential pilot cases involving community groups, Resident Welfare Associations (RWA), GVMC, ICCC, academia, environmental experts, and social experts.
Effective management of used water, particularly in a country as populous and diverse as India, holds paramount significance for both environmental sustainability and public health. As the need for water continues to surge and the complexities of pollution and scarcity amplify, innovative approaches like circular models for used water management emerge as a compelling solution, offering a way to minimise waste, conserve resources, and mitigate pollution. In light of this emerging momentum on Used Water Management (UWM), the dialogue highlighted the need to tap into the re-use and recycle potential of used water to create circular models within the WSH ecosystem. Mainstreaming UWM as a pivotal solution and amplifying its best practices locally act as important levers in ensuring uptake of UWM, with a focus on initiating efforts in small towns. The webinar was hosted in collaboration with NFSSM Alliance.
The City Climate Alliance brings #ClimateSimplified, a series to break down the jargon, one word a week!
Climate change is a global challenge with implications for our planet’s future, affecting individuals, communities, and ecosystems. This initiative acts on the need for clear and straightforward language to make climate discussions accessible to everyone, fostering inclusive engagement and informed decisions.
In an effort to institutionalise youth involvement in urban climate action, the City Climate Alliance, with the support of Urban Youth Unit, in collaboration with Youth Ki Awaaz is currently developing a comprehensive framework that enables urban authorities to engage the youth of their respective cities proactively. Through the framework, NIUA and Youth Ki Awaaz will be hand-holding ULBs to prepare youth engagement plans, which in turn contribute towards the larger adaptation and mitigation targets of the respective cities.
The development of the framework is being supported by the urban local bodies of three cities, namely Visakhapatnam, Kochi, and Pune. To inform the development of the framework, high-level roundtable discussions are being conducted to capture the challenges, gaps, opportunities, and key insights related to fostering and sustaining youth participation for desirable climate outcomes. The city engagements were preceded by a high-level focus group discussion involving domain experts and young people who converged to identify participation entry points and offer critical insights on experiences in youth engagement. At present, the technical aspects of the framework are currently being drawn up.
The Urban River Management Plan (URMP) framework, a 10-point strategy, co-developed by Namami Gange and NIUA in 2019-20, has paved the way for transformative urban river management in India. WWF-India, with its extensive experience in the Ramganga basin, has taken the initiative to develop URMPs for Moradabad and Bareilly. NIUA conducted the final consultation workshop on 18 October 2023 to review the draft URMP for Moradabad, centered around the 12 crucial interventions proposed. These recommendations, organized into short-term, medium-term and long-term strategies, address aspects like pollution abatement, groundwater abstraction, nature-based solutions, Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) and citizen engagement.
Chaired by Shri. Sanjay Chauhan (IAS), City Commissioner, the event was attended by various senior government officials, including the Divisional Forest Officer, Assistant Commissioner (Industries), Executive Engineer from the Ground Water Department of the Moradabad Division, as well as officials from the Moradabad Nagar Nigam. Academics, industry associations and NGOs from the city were also present.
NIUA, in partnership with NMCG and CEEW organised a three-day Training Programme on ‘Practical Reuse of Treated Used Water’. The program aimed to equip city officials with the knowledge and skills to develop a city-wide treated used water reuse plan considering regulatory, planning, engineering, socioeconomic and management factors. Through lectures, moderated discussions, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, project exercise and a field visit, the participants learned the crucial link between reusing treated water and enhancing urban water security.
More than 17 River Cities Alliance (RCA) members participated in the training programme. These included the cities of Dehradun, Haridwar, Lucknow, Bareilly, Gorakhpur, Sahibganj, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nashik, Jhansi, Vadodara, Mathura, Vrindavan, Coimbatore, Surat, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, Visakhapatnam and Chennai.
Mr Hardeep Singh Puri, the Honourable Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs, launched the Operational Guidelines of CITIIS 2.0 at the World Habitat Day celebrations on 9th October at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
The program will support competitively selected projects promoting a circular economy focusing on integrated waste management. The Minister also launched four publications developed by CITIIS. These included “Study on Private Sector Engagement for Building Sustainable Cities”, developed in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, “Enabling the Shift to Electric Auto-Rickshaws - A Guidebook for Electrification of Auto-rickshaw Fleets in Indian Cities”, developed in collaboration with WRI India, and two toolkits on public procurement, preparation and evaluation of Detailed Project Reports for the Odisha State Housing Board. The launches were attended by Manoj Joshi (Secretary, MoHUA), Satinder Pal Singh (Additional Secretary, MoHUA), Shombi Sharp (UN Resident Coordinator, United Nations India) and Dinesh Kapila, (Economic Adviser (Housing), MoHUA).
The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Mr Shivraj Singh Chouhan, inaugurated the second phase of the Mahakal Mahalok on 5th October in Ujjain. The inauguration included major components under Mahakal Rudrasagar Integrated Development Approach – Phase II (MRIDA-II), one of the 12 projects under the CITIIS program.
Among the components inaugurated by the Honourable Chief Minister are the Rudrasagar Lake, Maharajwada Complex, Maharajwada Parking & Vendor Zone, and the R-18 Smart Road. The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Mr Roushan Kumar Singh, Executive Director of Ujjain Smart City Limited (USCL), and Mr Ashish Kumar Pathak, Chief Executive Officer of USCL.
