Guidelines for a comprehensive and sustainable action
Slums are informal neighbourhoods characterised by overcrowding and poor infrastructure. Their situation has been a concern for years and the place for many urban experiments. Concerned cities conduced field studies and launched multiple redevelopment programmes over the years in order to improve their conditions of living. Despite a better understanding of the issues affecting the slums, many of these programmes still present shortfalls, sometimes resulting in slum inhabitants returning to their former habitat. Nowadays, cities have a comprehensive look on these neighbourhoods. Based on the styles of interventions and the patterns of development, a common set of indicators to redesign an informal settlement can be identified.
This datasheet gives an overview of some identified indicators. They are parted in three themes: physical, institutional and social actions. Each of them is linked with a case study. Each indicator has been discussed in detail in this article.
This article is in continuation to the published datasheet.
Informal settlements represent a significant part of urban ecosystems. Due to the booming economy, growth rate of cities in developing countries is much higher than the developed countries. Almost 32% of the urban population of the world live in the cities of developing countries (UN-Habitat, 2012). The same number was responsible for 50% of the urban growth globally between 2000 and 2010 (UN-Habitat, 2014). Unprecedented demand, lack of infrastructure and facilities creates marginalised populations and inequalities, leading to development of slums. The United Nations Habitat programme uses five characteristics to define slums (UN-Habitat, n.d.):
Inadequate access to safe water
Inadequate access to sanitation and infrastructure
Poor structural quality of housing
Insecure residential status
The interventions to upgrade conditions of the slums date back to as early as 1969 when The Kampung Improvement Programme was launched by the UN as world’s first slum upgrading programme (UN-Habitat, 2006). The aim of slum-upgrading programs is to tackle the issues mentioned above through a rather holistic approach. In India, tackling these issues can lead to improvement in the quality of life of at least 6 million households (Hindman, 2015). This article takes a comprehensive look on some of the neighbourhoods and suggests some common indicators that should be considered while designing slum redevelopment programmes. These indicators are broadly divided in three areas:
These indicators must comply with the context of the concerned upgrading program. Slums are organic neighbourhoods following the everchanging needs of their inhabitants. Narrow streets, hazardous locations and social frameworks must be considered while building a sustainable community that relies on the existing frameworks. Innovation is the key to create specific solutions for sustainable slum upgrading.
Physical improvements visibly improve the quality of life and transforms neighbourhoods. Several programs advocate on the provision of infrastructures before solving the insecurity of tenure and other social concerns (De Soto, 2000). Some of the factors that should also be considered are as follows:
Steady Water and Energy Supply
Mostly, slums lack a formal water and energy distribution system. The primary focus on providing the infrastructure, in many informal settlements, is often constrained due to the overcrowding and difficulty in accessing the areas (Arias-Granada, Haque, Joseph, & Yanez- Pagans, 2018). However, it should also be noted that presence of a physical infrastructure alone is not enough. According to World Bank, the implementation of water and energy distribution system should follow the following steps (Arias- Granada et al., 2018):
Many households are not able to afford the implied expenses of a new water supply system. Re-development programs must include grants and subsidies to encourage the inhabitants to use the provided water and electricity supply network and the sanitation systems. For example, the Orangi Charitable Trust in Karachi launched a micro credit programme to enable families to pay for sewerage (UN-HABITAT, 2014). Simultaneously, organising awareness campaigns can highlight the advantages of legal energy access and improve user-behaviour.
Furthermore, developing trust between users and providers spawn reliability. The municipal networks must suffer no interruption, water must be clean and should be devoid of any bacterial contamination. For example, the slums of Dhaka have a water distribution system better than many slums, however, the quality of the water is not equally good, almost 57% of the dwellers still report quality issues (Arias-Granada et al., 2018).
Efficient Solid Waste Management and Sanitation System
In India, 58% of the slums do not have access to a proper drainage system (Hindman, 2015). The outdoor and indoor exposure to polluted water, in addition to open defecation, has a direct impact on inhabitants’ health (Nassar & Elsayed, 2018). Improvements should integrate the following features:
Dimensioning: The sanitation and waste management networks should be able to accommodate the area in influence, the amount of waste generated and the number of people responsible. Shared structures shall not exceed a limit, that can be settled at 2 households (UN-HABITAT, 2004).
Reliability: The sanitary services provided must be available at any time and place and under any conditions.
Education: Slum upgrading programs should raise awareness about waste management and hygiene behaviours.
The Asian Development Bank settled a system of different levels of collection in a few cities of Rajasthan (Bikaner, Jaipur and Jodhpur). Slum dwellers were hired to take care of the garbage collection and cleanliness of roads. This system is now sustainable and completely funded by the inhabitants themselves (ADB, 2002).
Streets and Public Transport
Streets and public transport networks help in creating a continuity essential to erase the rupture between formal and informal neighbourhoods. Proper streets have a great impact on social life and can serve as an outdoor extensions of living spaces; they are a vital support for commercial and cultural activities too. Thus, the transformation of the neighbourhood must preserve the community Supported framework and its social advantages. Similarly, public transport passing through a neighbourhood provides access to basic services, jobs and other opportunities in the city (UNHABITAT, 2014). As a structural component, the transportation network must be efficient. This is characterised by its:
While integration of streets network with the informal settlements seems simple, however, it must be well planned. The new street network must be built around the existing network in order to build a coherent infrastructure for the area. Public transport and access for emergency vehicle should be clearly delimited (Sheth, 2009).
Figure 1 – Metrocable in Medellin, Colombia (UN-HABITAT, 2011)
Households and buildings
Dwellings in slums have specific characteristics: poor construction quality and organic disposition of the different households. Households in slums are usually located too close to each other and not well lit or ventilated. Redevelopments or relocations with proper space management requires construction of new households, following three major characteristics:
Good construction quality of the new dwellings ensures sustainability of the programme over the years. Well-constructed houses coupled with a tenure security programme, gives the citizens a sense of belonging and encourages them to stay longer (Syagga et al., 2012). This also highlights the necessity of compliance with building codes, standards and laws (UN-HABITAT, 2004). Slums households must be adaptable as per the demands of the inhabitants and the overall objectives. Several redevelopment projects construct pre-designed buildings without adapting to the context.
For example, 26% inhabitants of Serra do Mar in Sao Paulo, Brazil faced greater expenses when they were relocated to a neighbourhood not designed as per their previous livelihood (Cavalheiro & Abiko, 2015). The needs of the dwellers play an important role during the conception process. In informal economy systems, workshops and shops are often installed within the house or in public spaces directly connected with the houses. Women, children and the elderly tend to socialize a lot within these spaces. These common areas are a vital part of the social framework of slums (Sunikka-Blank, Bardhan, & Haque, 2019). Citizen’s participation is one of the best ways to identify and accommodate these specific and changing needs. For example, in Dharavi, combined housing addresses the needs of the inhabitants (Menshawy, Shafik, & khedr, 2016). After consultations and specifying their needs, the inhabitants can rent or buy the modules and then choose to extend their households later. This combined housing system provides a flexibility necessary for the families living in slums.
Figure 2 – Combined housing (Menshawy et al., 2016)
Providing proper health and education facilities help in tackling many social issues. For this, three objectives must be followed:
Adequate capacity: Addressing the needs of the area the facility serves, without building oversized facilities.
Localisation: Accessibility for the community and coherence with the environment and the public aimed.
Management: The role of governments, NGOs and private parties in administration and funding should be defined during the first stages of conception.
Fixing clear objectives adequate scope for such services. It has been done in the Favela Bairrio programme, by fixing quotas for healthcare and teaching equipment (Maher, 2017).
Due to their irregular development without proper planning, slums are usually more vulnerable to natural disasters than conventional neighbourhoods. Although, resilient cities have started adapting to the effects of natural disasters but slums are not entirely integrated into this approach and lack protection against floods, fires and landslides (UN-HABITAT, 2014). In most cases, relocation seems like the only possible solution, the concentration however should also be on reducing the risks and hazards by (Betancur, 2007):
Identifying zones of high risk.
Installing infrastructures of stabilisation and environment control.
Using technologies and knowledge that reduces the risk, especially in the construction of buildings. These must follow good environmental practices.
Educating the local population about adapted behaviours.
In Medellin, Colombia, most informal settlements were located on the hills and were subject to landslides and other geological risks. The PRIMED redevelopment project resulted in the recovery and stabilisation of 70% of high risk areas (Betancur, 2007).
Owners and tenants, civil society organisation, the private sector and national and local governments have different interests and visions for the neighbourhood they live in. The institutional systems must have:
A clear administrative structure: Coexistence of different organisations must be organised within the project to enable collaboration and avoid the concentration of powers.
Clear objectives: A commonly defined focus brings the actors together to negotiate and set basis for efficient partnerships.
Defined approach and methodology: Strategies of the program must be clearly defined; it must avoid favouring and rely on partnerships with the existing social forces.
Transparency: Helps the inhabitants in understanding the role of each stakeholders and the organisation, and simultaneously in preventing corruption. In Kenya, the KENSUP programme created a local authority called Settlement Executive Committee to avoid conflicts between their stakeholders (UNH, 2011). At the same time, local governments must also commit to provide infrastructure and state authorities should facilitate the implementation of policies (Cities Alliance, 2013).
Slum residents have varying tenure security and are under constant risk of eviction. In Africa in 2007, more than 2,70,000 people in Africa and around 8,73,000 in Asia and Pacific suffered forced eviction (COHRE, 2009). This risk is a barrier to access credit and improve the quality of the house (Menshawy et al., 2016; Syagga et al., 2012). Security of tenure also supports the effective implementation of legal water and energy access. The process can be monitored by a national or local government, even if community organisations and international development agencies can have a role to play (Fernandes, 2011). In Venezuela, Comites de Tierras Urbanas (Urban Land Committees) were created to regroup 150 families in average and enable them to dialogue with the State and the Technical Office for Urban Land Tenancy and Regularisation (OTNRTTU) in order to become owners of their homes (Holland, 2006). There are currently 5212 of these organisations across the country. The Global Land Tool Network proposes the following Indicators to ensure a sustainable property rights regularisation (Global Land Tool Network, 2018):
Tenure type must be engineered regarding the social context. Registered freehold may not be the ultimate objective.
Customary land tenure processes can be promoted when they don’t discriminate vulnerable social groups as poor and women.
A participatory enumeration, a form of community participation, must be advocated to collect more precise data.
A recording of land transactions must be carried out, over the long term, thanks to tools implemented in the short term to simplify procedures.
Enabling affordability of households
Slums are the result of the housing markets failure to provide affordable housing (El-hadj, Faye, & Geh, 2018). Without strong policies, dwellers might have financial difficulties to stay in their new settlements. In Dharavi, one of the methods implemented considered the choice of the inhabitants to either stay or relocate to a different locality (Menshawy et al., 2016). Several examples can be a starting point for the definition of a housing policy in a slum upgrading program (El-hadj et al., 2018), like:
Incremental housing development: encouraging micro finance is more adapted to unstable income and fosters self-construction from the inhabitants. The government and NGOs have a major role to play in encouraging skill development.
Sites and services programs: operate a shift from a total public provision of housing to public assistance in private construction.
Rental housing: this scheme provides flexibility in budget and location for the dwellers. The role of the private sector is predominant here, but the government should provide a legislative environment and incentives.
Social housing: it corresponds to prices adapted to lower incomes of inhabitants. It can be provided by governments and NGOs and requires financial, human and technical resources.
Housing cooperatives: these corporations owned by members through equity shares is adapted to the slum context because it enables the inhabitants to pool resources. The optimal size of a cooperative agency is one of the issues faced.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Evaluating the impact of the implemented policies can improve the methods used. Today, there is a lack of this kind of systematic and complete evaluation of every slum upgrading programme (Goytia & Dorna, 2019). The key principles of a programme evaluation can be summarised through the logical framework structure keeping in mind:
The Inputs: The policies implemented that operate within the various topics related in this article.
Outputs: can be an increase in the dwellers’ income, a better literacy rate or a drop in crime rates for example. To analyse these results, a strong database is advocated.
The programme Favela Bairrio in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil evaluated the impacts of the upgrading project on the quality of life of the inhabitants. They compared the initial objectives to the effective benefits, using data from the beginning of the project and data collected 10 years after through surveys. The subjects covered are the residents’ satisfaction, the benefits accrued to the population, and the level of infrastructure and services (Fiori, Riley, & Ramirez, 2000).
Top down actions and resources from higher institutions usually fail to generate local engagement and acceptance (Meredith & MacDonald, 2017). When relocating, building the project together with the inhabitants can help it correspond to their needs and avoid the failure experienced by several projects (Cavalheiro & Abiko, 2015)S. Patel, Sliuzas, & Mathur, 2015). Project managers can assess the level of community integration through the ladder of citizen participation. It characterises the degrees of popular integration in the decision making process (Arnstein, 2007). Few indicators used to ensure a proper community participation can be (Betancur, 2007):
Identifying leaders to facilitate the communication
Enforcing the links with NGOs and community organisations
Developing small community programs to negotiate on different topics, like, community legalisation of tenure, home relocations, etc.
Involve the community in project development, sub-contracting, administration and evaluation
Fostering citizen awareness and implication
The Kenyan program KENSUP also promotes subsidiarity. This principle focuses the decision making process at the lowest level possible. As an example, in Pamoja trust in Kenya, survey responses from the citizens living inside the area provide a more accurate source of information. Inhabitants know their neighbourhood well and can reflect reality on the ground (Global Land Tool Network, 2010). Decisions thus correspond to reality.
Figure 3 – Community participation in the Favela Bairro Program (UN-HABITAT, 2011)
In comparison with men, women tend to spend more time in their living neighbourhood and hence are more affected by a redevelopment program (Sunikka-Blank et al., 2019). An active participation of women in the decision-making process at all levels of conception makes the neighbourhood more inclusive. Property rights control should not primarily consider men as the default choice. In 2009, women were head of onethird of all Venezuelan households (Fernandes, 2011). In the Peru-vian programme of Commission for the Formalization of Informal Property, land titles were given jointly to wives and husbands (Fernandes, 2011).
Figure 4 – An open air market (Entsie, 2017)
In the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, 63% of residents feel unsafe in their neighbourhood, whereas 30% of them rate safety as a basic need (UN-HABITAT, 2011). As the major issue of safety requires much attention, in Papua New Guinea, the Yumi Lukautim Mosbi project tackles it through four pillars (UN-HABITAT, 2011):
Promotion of sport and youth engagement
Skill development and employment creation
Spread of urban safety feeling through stories and media
Access to Jobs and Economic Integration
The first point is to provide accessibility to the livelihood of the inhabitants. For example, one of the major objectives of the PRIMED programme in Medellin, Colombia, is to integrate the subnormal neighbourhoods to the rest of the city and give them access to the labour market. After its implementation, 91% of the residents stated they were better linked to the city (Betancur, 2007).
Similarly, another point is to promote economic life inside the slum neighbourhood. The Kojokrom market project in Ghana chose to build 8 sheds for the local market to improve working conditions of the vendors, thereby increasing their income. They negotiated with the banks to make the interest rates for the construction affordable for locals (UN-HABITAT, 2009). Kamna Patel underlines the importance of keeping informal continuities in the slum upgrading process (K. Patel, 2013).
Governments and NGOs are also major actors to foster skill development and capacity building within the slum population. This measure can have strong links with policies of households and infrastructure building and with community participation.
A city – a meshwork of players, comprises of people with common interests pursuing their lives in different ways. There are many unpredictable collaborations between the stakeholders to achieve their individual, commercial or political goals (Landa, 2000). These collaborations develop a pattern of connections based on the hierarchy in the society or the styles of interaction that define the community structure. Therefore, the focus of planners should be on implementing short-term, slight changes to adapt accordingly (Batty, 2011).The traditional Dutch approached planning with specific details. This included distribution of activities, spatial layout and even the visual appearance of urban blocks. The dense urban spaces left very little scope for redevelopment with lesser density and future projects. These cases can be seen in many city centres of Dutch cities having an evident mix of activities but limited scope for redevelopment.
However, Netherlands has also been trying to develop co-operation strategies among citizens, civic organisations, entrepreneurs, etc. for many years now (WRR, 2008). The new Structural vision of Amsterdam ‘Amsterdam 2040’ follows the old Dutch spatial planning approach, yet on many important points they have diverted from the previous structural plans. The emphasis in these cases is on addressing the social needs and concerns. The visual aspects are complimentary (WRR, 2008).
Organic planning (Buitelaar, 2014) focuses on creating conditions to allow diverse local initiatives for an incremental urban development. The stakeholders, here, are directly responsible in creating a demand-driven urban ecosystem (Rauws and Roo, 2015). Organic planning approaches a multi-layered view emphasising on inter-dependence between processes of different scales and different moments (Byrne, 2003). The multi-layers of an urban system can be broadly divided into three levels (Boonstra, 2015):
Macro – Society or neighbourhood
Meso – Network of established players
Micro – Group of independent agents
This new approach has brought interesting development strategies in many neighbourhoods of Amsterdam. This article takes the case-study of Oostenburg in Amsterdam and explores the development strategy of the local authority. The neighbourhood has an interesting approach to bring diversity in activities, avoid homogeneity or polarisation, encourage small-scale entrepreneurs and have temporary land uses to adapt to the changing socio-economic context. It emphasises on realising a coherent relation between social desires and spatial development through different approaches.
Oostenburg is one of the three (Oostenburg, Kattenburg and Wittenburg) islands in the northeastern part of Amsterdam. The island was built in the 17th century by the Dutch East India company for warehouses and a shipyard. Given the strong historical influence on its structure and planning, the municipality is taking special considerations for the conservation of the urban values. On the south-western side, four buildings of early 20th century, named after the architect Van Gandthallen, received the monument status in 2001 because it constituted “great historical, architectural and urban values” (Loos, 2014). After the collapse of the industries, the area went through a lot of clean up and regeneration. Although some parts of Werkspoor are still preserved, the island, however, lost its vibrancy with the decline of the industries and its locational isolation.
Figure 1 – Location of Oostenbug in Amsterdam. Source – Urhahn, 2012
Amsterdam’s dense urbanisation brings opportunities for growth in Oostenburg. The INIT building was built in 2000, it has the district’s wharf on the ground floor and offices on the upper floors. In 2004, real estate company Stadgenoot bought the Van Gendthallen buildings. For many years, many professional and cultural activities were hosted there. In 2008, Stadgenoot bought the remaining area of Oostenburg north except INIT and the south-western area.
Decision Making Process
From 2004 to 2008, Stadgenoot made many unsuccessful plans to re-develop the area, primarily due to lack of clear vision for political and social development (Stadgenoot, 2013). These failed interventions alongside 2008 crisis made Stadgenoot re-strategise their development plan. Therefore, in 2011, Stadgenoot and the municipality eventually intervened with an ambition to create a mixed environment for working and living.
In the initial stages, the plan was to develop an open structure connected to the environment. Instead of developing a single master plan, the development plan was implemented in stages where the land is sold in small lots, individually. The sale and development of parcels, and investment in public spaces and facilities is taken care from the profits of the sale of previous parcels of land.
The focus was on creating a good outdoor public space and have limited vehicular access, by:
Visualising the yard floor as a unifying element and as a medium to promote pedestrian and bicycle movement
By avoiding traditional building block layout
In a general outlook, most of the outlines for the design and the program is fixed, but the island, on the inside, has a lot of freedom and flexibility for better spatial solutions. Through a series of products, a framework of rules for the development of the spaces were developed, this framework identifies four qualities of the island (Urhahn, 2016):
Definite boundary made by the waterways, the railway embankment on one side and limited access gives the area a clear identity of an island.
1. Connections through public spaces; 2. Limited vehicular access; 3. Orientation of the plots in line with the water around Oostenburg.
The mixed use ensures public movement and activities through the day, the public spaces of the island work as a unifying element and also becomes a utility space. The INIT and van Gendthallen buildings are capable of accommodating many exhibitions and manufacturing at once. Simultaneously, Stadgenoot wishes to provide houses for low-income groups in a limited area. The remaining plots will be sold to private owners to recover the break-even cost.