Read more about MRIDA-II here: https://citiis.niua.in/projects/ujjain
Paramita Datta Dey, Head (Resources and Waste) and Gaurav Verma, Research Associate, presented virtually at the International Symposium on Sustainable Waste Management (ISSWM 2023) on 23rd September 2023. The presentation was on' 'Food Waste Management- The need for a National Food Waste Reduction Strategy'. There were around 55 presenters at the event who presented on numerous aspects of Solid Waste Management in India.
Paramita Datta Dey, Head (Resources and Waste) moderated a U20 manthan on "Swachh Sangam: Navigating Towards a Garbage-Free India" held on 6th October 2023. This online gathering featured prominent experts, including Dr. Mahreen Matto from NIUA, Prabhjot Sodhi from CEE, Dr. Renu Dhupper representing the Amity Institute of Environmental Sciences, Shobha Raghavan of Saahas Zero Waste, and Swapnil Dinkar Pundkar, Commissioner of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation along with the Director of NIUA, Hitesh Vaidya.
The session commenced with the launch of Knowledge Products (TANA and Training Modules) developed under the SCIAP project by NIUA. Following the same, the panellists engaged in an in-depth discussion. They deliberated on the vital role of various stakeholders in the mission to transform Indian cities into garbage-free zones. The crux of the discourse revolved around strategies and actions that can be taken continuously to achieve this ambitious goal.
NIUA participated in a one-day national workshop dedicated to enhancing the capacity of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). This event, hosted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and the Capacity Building Commission (CBC) on October 5, 2023, at Bharat Mandapam, provided a platform for valuable discussions on capacity-building initiatives.
NIUA’s kiosk at the workshop showcased its impactful capacity-building initiatives. The National Urban Learning Platform (NULP) was prominently featured as one of NIUA's flagship programs in Capacity Building. NULP, acting as a catalyst for enhancing the capacity of urban practitioners, has garnered significant acclaim from UULBs nationwide. The kiosk attracted visits from distinguished individuals, including Shri. Rahul Kapoor not only graced the kiosk with his presence but also underscored the necessity of transitioning toward a blended capacity-building approach, recognising NIUA's dedicated efforts. In his concluding remarks, the Hon'ble Minister, Shri. Hardeep Singh Puri, emphasised the vital role of capacity building and investments in urban development. This workshop served as a significant platform for exchanging insights, fostering collaboration, and highlighting the pivotal role of capacity building in shaping the future of urban development.
Centre for Digital Governance (CDG)
On 10 October 2023, a meeting was held under the Chairpersonship of Dr. D. Karthikeyan, IAS, Principal Secretary, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Municipal Administration & Water supply to discuss the modalities and way forward in the implementation of NUDM in Tamil Nadu.
The NUDM team conducted a hands-on technical training on UPYOG from 11 to 13 October 2023 for the Karnataka Municipal Data Society (KMDS), formulated under Urban Development Department (UDD), Government of Karnataka; CSG and BBMP, Bangalore to empower the officials of the state with the necessary technical skills and knowledge to effectively implement the UPYOG platform across the entire state.
The NIUA team met with Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and Gujarat Urban Development Mission (GUDM) officials during the state visit on October 12-13 2023, to introduce NUDM, NURT integration, diagnostics, and new services for streamlined e-governance in Ahmedabad.
On 9 October and 18 October 2023 the NIUA team visited the state of Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir respectively, to discuss the way forward for implementing NUDM. They conducted a diagnostic study on finance and accounting for the state and focused on integrating new modules for efficient urban citizen services.
Urban Youth Unit
The webinar successfully examined U20 priorities through a gender lens and promoted a shift from "developing women" to "women-led development." Distinguished experts from various sectors, including representatives from C40 Cities, UN Women, World Bank, The Nature Conservancy, and Youth ki Awaaz, actively participated in the event, sharing their insights and expertise.
Urban Youth Unit, NIUA, along with Praja Foundation, has organised Prajatantra 2023 and celebrated its grand finale on Oct 30-31, 2023 at National Bal Bhawan. Prajatantra is a premier National Youth Festival to celebrate grassroots democracy. This year the focus was on celebrating the economic significance of our cities through the theme of 'Inclusive and Participatory Urban Economies'.
Over 1800 participants from 343 teams representing 106 towns and cities, 26 states and 6 Union Territories registered for the event. 87 best-performing participants representing 18 states and 3 Union Territories were invited to the grand finale at National Bal Bhawan to share their vision.
This event was designed to foster meaningful learning experiences for our young participants, focusing on urban governance and democracy. It included engaging activities such as quizzes, debate competitions, the Mayor's speech, field visits, and more.
To support the Youth-Led Engagement Framework for Urban Climate Action, the Urban Youth Unit organised the second multistakeholder roundtable discussion in Kochi on October 20, 2023.
The event took place with the support of Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (Kochi Municipal Corporation). Respected Adv M Anil Kumar, mayor of Kochi city, graced the discussion and shared his reflections on the role of youth in advancing urban sustainability and the vision of a healthy Kochi city. Aligned with this, Dr Rajan Chedambath, Director of C-HED, also shared his views on the importance of sustaining youth involvement.
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Editor: Ila Singh