A higher plinth and plots’ grouping encloses the inner yards. This brings privacy in the inner yards and parks, makes it quieter and allows the owners to use it as per their needs & convenience. The limited traffic movement and open plinth of the INIT & van Gendthallen buildings makes the use of outer spaces possible.
1. Coherent design of the inner yards. The green space can have; 2. The areas marked in red are to be opened at the ground level and are preferred for public activities; 3. Around 2 levels Variation in height in relation with the adjacent building; 4. Variation in height of around 1 level in relation to the adjacent building
The neighbourhood has an industrial presence but also accommodates bars & restaurants. The architecture and activities are diverse.
To ensure contrast in activities and the architecture, the land owned by Stadgenoot is being developed in parcels. Size of the plots varies; the development plan suggests maximum width of a plot but does not put any restrictions on the depth. The plot width is coupled with the front orientation of the buildings. There is a lot of scope for variation in height, roof shape, activities in the plot, etc. The distribution of activities for the neighbourhood is fixed as 50% each (live-work). These areas are kept car free and will have spaces reserved for public greens in the centre of the parcel. There are at least three variations proposed for the height of the building. The proposed layout places a building of smaller height between two higher buildings to create visual contrast in the arrangement of the buildings and provide light and air through the cluster of the buildings.
1. Small grain v/s large industrial plots; 2. Variation in lot width; darker – Max. width 24 m., lighter – Max. width 18 m.; 3. Variation in height of around 2 levels in relation to the adjacent building; 4. Variation in height of around 1 level in relation to the adjacent building; 5. Variation in roof shapes. Entrances (hatched) have a special roof shape
The heavy industrial history and the rugged architecture gives a strong visual impression and an identity to the island. The older buildings in Oostenburg appear as a single block with simple but robust detailing. The activities opening on the yard floor worked as a unifying element.
The development plan follows the same line of visual appearance around the van Gendthallen building. The indoor and outdoor public spaces run into each other. The roofs of the buildings are decided on what fits best, they do receive proper attention and are not cut-off abruptly. Aiming for a higher level of interaction and liveliness, balconies on the side of the street are encouraged, especially if the side is waterfront. The buildings are more open towards the side facing the water.
Oostenburg is relatively dense and has limited scope for greenery. Hence, the users are suggested to develop green roofs and install solar panels. The industrial image is enhanced by the steel balconies, openness of the buildings and rugged style of architecture. These four qualities further has sub-categories (mentioned in figure 5) and bring forward a framework focusing on six key issues:
Society: Implement mixed use and encourage adaptive re-use
Mobility: Limited access for cars, focus on more soft mobility
Material: Preserving the island’s historical significance
Water: To reduce the water consumption
Energy: Reduce energy consumption
Biodiversity: Possibility to grow native plants in the dense urban area
Figure 5 – The four qualities and the sub-categories within the qualities. (Source – Urhahn, 2012; Gemeente, Amsterdam)
Van Gendthallen building offers temporary work spaces capable of adapting to different needs of different organisations. The offices in INIT building and nightlife in Roest is already active. This mix of activities makes Oostenburg capable of attracting public and keep the place active.
The land in Oostenburg is of high demand due to its location and proximity with the city centre. The sale of the plots in the first parcel began in 2017. Currently, sale of DIY plots in the 9th parcel is active and construction in 5 parcels is under-going (Oostenburg.nl, 2019). The end of construction is stated to be around the end of 2020.
Figure 6: Parcel distribution in Oostenburg. The parcels marked in red are under construction, the areas marked in blue are upcoming projects. (Source – Oostenburg.nl, 2019)
The outcomes of these cases manifests specific physical growth, urban form and morphological or functional patterns. It allows the urban systems to distribute the decision-making power to its diverse actors and avoid the dominance of a single actor (or activity). It’s tendency to self-organise the development safeguards the interests of the actors and maintains a dynamic socio-spatial nature (Boonstra, 2015).
The distinctions (agency, rules and physical order) in decision-making process carry out the transformation process in their own way. This results in a complex environment capable of selforganising itself through multiple interventions. The development plan has four design principles (Rauws, 2015):
Incremental development strategies
It is also important to understand that these development plans are highly contextual and depend on the level of interaction. The planners’ style of intervention and the style of mediation in this complex set-up depends on the context and the understanding of the social system (Tan, Bekkering, and Reijndorp, 2014). A good interaction among the actors can only come with a strong sense of community building. It may not be active and prevalent in every case. Therefore, such a solution can be implemented only after a deep understanding of the neighbourhood or the city. In absence of strong and dense pre-existing networks, taking an intervention like this can be too much work, even if the actors are skilful and committed (Uitermark, 2015).
From the case-study, it is also evident that the nature of organic planning is not entirely self-organising. It requires interventions at multiple levels to safeguard the interests of the actors. Therefore, the true role of the actors and the level of freedom they eventually enjoy while developing their spaces is always in question.
Development in the urban areas causes changes in the landscape. Vegetation and open space is replaced by the buildings and infrastructure and the permeable surfaces get converted into impermeable surfaces. In a typical urban area, the surfaces are darker, impermeable and the vegetation is relatively lesser. The modified land surface in cities, compared to rural environments affects the storage and transfer of both radiative and turbulent heat (Parvantis, Stigka, Fotiadi, & Mihalakakou, 2015). The leads to a phenomenon where the heat gets accumulated due to the urban construction and other human activities leading to urban heat island (UHI) effect. The most noted observation about UHI effect is that the temperature of urban region is higher than the rural region (EPA, 2008). This difference can be as much as 2.50C during the summers (Akbari et al, 2001). The urban heat island phenomenon is caused by two factors:
intrinsic nature of cities (anthropogenic activities like vehicles, air conditioners, etc. along with buildings’ morphology, urban canopy, wind blocking, surface characters and land use planning forming the urban structure of a city)
extrinsic factors (climate, prevailing weather circumstances and the seasons)
Fig 1: Factors responsible for Urban Heat Island Effect. (Source – Osmond, 2017)
These factors increase the energy consumption in buildings in the effort of providing thermal comfort and results in increased air pollution, eventually leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions and negative impact on health of citizens of developing cities (TERI, 2017). It has been noted that 1o C rise in temperature leads to 2-4% increase in electricity consumption (Akbari et al, 2001). Urban flooding during heavy rains, traffic congestion along with higher level of air pollution, diminishing lakes, increase in temperatures during summer are some of the negative environmental impacts on a city due to rapid urbanization (TERI, 2017). . These environmental impacts are a result of the combination of Urban Heat Island and Global Warming effect. This article talks about the Urban Heat Island effect and explores the cooling strategies adopted by Sydney to reduce the impact.
Causes and Effect of Urban Heat Island
Due to the lack of green spaces and the effect of the intrinsic and external factors discussed above, surface temperature rises (Osmond, 2017). Natural surfaces absorb more radiation in comparison to man-made structures like roads and buildings having lower albedo. As a result, natural surfaces is always cooler than an urban surface. Evaporation from water releases energy and cools the surface temperature. As the heat capacity of asphalt and concrete is lower than other types of surfaces, the solar radiations falling on the built surface causes the air temperature to rise. Therefore, rise in surface and air temperature is directly proportional to the height of the built-up areas. Conditions of the available natural resources and the climate in the urban ecological system is affected by the increased surface temperature (Ningrum, 2018).
Fig 2: Differences between day-night surface temperature and air temperature in typical land use types. (Source – Osmond, 2017)
Urban Heat Island and Climate Change
Changes and development in radiative and thermal properties of urban infrastructure are causes of Urban Heat Island. Also, the functioning of a buildings has impacts on the local microclimate, for example, the rate of cooling at night is slowed down by tall buildings. The heating effect occurring in cities or specific areas leads to a change in the climatic conditions of the region leading to local climate change. Local climate change is different from global climate change; their effects are limited to the local scale and decreases as the distance increases. Global climate change caused by increase in sun’s intensity or greenhouse gas concentrations are not locally or regionally confined (EPA, 2008).
Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies
Urban areas need better development planning and a balance between social, ecological and economic factors. The correct ratio of built-up and open spaces, control over the growth of built-up areas, more sensitivity for the open spaces are few of the many things required. This can be done through spatial development planning associated with sustainable development and creating a comfortable urban environment. Some of the adaptation strategies can be:
Developing the green and blue areas within a city
Managing the growth of built-up areas of the buildings
Suitable areas can be developed by forming roof gardens or more trees can be accommodated in the streets as they are a better heat-stress suppressor (Ningrum, 2018). To mitigate the urban heat island effect, the thermal environment around the buildings should be improved by using material of lower absorptivity, larger thermal conductivity and higher reflectivity (Ningrum, 2018). Durable white roofing materials and cool coloured roofing available for coating, tiles, painted metals, and fiberglass asphalt shingles are being produced by manufacturers (Akbari, 2016). To directly reduce the energy use in buildings, shading devices, trees and cool-roofs should be installed more often. In addition to cool roofs, urban vegetation and higher albedo and emissivitypavements reduce the temperature of the surroundings by a few degrees (Akbari, 2016). For water drainage, many paving materials and paving surface technologies have been characterized such as coloured concrete, white topping, chip seals, permeable pavements and grasscrete. These cool paving technologies are currently used in many specific applications (Akbari, 2016).
Effective urban cooling in a city requires the correct strategy of cooling depending on the available factors, factors like the state of development, aspect ratio, sky view factor. Inner city/ CBD, inner and outer suburb areas have different strategies for urban cooling and should be carefully examined as per the character of the city before implementing. Local weather conditions and spatial configurations should also be carefully considered before the application of urban cooling methods. The urban context of the cities can be divided in three categories (Osmond, 2017):
Inner cities: Tall buildings surround the public spaces. Due to the shade of the buildings, urban surfaces are partially protected from the solar radiations. Therefore, in smaller public spaces like plazas, pedestrian open air malls, using high emittance cool-paving and building envelope treatments prevents ventilation and facilitates less heat storage.
Inner suburbs: Two to six storey buildings surround the public spaces and due to the shade of the buildings, public spaces are partially protected from solar radiations. Depending on the city’s latitude, solar radiations may also reach the public spaces. To complete the shadow over urban canyons or around plazas temporary and tree canopy shade may be used.
Outer suburbs: The development is low density in many cities and has a high sky view factor. Typically, in this urban form, areas comprise mainly of single or double storey buildings. The public spaces are generally not protected by the solar radiations by the shade of the surrounded buildings. Therefore, the main sources of shade in the plazas are tree canopy and shading structures.
Case-Study: UHI In Sydney
Intrinsic and extrinsic factors
Summers in Sydney are typically hot and humid. Highest monthly mean temperature of the city is 25.9 degree Celsius and daily sunshine during summers is of 7.1 hours on an average. With the maximum monthly mean rainfall of 117 mm, rainfall in summer is slightly lower than in autumn but higher than spring and winter (Osmond, 2017). The studies suggest that the Urban Heat Island Intensity (UHII) ranged from a mean of about 2-4o C and average daily peaks of 7o C (Parvantis, Stigka, Fotiadi, & Mihalakakou, 2015). Sydney increasingly experiences the UHII due to its numerous urban development projects (Sharifi & Lehmann, 2014). It is estimated that the combined effect of Global Warming and UHI will increase the temperatures by 3.7o C (Argüeso, Evans, Fita, & Bormann, 2014). The temperature in the urban areas ranges between 1.1o to 3.7o C as compared to the rural areas (ranging between 0.8o to 2.6o C), the UHII is much bigger during the nights (Parvantis, Stigka, Fotiadi, & Mihalakakou, 2015).
Suitable Urban Cooling Strategies
Depending on Sydney’s intrinsic and external factors, suggested strategies are more effective (Osmond, 2017):
When the relative humidity in Sydney is high, the effect on outdoor thermal comfort by evaporative cooling and surface water will be lower. Central Sydney and eastern suburbs benefit from regular sea breezes in the summer afternoon improve the cooling effect of water. Misting fans for temporary cooling at pedestrian scale is pretty effective.
Sydney usually receives high level of UV radiations and solar intensity during summer. Thus, the best suitable strategy is shading and increased tree canopy especially in higher density urban region.
During most of the summer days, maximum temperature stays below 30 degree Celsius but surpasses 35 degree Celsius on some occasions. To radiate the urban heat away, the best practice is to use the high emittance paving. While addressing storm water management, permeable paving is a good option for urban cooling as Sydney has an average annual rainfall of 1221 mm.
In low pedestrian and car traffic areas, especially in the CBD area, high albedo paving is a possible urban cooling strategy.
Fig 3: Summary of different cooling strategies suitable for Sydney
Humans are the main contributor to the urban heat island effect and solely responsible for the intrinsic factors of the urban heat island effect. Insulated buildings design and changes in human behaviour can reduce the energy consumption utilised to cool the indoor environment at the expense of heating up the outdoors. Climate responsive building designs can be really useful in minimizing the use of air conditioning by reducing the indoor temperatures during heat wave (Osmond, 2017).
The energy efficient measures such as increased level of insulation in roofs and walls, appropriate orientation, increased shading and application of reflective painting on the building envelope can develop better heat resistance in a building. The integration of these design techniques and adaptation in existing and new building designs could effectively reduce air conditioning and increase the indoor thermal comfort of the occupant.
Accessibility talks about the ability of connecting two places physically and socially. The translation of this definition highlights various aspects of transportation systems (Bosetti, 2018; Social Exclusion Unit, 2003):
existence or availability
adequacy (for disabled people for example)
These criteria are some good indicators for accessibility, however, they are not exhaustive (Handy, 1994). Each individual have different needs and transportation systems must be adapted to the overall context of the area or region it is being implemented in.
The most vulnerable neighbourhoods like rural, peri-urban, urban peripheral, remote and deprived areas are most impacted by lack of public transportation and accessibility (Bosetti, 2018). In most cases, the lower income groups of the population are most affected by lack of accessibility, therefore, providing accessibility is a matter of equity (Venter, Mahendra, & Hidalgo, 2019). This article will discuss the case study of Caracas, Venezuela, where cable-cars link the San Agustin neighbourhood with the rest of the city. This project has a strong emphasis on the integration of the transportation system with the surrounding urban environment.
The Metrocable Project
The San Agustin neighbourhood
This informal neighbourhood was built on the city’s hillside without any recognition from the municipality. Lack of education, violence and other social issues conduce in the isolation of the area from the capital city (Moberg, 2012). Hosting 38,000 inhabitants, it is also one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Caracas (Caracas Alcaldia Mayor, 2006), a city where social segregation through income level is integral (Lizarraga, 2012) at the same time, unequal conditions related to urban mobility and accessibility. Deregulation and privatization of the collective transport induced the emergence ofa disorganized and disarticulated sector. As this “rancho” was not indicated on the city’s official maps (Moberg, 2012), no transportation system was provided either. Uncoordinated and expensive private operators forced the inhabitants to either walk or restrain their mobility (Lizarraga, 2012).
The municipality of Caracas decided to build a new highway crossing the heart of the neighbourhood and destroying many places of habitat. At this instance, in July 2003, Urban Think Tank, an architectural agency, protested against this project (Urban Think Tank, 2011b) and the coordination between architects, planners, experts and locals brought cable car system as the best solution to serve the area (Urban Think Tank, 2011a). The major asset of cable-cars is that its construction is not as intrusive as other modes of transport. Only a few dwellings were destroyed during the construction of the project. Those destroyed were relocated in households integrated to the infrastructure. The stations’ designs were also subject to consultation with inhabitants, each building was studied to fit the needs of the locals (Urban Think Tank, 2011a).
The line, inaugurated in 2010, has 5 stations across San Agustin, and is connected to Caracas’ metro line. It has a capacity of 1200 persons per hour in both directions (Sokol, 2010). The cable car system enables to cross two physical obstacles: the hill, and the highway, both cutting the neighbourhood from the rest of Caracas and its transportation systems.
Figure 1 – representation of the Metrocable route (Moberg, 2012)
Impacts on Accessibility and Quality of Life
Before the implementation, inhabitants mainly commuted on foot (Caracas Alcaldia Mayor, 2006). In average, they would walk the equivalent of climbing 39 floors a day only to reach the transportation systems (Moberg, 2012). After the implementation, the metro can be reached within 10 minutes from the highest cable-car station. Inhabitants become connected to a 54km network of rapid and reliable transport system. Metro, buses and Metrocable are managed by the same authority, Metro de Caracas, and are under the same tariff system. Inhabitants of San Agustin, through the Metrocable, now have access to healthcare, education and public transportation (Moberg, 2012).
Each Metrocable station situated on the hill is integrated in the surrounding urban system and provides additional services. The objective is to create hubs for social and community activities. Each station has two levels: one for the transportation and the other for different facilities at each station for all the people living around. These facilities operate from the profits of the Metrocable (Moberg, 2012). These services have been determined in cooperation with the inhabitants and respond to local needs, for example:
Station Hornos de Cal: contains a school, a schoolyard and a healthcare centre.
Station La Ceiba: provides numerous facilities like police station, library, information centre and supermarket. An additional sports ground in the station is linked with the surrounding gymnasium.
Station El Manguito: the construction of the station integrated households through the ‘substitución ranch por casa’ programme. Destroyed shacks were replaced by secure social housing structures connected with technical and hygienic facilities (Urban Think Tank, 2011b).
Figure 2 – Plan of La Ceiba station (Moberg, 2012)
As the Metrocable transport system creates mobility, The new facilities integrated to the project limit the need of mobility, points of interest are brought closer and reduce the need to travel.
The infrastructure has other positive effects on the life in the neighbourhood. According to the project’s architect Alfredo Brillembourg, “Residents have begun using the station roofs to advertise their businesses and crime rates have dropped relatively because of the higher visibility of the Gandolas” (Sokol, 2010). The Metrocable has now become a part of the district and its identity.
The project is inspired by the pioneer project of the cable car in Medellin, Colombia. This one is effective in its own ways mainly because it managed to link an isolated neighbourhood with the city (Bocarejo et al., 2014). It inspired many other cable car projects, like in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. However, the Brazilian project is a considered a failure because it was settled too rapidly pre-visioning the Olympic Games and the inhabitants were not associated with the project. Currently, the infrastructure is not used as it should be and doesn’t serve the needs of the locals (Broudehoux & Legroux, 2019).
The strength of the Metrocable in Caracas is its integration with the rest of the neighbourhood. The infrastructure provides accessibility to the rest of the city for the locals, but also contributes in enhancing the quality of life. After its first implementation in 2010, three other cable car lines followed, allowing the neighbourhoods of Caracas to be more integrated and interconnected.
Buildings and public space morphology strongly impact the living communities. Social interaction is one of the major design elements in urban planning. Apart from providing a living space for the inhabitants, housing should also offer spaces for public life to incubate. Building such neighbourhoods is a challenge with no perfect solution. However, in the late 90s, the outline of an ideal emerged (Urban Task Force, 1999). This ideal advocates compact and interconnected neighbourhoods, a mix of use and a variety of housing types, detailed below:
Interconnected neighbourhoods: Any urban unit is always in interaction with its environment. Pedestrian friendly areas are advocated because they encourage sustainable and inclusive mobility network. However, it doesn’t mean cars should be moved out of the city. Despite their negative impact on quality of life, they are essential to deliver complete mobility solutions (Congress for the new urbanism, 2001).
Compactness: With the objective of preserving the natural land, it is essential to favour use of brownfields and reuse built areas. It enables connecting amenities inside and outside the neighbourhood. Neighbourhoods should have a discernible centre and defined borders, enabling citizens to quickly identify how the city can support social life (Urban Task Force, 1999). The proximity of inhabitants and activities is a way to enhance involvement in the community, through more interactions between people.
Mix of use: Linking mobility with mixed land use reduces the burden on the transportation system (Urban Task Force, 1999). A mixed land use makes the neighbourhood more attractive and liveable. It improves the level of social interaction within the area.
Housing diversity: Just like mixed land use, a broad range of housing types is essential in creating a sense of community. At the same time, it is necessary to allocate tenures for social housing. It attracts people of diverse ages, ethnicities, and incomes (Congress for the new urbanism, 2001). Thus, interaction between different parts of the society, enhanced by compactness and mix of activities, leads to an enriched community.
However, things were not the same in the 50s. In this period, France faced a nationwide housing shortage. In 1946, there were 5 million inhabitants without proper housing facilities (Fourcaut, 2010), slums began to develop in cities’ outskirts and the city centre dwellings suffered hygiene and sanitary issues. The urgency for the need of housing infrastructure started rising. The French government responded to this crisis by building rapidly and in large proportions (Fourcaut, 2010). The newly created neighbourhoods had all the necessary equipment: schools, shops, public services and places of worship. It corresponded to the ideals of modernity of the time, and the comfort provided contrasted with the former living conditions of the inhabitants (Hersemul, 2016). This article analyses the impact of the urban form of these constructed buildings on the inhabitants and their social relations. It explores the case study of La Duchère in Lyon, France, a housing project representative of this category. It is currently in a state of flux, implying a concrete transformation of its urban morphology.
The preferred form of buildings in La Duchère is that of long and high buildings. In addition to high density, these buildings have an economic benefit to construction. The crane is installed on rails and builds housing along a straight line, following the “Crane Road Technology” (Bachelet, Bres, Djirikian & Lot, 2006). The road network is similarly structured around a North-South breakthrough within the neighbourhood. The urban form of the entire neighbourhood is therefore determined by this criterion of simplicity. The urban block disappears to favour an operational framework. The high density of buildings free up spaces to integrate vast public spaces. This is how the traditional street disappears, as the road frame remains on the periphery and circumvents the set it without entering it.
Figure 1 – How the shape of buildings determines public space. (Allain, 2014)
The Decay of a Social System
The response of inhabitants to these buildings is heterogeneous. Some of them boast larger, airy and bright housing, especially compared to previous insalubrious housing (Dagues, 2019). On the other hand, critical voices raise, concerning the same kind of housing projects in France.Promiscuity is deplored, while public spaces are vast but empty (Tchernia, 1960). These testimonies started bringing about considerations that quickly highlighted the weaknesses of the urban construction of the district. Public spaces are omnipresent on the ground, but remain empty and little invested by the inhabitants, whose high up habitat is not connected to these spaces (Urban Task Force, 1999). It was then realized that the buildings, through their morphology, eliminated the relationship with the street (Urban Task Force, 1999). These features are representative of a specific architecture regarded as overwhelming cubic and monotonous blocks (Tchernia, 1960).
Figure 2 – “massive cubic and monotonous blocks” (GPV La Duchère, 2018)
Figure 3 – Relation with the street between a high building and an urban block
The zoning method is privileged in the neighbourhoods of French housing projects built during the 50s (Fourcaut, 2010). The functions are clearly separated in areas of work, housing, traffic or recreation. This form of urbanization, even with high density, is not conducive to socialization. The inhabitants meet less new acquaintances and have fewer close relations (Mouratidis, 2018).
In addition, green spaces are also rare in La Duchère, despite its direct proximity with the Vallon Park. It is an underutilized asset that is totally cut off from the neighbourhood due to the disruption by the massive buildings. Prior to the time of construction, this rupture is also present between the district of La Duchère and surrounding neighbourhoods. There are very few connexions amongst the inhabitants despite being close to each other spatially. Due to the north-south road breakthrough, there is a scarcity of east-west traffic preventing any dialogue with surrounding areas, particularly because of the real rupture in the urban space created by the “barre des 1000”, long tall buildings extending from north to south.
Figure 4 – A neighbourhood isolated from its surroundings (GPV La Duchère, 2018)
A Physical Renewal
The proximity of the buildings gives a perception of many social interactions. However, they are limited to the corridor or the building. While for any suburban neighbourhood, the spatial environment of social interactions can be easily expanded (Grafmeyer, 1998).
From the observations, a common objective emerged. The goal is to recreate a new scheme of social relations by physically transforming the neighbourhood. In 2001, Le Grand Lyon launched the “Grand Projet de Ville” at La Duchère, a large-scale operation to revitalize the troubled neighbourhood. A steering committee of stakeholders at national, regional and local level was composed to determine the political orientations for the project. It was coordinated by “Mission Lyon la Duchère”, an organisation created to coordinate citizen participation and maintain a coherence. In the meetings, groups of citizens express their needs and aspirations for their habitat and control if the commitments are respected. Finally, the realised proposal of neighbourhood regeneration is assigned to different organisations. A team of 3 architects designs the urban transformation and an urban planning society, SERL, coordinates the tendering process.
Figure 5 – The renovation project (GVP La Duchère, 2018)
The choice to demolish “barre des 1000”, the numerous transformations of the buildings and public spaces impacted the neighbourhood’s morphology. By doing so, three modes of development came forward:
Replacing 15-storey buildings with mediumsized buildings (maximum of 7 floors) helped in recreating the lost relationship with the street, while maintaining a similar density. More openings are now created towards the street, in contrast with the former buildings that only had few main entrances leading to parking space. Seeing the street from the window makes it possible to consider one’s dwelling as part of the urban space and in relation with its other inhabitants (Urban Task Force, 1997). Through this, social interactions are expected to be no longer limited to the corridor or the building.
The newly created urban blocks integrate the public green spaces within them. This design intervention has two functions:
First, the urban space becomes more permeable for the surrounding natural spaces that become a part of the neighbourhood and provides a better quality of life for its inhabitants.
While being located inside the islets, these places are now accessible to all. A buffer space between the public and the private sector works as a place of exchange to favour more social interaction. Inhabitants canhave different levels of privacy and thus, have different opportunities for diversified social interactions.
Figure 6 – The transition in perception from private to public space (Google Maps, 2019)
3. New habitat forms are more heterogeneous, in order to overcome the monotony criticized by the inhabitants. The coordinating organization “Mission Lyon La Duchère” launched numerous architecture competition for each block, leading to a myriad of architectural styles. They clearly make a rupture with the brutalist and functionalist architecture of the former long buildings. The scale of the neighbourhood seems more human and pleasant.
Figure 7 – Diverse architectural forms (GPV La Duchère, 2018)
The transformation of the image of the neighbourhood also promotes a diversity in the interactions. One of the major issues of the rehabilitation was to ensure a broad range of social profiles within the inhabitants. The neighbourhood decreased its affordable housing share from 80% to 55%. New services, like a gymnasium, shops and café-restaurants were also accommodated. The project now invites enterprises to establish their businesses in the sector. Office buildings are built next to the living places. This way, the neighbourhood is more dynamic, and people have reasons to go out in the street.
To support this new dynamism, a spacious plaza at the centre of La Duchère has become the heart of citizens’ life. Adding urban furniture like stairs and trees help in making it a pleasant place, at all times even when it is empty. Streets organization was also enhanced. By eliminating the rupture created by the “barre des 1000”, east-west traffic lanes emerge. They form a physical link with the surrounding neighbourhoods and helps in limiting the social isolation suffered by the housing project. The pedestrians now have a choice of different paths to access, each offering a different experience of the neighbourhood. This enables the public spaces to encourage more interaction between the people, buildings and services.
Figure 8 – Evolution of public space (GVP La Duchère, 2018)
The transformation of the district of La Duchère now lasts for 16 years and is expected to end by 2025. This project has been carried out over a long term in order to perceive the impact of the urban project on the social functioning of the district. The first analysis draws a positive assessment, as in 2014, 67% of the inhabitants thought that the quality of life has been significantly enhanced (GVP La Duchère, 2018). The last parts of the project must complete this development in order to achieve a real success.
This neighbourhood was a pioneer in 1958 for the new French housing policy. In 2018, it is pioneering innovative urban forms. These initiatives are inspired by many projects all around the world, and can inspire many others. The case of La Duchère is useful for cities struggling with social issues in some neighbourhoods, or seeking for any urban transformation. It is already possible to analyse the consequences of urban transformations, and to see to what extent it is applicable to another context.
In any case, those neighbourhoods, deeply and voluntarily transformed, must be subject to a constant interest, as understanding the habitat in its social context is essential to ensure sustainable development of future urban spaces.
Noxious air quality and its long-term effects on human health has been a growing concern for many years now. WHO estimates that outdoor air pollution is responsible for 29% of all deaths and diseases leading to lung cancer. It also has an impact on brain and heart diseases, and on reproductive system (WHO, n.d.). The air pollution is more dangerous for infants, children and the elderly. In London, the inhabitants lives in an area exceeding World Health Organisation guidelines for air quality (TfL, 2019). More than 9000 people die every year in London because of air pollution (GLA, 2017). It has been found that the most deprived areas and the lower-income dwellers were also the most exposed places to air pollution (Kelly, 2011). It shows that tackling the issue of air quality relates to tackling various other linked social issues, such as social inequalities for example.
Air pollution is today characterised by the presence of specific components. The World Health Organisation identified the most harmful pollutants before editing guidelines to limit their concentration. They are:
PM for Particulate Matters, categorised by the size of the particle (PM10 is particles with a diameter of less than ten micrometres (μm)).
Ozone and sulfure dioxide
London is mostly concerned by the PM and NO2 pollutants (GLA, 2017) (AEA, 2003) where the road transportation has a major role to play. Half of the NO2, PM2,5 and PM10 emissions are produced by the vehicles on the roads in greater London (GLA, 2017). In 2008, the city had the worst outdoor air quality in UK and one of the worst of Europe (TfL, 2008). Moreover, the authorities always had the obligation to work towards EU quality norms whose first policies on the subject were launched in 2005 (European Commission, 2017).
Since the 2000’s, the number of Low Emission Zones (LEZ) initiatives in Europe has increased, with leading cities in Sweden and Italy. In September 2017, there were 227 LEZ in 12 countries in Europe (Ademe, 2018). The principle idea is to tackle the traffic congestion on roads and performance of the vehicles. These two factors are responsible for a greater part of the air pollution in our congested and dense cities. On similar lines, the London city hall decided to implement a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) as the key action to tackle its issue of rising air pollution. The LEZ enforces exclusion of the polluting vehicles from a zone including the city. Through the interventions, emissions are projected to consequently reduce and incite people and companies to buy modern and cleaner vehicles. This article explores the case study of the LEZ in London and looks into their interventions and regulations taken by the authorities to regulate the issue of increasing air pollution in London.
The London Low Emission Zone
The analysis of London’s air quality in 2003 showed that emissions were already decreasing due to better performing new vehicles. The objective was to accelerate this trend in order to reach WHO’s guidelines faster, and to ensure every area in Greater London achieve it (AEA, 2003). To do so, the Low Emission Zone was introduced in 2008. Two policies were to be implemented through the LEZ:
decrease in the number of vehicles on the road
modernisation of the fleet in order to reduce individual emissions.
The proposal for a Low Emission Zone came directly from the Mayor Transport Strategy and the Mayor of London in 2006 (Wilson, 2006). The scheme is now managed by Transport for London (TfL). Moreover, the London Local Air Quality Management (LLAQM) agency was created in 2016. It monitors air quality in each borough in the capital. Their role is to declare the places exceeding limit values, ensure an Action Plan is in place and updated, and annually report the monitoring.
In 2008, the data below gives an idea of the situation before the implementation of the LEZ. All indicators are above the WHO limits. The objectives of the London LEZ are as following (GLA, 2017):
Reduce exposure at priority locations such as schools, and tackling inequalities.
Compliance with UK and EU limits concerning air pollutants.
Reach WHO guidelines by 2030. These are more ambitious than EU limits because they concentrate solely on the health issues and do not emphasise on the environmental aspects.
Source London : (Wood, 2015) In all the data analysis, figures are expressed in annual mean concentration (μg/m3) rather than in emissions (tonnes) because the aim is to evaluate the impact on population’s health. To compare data from different sources, the best choice is the annual mean concentration. There are 2 figures for the data for London. The first correspond to a background measurement station (Bk), and the second from a railway station (RS), far more exposed.
Figure 1 – Boundaries of the London Low Emission Zone
The LEZ covers all local roads in Greater London, Heathrow airport and parts of the M1 and M4 motorways (Ellison, 2013). It operates at all times of the year and cars and motorcycles are not included in the scheme. There are 3 main interventions taken under the LEZ:
Euro Norms for Vehicles Performances
The criteria of vehicle compliance are based on Euro norms, or European Emission Standards. These are labels characterizing a vehicle’s emissions of PM and NOx. The higher the number, the more restrictive the norm. A small synopsis has been explained in figure 2. The implementation of the LEZ follows 4 stages. This incremental process attempts to reach the initial goal without generating a crisis for the vehicle users because of restrictions.
Figure 2 – The 4 stages of the Euro norms
It was noted that the London LEZ has a national impact as a large proportion of the national fleet comes to London at any given time (AEA, 2003). The indicators are fixed in a way to find a balance between costs to industry and the impact on air quality. A last Stage 5 was added to reach Euro IV norm for NOx for the bus fleet of London. The main objective is to become the first zero-emission bus fleet in Europe.
Surveillance and Economic System
In order to control the access to the LEZ, TfL installed a CCTV surveillance system at multiple locations in London. Fixed or mobile cameras can read license plates and create a database of the violators. This information is then compared to the database from different organisations that identifies each vehicle in Great Britain. TfL reported a acceptance rate of over 95% for every phase of the implementation (Ademe, 2018). In 2008, It was predicted that this monitoring system would cost ₤50 million and each year, the running costs would be ₤80million. It was also predicted that the system would also yield ₤5 to ₤7 million through fines and entry taxes (TfL, 2008). Users can pay to enter the LEZ with a non-compliant vehicle, providing a daily fee from £100 to £200. Infractions are punished by a fine from £500 to £1000.
Congestion Charge Zone
The municipality also settled a Congestion Charge zone in 2003 to enter in the central London area. It operates from 7am to 6pm during weekdays. Every vehicle, except motorbikes, disabled drivers, electric vehicles and collective transport, is affected and must pay a £11.5 daily fee to drive within the zone. The objective is to reduce congestion and pollution in this area. In comparison with the previous year, the traffic reduced by 27% and cycling in the area increased by 66%. Moreover, all the net revenue is spent on improvements of public transport across London (TfL, 2019). The objective is to favour a switch to public transport, well-developed in this area.
Other Policies Promoting Better Air Quality
The LEZ has significant impacts on the air quality in London. However, it is not sufficient and is integrated with various other policies. Recently, London implemented the first Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) of the world in the central area of London. It replaces the former T-charge (toxicity charge), and will operate within the same boundaries at all times of the day. In this area each vehicle are required to be of specific norms. The standards are:
Euro 3 for two-wheeled
Euro 4 for petrol cars
Euro 6 for diesel cars
Euro VI for heavy vehicles.
The vehicles not meeting the emission standards will have to pay £12.5 for light vehicles, and £100 for heavy vehicles. This fee is in addition to the congestion charge that operates in the same area. Its boundaries are proposed to be extended in October 2021 to the northern and southern circular roads of London (TfL, 2019).
Since 2008, many other initiatives have also emerged. Transport for London launched a Freight Quality Partnership to set up a dialogue with freight industry, local governments and environmental groups. Good construction logistic practices, cleaner technologies and night-time deliveries are some of their projects to limit the impact of freight delivery on air quality (AQAP, 2008).
The Energy Master Plan of London also plays a role in air pollution reduction. An important part of emissions is due to residential heating and the use of bad quality fuels, for example 37% of NOx emissions (GLA, 2017). Implementing and promoting a decentralised energy network tackles part of the issue. Here, the local authorities provide heat and power demand locally and can therefore control the origin of this energy by privileging cleaner energy production systems (GLA, 2017). This is also a way to regain a local control on the polluting sector. This contribution is vital as a great part of London’s air pollution comes from its outer borders (Walton, 2015).
This last observation underlines the necessity of collaborations for national and European policies to tackle air quality issues. London authorities relies on data and information provided by the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution adopted in 1979. It has been ratified by most countries of Europe and North America and identifies specific measures to be taken by parties
to cut their emissions (UNECE, 2018).
Evolution and Impacts
The graphs below present the decrease in concentrations of pollutants in the air after 8 years of implementation. There is a considerable reduction due to the direct impact of the LEZ policy. However, we can qualify this assessment by looking more closely at the different graphs. The WHO objectives in roadside or inner London is yet to be achieved and there hasn’t been any significant changes in the levels of PM2.5. The most polluted areas still lack in providing proper quality of life to inhabitants. This amelioration might not be only due to the LEZ implementation. Many factors have to be taken into account, however we can reasonably think that the impact on road transport has been significant.
Figure 3 – Trends in NO2 in London – 2000 to 2016
Figure 4 – Trends in PM2,5 in London – 2004 to 2016
Figure 5 – Trends in PM10 in London – 2004 to 2016
Air pollution in India is a major crisis and needs immediate attention. A similar intervention or other innovative solutions can help in significantly reducing traffic and concentration in pollutants. However, the context in Indian cities is completely different than in London, and this solution must be studied before any implementation in order to adapt it to the local situation.
The experience of the Low Emission Zone in London shows that city-scaled pragmatic action lead to concrete results. However, a LEZ alone is not sufficient to reach the WHO’s requirements. Many efforts still must be done on other sectors such as industries, housing or non-road transport. Moreover, it is important to note that improving the air quality and reducing the pollution is a global concern. The upcoming challenge is to gather these various ambitions into collective action from the cities, the governments and the international agencies.
A highly urbanised world puts tremendous influence and demand on the food systems, affecting their management, functioning and performance (Fang et al., 2017). The diet of the people and the style of production and distribution of food affects its accessibility, affordability, the related job opportunities, etc. Currently, the cities lack relevant data and empirical analysis on food systems (Fang et al., 2017). The lack of data leads to lack in understanding issues and prioritising relevant projects and programs. Inefficiency of policies leads to inequitable access to food leading to creation of food deserts.
An area where inhabitants have low access to affordable and healthy food is referred as a food desert. The definition and the way to measure it varies. Some focus on the number of stores within a specific distance (Hendrickson, Smith, & Eikenberry, 2006), and some other emphasise the quality of food available (Cummins & Macintyre, 2002). The John Hopkins Centre for a Liveable Future, designates an areas as a food desert if (Biehl et al., 2017):
The distance to a supermarket is above ¼ mile
The median household income is at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level.
Over 30% of households do not have a vehicle available.
Healthy Food Availability – The average Healthy Food Availability Index score for all food stores is low.
In 2017, 12.5% of the population of US didn’t have proper access to healthy and affordable food (Feeding America, 2019) mainly because of 2 reasons:
The lack of financial resources (Breyer & Voss-Andreae, 2013).
Supermarkets and groceries lacking accessibility due to higher logistical cost (Walker, Keane, & Burke, 2010). Testimonies and case studies show people travelling 1h to reach the first affordable supermarket (Butler, 2018).
As people tend to make food choices based on the availability in his/her surrounding areas (Furey, Strugnell, & McIlveen, 2001), food deserts have a high impact on the inhabitant’s health. Being far from a supermarket or in an inaccessible environment favours an unhealthy diet (Moore, Diez Roux, Nettleton, & Jacobs, 2008)(Rose & Richards, 2007) resulting into obesity and hypertension. Food desert is also a matter of inequality. Morland et al. showed that in the US, poorer neighbourhoods have more small corner grocery stores. Smaller shops are more likely to offer lesser choice and lack fresh and healthier products (Laska, Borradaile, Tester, Foster, & Gittelsohn, 2009; Block & Kouba, 2007).
Food deserts exemplifies strong impacts of spatial environment on social issues. In the early 2000’s, it was often neglected in urban planning practices due to many speculations like considering it as an issue in the rural areas, etc. (Pothukuchi & Kaufman, 2000). However, it is rather important to understand that cities need to implement policies in order to have a positive impact on food accessibility. This article will focus on the case of the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative, in the USA. It shows different methods they used to obtain concrete results concerning food security and food deserts in Baltimore.
The Baltimore Food Policy Initiative
Food insecurity is the inability to provide “access to all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life” (USDA, 2018). Food deserts are identified based on two indicators: the food insecurity rate and the Healthy Food Availability Index (HFAI). The collection of data enables the authorities to draw an overview of the food desert and food insecurity problems in Baltimore. They measure accessibility as well as quality of the accessible food.
In 2015, the food insecurity rate in the US was 13.4%. In comparison, Baltimore city was at 23.2% (Feeding America, 2019), and 23.8% in 2014 (Biehl et al., 2017).
The HFAI is derived from the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey for Stores. It is calculated by awarding points regarding the availability of healthy food options like products containing whole-wheat grain or proteins (Misiaszek, Buzogany, & Freishtat, 2018). It ranks from 0 to 28.5, and a higher score indicates the presence of healthier food. The table provides data on the city of Baltimore. We see that even though supermarkets present a higher HFAI, the majority of the city’s stores are around 9 and present less possibilities for residents of the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Figure 2 – Healthy Food Availability Index Findings (Misiaszek et al., 2018)
Origins of BFPI
From the early 2000’s, various individual efforts started taking place in Baltimore to tackle the food insecurity (Santo, Yong, & Palmer, 2014). To bring these stakeholders together, the mayor of Baltimore launched in 2009 the Baltimore Food Policy Task Force and released a list of recommendations as a roadmap for action for a healthy and sustainable food system (Santo et al., 2014). In 2010, this led to the the establishment of the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative (BFPI), a new intergovernmental collaboration. The Food Policy Action Coalition puts together as much as 60 Baltimore stakeholders (NGOs, farms, universities, businesses, hospitals, residents) with the objective to drive a concrete implementation of recommendations (Santo et al., 2014; City of Baltimore, 2018).
The objective of the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative is to “improve health outcomes by increasing access to healthy affordable food in Baltimore City’s food deserts” (City of Baltimore, 2018). Its actions can be parted in 3 axes:
Bring together a wide spectral of different actors in order to share information on food security subjects, and advise the city’s work on it.
Designate Resident Food Equity Advisors (RFEA). It is a group of citizens who represent all the city’s districts, and have an influence on the choices and policies (City of Baltimore, 2018).
Coordinate academic and research institutions work, who collect, analyse and disseminate data. The partners are John Hopkins Centre for Liveable Future, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and different universities (Swartz, Santo, & A. Neff, 2018).
To lead these actions, the BFPI adopted the Healthy Food Environment Strategy to have precise priorities (City of Baltimore, 2018). They cover
Actions on supply: increase the number of (City of Baltimore, n.d.) stores and the quality of food proposed
Actions on demand: promote nutrition assistance and address food accessibility
Promotion of alternatives: promote grassroots initiatives (with the help of RFEA) and urban agriculture.
BFPI acts at a local level, even if it can advocate on policies at state and federal level. They work with organisations in order to improve practices, and change regulations at the city level.
One of the city level policies is the personal property tax credits policy. Renovation or location of new stores in Grocery Store Incentive Areas give access to an 80% credit on furniture, fixtures and equipment over 10 years. The Grocery Store Incentive Areas have a covers large portions of Baltimore (Figure 3), it concerns (City of Baltimore, 2018):
The zones situated within a ¼ mile distance from a food desert
Zones that would be a food desert without the presence of a supermarket
Figure 3 – Map of the Grocery Store Incentive Areas
Stores can qualify for the tax reduction only if a significant part of their sale is dedicated to fresh fruits and vegetables (City of Baltimore, 2018). The BFPI also launched the Homegrown Baltimore programme. The objective is divided in 3 components:
Grow local – Promote urban agriculture
Buy local – Link producers and consumers with farm markets and make arrangements between farmers and schools, institutions and universities
Eat local – Provide education and incentives to promote consumption of locally produced food
For example, a partnership with the Managerial and Professional Society enables their employees to earn 250$ on participating in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). In a survey held in 2014, 85% of the participants agreed that participating in CSA has motivated them to eat more vegetables. However, this programme still has a relatively lower impact concerning only 120 city employees (BFPI, 2015).
At the city level, BFPI also legislates health vending machines, food trucks, hoop houses and animal husbandry. Simultaneously, BFPI has also cooperated with the Maryland state and at federal level. For example, their influence led in the adaptation of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to make it more sustainable for small businesses and increase the number of stores proposing this option. SNAP is a supplement to food budget for low-income families that encourages the purchase of healthy food. SNAP programme has lowered food insecurity by at least 18% for its participants (Mykerezi & Mills, 2010).
Some indicators give an overall idea of the impact of the BFPI policies in the city of Baltimore. The Feeding America website indicates that in 2017, 21,3% of the Baltimore citizens lived in food insecurity, compared to the 23,2% in 2015 (Feeding America, 2019). BFPI were a part of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact and received an award in 2016 for their use of intergovernmental collaboration.
The majority of these policies concentrate on adapting the offer. Accessibility, affordability and diversity are essential to enable everyone to consume healthier food. However, this is not sufficient, and policies for health and food security must also act based on demand. Concerning health issues, studies show that it is more efficient to act at the household level by improving the nutritional quality of the diets in comparison with the neighbourhood level by providing a supermarket or a store (Ver Ploeg & Wilde, 2018). BFPI proposes to focus on local solutions such as food assistance, targeted food price subsidies, or nutrition education. Use of behavioural economics is also been used to improve sales of healthy products in small retail stores (Mancino, Guthrie, & Just, 2018). These are new solutions to explore and involves various actors. The example of Baltimore illustrates how cities can have an impact on the reduction of food deserts. It affects the inhabitant’s health through the enhancement of their quality of life.
Coherence of SDGs with Public Open Spaces: Targets, Actions and Benefits
Public spaces, the heart of urban areas, are the key part of building inclusive, healthy, functional and productive cities. They can act as strong tools in sustainable development by providing environmental, social, economic and health benefits to the city. Public Open Space help achieve safe, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable cities and have been identified as a specific target under the 11th SDG. The data sheet here represents the potential of public spaces to contribute to several sustainable development goals. The inner most circle in the wheel shows the SDGs related with public spaces. The middle circle represents the specific targets of the respective SDGs that can be achieved through public spaces development. The outermost circle shows the benefits on the basis of three categories of public spaces markets, open spaces and streets. The suggested actions to obtain these results are shown outside the wheel connected with the respective SDGs.
Sustainabledevelopment.un.org. (2019). SDGs .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. [online] Available at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs [Accessed 7 Jan. 2019].
Daniel, K. (2016). Public Spaces: A key tool to achieve the sustainable development goals. HealthBridge.
Urban agriculture as a concept is often employed to address social and environmental sustainability in cities. The activities involve producing, processing and distributing food and other agricultural products complimented by recreational, educational and social values additions. The importance of urban agriculture is increasingly being recognized by international organizations like UN-Habitat and FAO. Urban Agriculture helps in:
Greening and cleaning of the city by turning derelict open spaces into green zones.
Productive reuse of urban wastes by turning them into a productive resource.
Contribution to Urban Ecology by improving microclimate and providing habitat to biodiversity.
Reduces the risk of groundwater pollution, while also sequestering carbon in the soil.
Reinventing the human relationship with nature through environmental awareness.
(2) Turning urban challenges into opportunities (Economic Sustainability)
UA is an exceptional public involvement based solution, which works as a complementary strategy to reduce urban poverty.
Create sufficient formal employment opportunities for the poor.
UA contributes to local economic development, poverty alleviation and social inclusion of the urban poor and women in particular.
(3) Functioning as a Platform for social integrity (Social Sustainability)
UA is a multitasking activity, which requires active and passive public participation at different stages for its success.
Contributes to Urban Food security and nutrition. Locally, seasonally grown food is richer in flavor and has more nutrients.
Communities involved in UA manifest higher social integrity as they work towards common good, which eventually bestow them with higher quality of life.
CIDCO’s Policy for lands below Transmission Line
To encourage public participation in land development and management, CIDCO in 1998 came up with a policy for allotment of land falling under Power Corridor (MSEB) and land falling under Service Corridor. Certain parcels of land under Right of Ways (RoW) for power transmission line cannot be termed as developable land as per the provisions of Navi Mumbai Disposal of Land Regulation, 1975 and have been disposed-off for its potential utilization. This innovative policy allows to utilize such underutilized land parcels on Leave and License basis for development of gardens/nurseries/farmlands at a nominal rent of Rs. 100/- per annum. It keeps these lands free from encroachment and develops greenery to create an ambience for recreational activities and relaxation. Moreover, transmission lines passing through the nodes make undevelopable and unaffordable urban land available for neighbourhood to cultivate. Total 168 plots were leased out to different communities/ trusts/societies, where Urban Agriculture and allied activities turned out to be most sustainable utilization.
This article discusses a pre-eminent example of urban agriculture on land below power transmission line in Navi Mumbai. This project works in line with the objectives of CIDCO’s policy and also serves a greater purpose of achieving environmental, economic and social sustainability at community level. The case studies are analysed on three aspects:
CASE STUDY – Agro Garden by CBD Residents’ Agro Society
Plot no. C-13 | Sector- 9 | CBD Belapur
CBD Resident’s Agro Society, a non-profit organization established as Citizen’s Effort for protection and conservation of sensitive eco-system came up with an idea to create a multipurpose public space on the foothills of Valley Park. This park is capable of inculcating community farming and gardening culture along with raising environmental sensitivity amongst the citizen. It also keeps the land clear from encroachment. The park covering nearly 1 Ha (9507 Sq.m.) barren patch of land falling under power transmission RoW is being transformed into a fertile terraced farm and garden.
The Agro Garden is broadly divided into 4 segments: Vegetable garden and Orchard, Butterfly Park and Botanical Garden, Senior Citizen Park and Children’s Playground. Rest of the peripheral area is kept intact with natural vegetation. Each segment serves a critical role in this sustainability model.
Image 1: Satellite image of Agro garden showing of Multi-purpose Segments
Activities like horticulture, agriculture, awareness drives, socio-cultural events and educational tours performed in the Agro garden creates activities and gives a local flavour to this transformed urban space. Through multiple uses of different segments and overall benefits gained through them safeguard the social, economic and environmental sustenance of the community.
Figure 1 – Activities in the four zones of the Agro Park and the economic model
Organic fruits and vegetables are produced in Vegetable Garden and Orchard; nature trails and informative walks are organized for children and nature lovers at Botanical Garden add meaning to spaces. Butterfly Park, Senior Citizen Park and Children’s Playground possesses multipurpose behaviour of space which apart from daily activities are suitable for cultural events too.
The garden balances the social activities and the revenue generation through its financial sustainability model. Moreover, the garden provides employment to the agricultural workers deployed in Agro Garden. The self-sustaining model of the Agro Garden reduces the load of financial contribution on the member residents, this makes it easier for them to voluntarily contribute towards development of the garden. The revenue is generated from educational tours, vegetables and fruits sales, renting spaces for socio-cultural events, entry fees, donations, etc. If the expenses for the year are not recovered, society members contribute the remaining amount for maintenance and development.
Figure 2: Model for recovery of expenditure
The actions to preserve the environmental sustainability works around four parameters, each of them having their own contribution, they are:
Land transformation: Habitat creation and restoration: Combined efforts has transformed this unfertile land into a fertile and productive resource. The botanical garden provides a favourable niche for the survival of rare species of plants. Successful habitat restoration for birds and reptiles has been done there. The botanical garden houses species of host and nectar plants, which provides food and shelter to almost 30 butterfly species. The butterfly park successfully contributes in habitat creation.
Composting: Urban waste management and manure production: Neighbourhood residents convert their household wet waste into compost and reduce load on municipal landfill.
Organic Farming: Reduce food footprint and provide healthier food: Cultivation of seasonal fruits and vegetables with organic farming techniques has been the most popular venture. Community farming in a city helps in reducing food footprint of a neighbourhood. To economize on water, the society has developed independent water source by digging a well and irrigation is done by means of sprinklers and drip irrigation.
Conservation Education: Environmental awareness and conservation, eco-tourism: Students, enthusiasts and researchers visit this garden to observe botanical wealth and butterfly lifecycle. It encourages environmental awareness and eco-tourism.Children, elders and educational trips promotes sensitivity towards conservation of natural heritage.
Image 2: Vegetable farming on stepped terrain
Image 3: Organic vegetables purchase by nearby residents
Environmental Awareness Programmes like Basant Utsav are organised by the Agro Society. These programs spread environmental awareness amongst citizens of Navi Mumbai through various workshops on topics like, eco-friendly domestic waste management, sheet mulching, vermi composting, bonsai, kitchen garden, snake protection and awareness, plant and flower show, nature trails, etc.
Public participation plays a vital role in Agro Park’s social sustainability initiatives. The public participation takes place on two levels explained here:
Passive Public Participationby contributing towards judicial use of the public space and enabling multipurpose use by bringing diverse population together: Events organized in Agro Garden attract people from different parts of the city, they come together mostly for learning and recreation. Community gatherings and social events serve dual purpose of revenue generation and social integrity. Within the garden, there is also a dedicated space for senior citizens.
Active Public Participation by:
Encouraging Functional Participation in groups to meet predetermined objectives related to a project after major decisions have been made.
Encouraging Interactive Participation in joint analysis, development of action plans, and formation or strengthening of local institutions.
Mobilizing Participation by taking initiatives independent of external institutions to change systems. They develop contacts with external institutions for resources and the technical advice they need, but retain control over how resources are used.
Image 4: Botany expert Dr. Bhagwat participating in one of the nature trails
The participation of public in decision-making and maintenance creates a sense of unity and responsibility towards community development and nurtures social integrity. Combining the multiple initiatives and citizens’ contribution together works forward in upgrading citizens’ quality of life.
Case-studies like these apprehend that urban agriculture is beyond growing the food; it also creates recreational, educational and employment opportunities to the urban population. It also contributes by using under-utilised lands below transmission lines. Urban agriculture solves dual purpose of environmental sustainability and enhancing quality of life of residents under Smart Cities initiative, it also addresses Smart City feature of preserving and developing open spaces in sustainable way. Surprisingly, some of the activities and features proposed in Langley Urban Agriculture Demonstration Project report are already being practiced at Agro Garden and KKVP Nursery cum Information Centre by virtue of public interest.
For urban agriculture to flourish, public action groups seek encouragement and support from the local government. City’s municipal corporation and the planning authority can support citizen action groups through functional reforms such as assuring long-term tenure, performance based assessment and incentives, promotion of events and awareness programmes organized in such projects citywide. Encouragement can be sought by making more land resources available to the communities in neighbourhood with simplified procedure for lease application and renewal. Leasing the plots to citizen in adjacent neighbourhoods is beneficial as the accountability for maintenance and benefits enjoyed remains with the community.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue volume 5, Issue 1 & 2 of CIDCO@Smart
July 16, 2019
CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 5 – Issue 1 & 2 of its newsletter CIDCO@Smart, detailing the team’s activities between Jan and June 2019. This issue talks about Urban Eco-system and explains its various elements through different case studies from around the world.
The different articles talk about Urban Heat Island effect, Urban Food Systems, Indicators for a Slum Redevelopment Program, Urban Sanitation and Wastewater in India, Impact of Urban Morphology on Social Life, Cases of Self-organisation in Amsterdam, London's Low Emission Zones, etc.
This newsletter is available for viewing and downloading here.
CIDCO Smart City Lab presents Ujjwal platform to AIGGPA
May 10, 2019
Siddharth Pandit, Chair, CIDCO Smart City Lab presented CIDCO's knowledge management system to members of AIGGPA (Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Good Governance and Policy Analysis) in NIUA office, New Delhi. He spoke about the training management system and about UJJWAL (The One Stop Shop Solution for CIDCO’s training management system).
Customised training on Self-defence was held in Navi Mumbai
April 18, 2019
CIDCO Smart City Lab's training cell organised a self-defence training for all the female staff members of CIDCO. The aim of the workshop was to sensitise women on crime-awareness, safety and self-defence. It was organised on 10th April 2019 at Agri Koli Bhavan, Nerul. Mrs. Vidya Tambve, Manager Personnel, inaugurated the training programme and emphasised on the importance of self-defence and safety of each female employee in CIDCO. She also appreciated the initiation of female members who nominated themselves and attended the workshop. Self-defence expert, Mr. Sharif Bapu, gave lessons and important tips to the participants to act smartly and safely to protect themselves in times of danger. He also shared a few real time cases.
Customised training on Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) held in ASCI, Hyderabad
April 15, 2019
2-day customised training on Prevention of Sexual Harrassment (POSH) was held in ASCI, Hyderabad for the female employees of CIDCO. Topics like ethics and values at the workplace, biases in social perception, safety audit of workplace, Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal, etc. were covered during the workshop.
CIDCO employees visit Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of National University of Singapore
February 21, 2019
7 participants from CIDCO visited Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of National University of Singapore (NUS) from 11th to 15th February 2019 for a 5-day executive programme co-ordinated by NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab. The topic/agenda of the workshop was 'Insights on Urban Management'. The topics covered during the workshop were principles of urban governance in Singapore, PPP for infrastructure development, key success factors for sustainable industrial development, fundamentals of public transport, management and policies of public housing, water as an urban management agenda, opportunities and challenges of innovation and technology, risk management, etc.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue Volume 4, Issue 3 & 4 of CIDCO@Smart
January 24, 2019
CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue Volume 4 – Issue 3 & 4 of its newsletter CIDCO@Smart, detailing the team’s activities between July and December 2018. This issue takes different case studies from all around the world discussing the importance of public spaces. It identifies the coherence of SDGs with public open spaces and the subsequent articles focuses on various best practice models in different cities around the world.
This issue talks about different cases such as revitalising the streets, designing gender sensitive public spaces and public spaces as promoters of equity and social inclusion. It also looks into the case of Pike Place Market in Seattle to understand the economy of public markets, innovative ideas such as transforming a landfill site into a public park and emerging ideas like development of urban agriculture under transmission lines.
This newsletter is available for viewing and downloading here.
CIDCO Smart City Lab speaks at World Bank Office, New Delhi
December 3, 2018
The World Bank and All India Institute of Local Self-Government (AIILSG) organized a one-day Consultative workshop “Capacity Building for Digital Strategies and Solutions for Smart Cities in India” on 30th November 2018 at World Bank Office, New Delhi. The objective of the workshop was to develop a capacity building framework for smart city leaders for capacitating the Urban bodies of India and South Asia. A host of agencies including experts from World Bank, AIILSG, UN-Habitat, UN University and universities from around the world participated in the workshop.
Siddharth Pandit, Chair, CIDCO Smart City Lab, participated as a speaker in the panel discussion. He spoke about the training management system of CIDCO and UJJWAL – The One Stop Shop Solution for CIDCO’s training management system. He presented the capacity building approach that integrates policy, technology and knowledge partners for improving capacities of ULB officials and institutions in India.
The training cell conducts 6th Session of ‘Vimarsh’
November 30, 2018
On November 28, 2018, all participants from the month of October ’18 were invited for the sixth session of vimarsh, out of which 6 participants came to attend. Participants who had gone to ASCI, CRRI, IIML and VNIT attended the discussion. They were satisfied with the overall experience of the training they attended.
Participants who had attended a behavioral training in ASCI were very impressed by the logistics and accommodation allotted for them. One of the female participant acknowledged that the stay was very safe, secure and comfortable. Personal assistance was also available. All the participants, in general, were satisfied with the course and faculties. They suggested that the course could be supplemented with site visits; however, it was informed that for a behavioral course site visit do not set in line with the course objectives.
Participants who had been to IIML were also pleased with the faculty assistance and the facilities provided at the institute. One of the participants mentioned that, “Everything was excellent and we have never attended such kind of training before”. Participants did feel that they had a very hectic schedule as even after the session they were engaged in Group discussions and Case studies. Despite the tiring schedule, the participants wanted to suggest this institute to all CIDCO officers because they felt that the kind of knowledge shared and way of teaching was marvelous. Real life examples quoted during the program were also appreciated. Other participants who attended the program with our participants were from ONGC, LIC and various other reputed organizations. Participants were thankful to Ujjwal for helping and convincing them for the training.
Training Cell also encouraged the participants to submit the study material to Ujjwal team or to the library for other employees to be able to access it. On requesting for an option to search for institutes while selecting the courses, the Training Cell informed that it is an intent of the management for the applicant to go through the course objectives while selecting the course rather than just looking at the institute or the brand name.
All the participants thanked Ujjwal team and JMD I, CIDCO to provide such an opportunity to CIDCO Officials.
The training cell conducts fifth session of ‘Vimarsh’
October 26, 2018
Fifth Session of Vimarsh took place on 24th October 2018 with the objective of understanding and sharing the participant feedback in regard to their learnings, stay, faculty and the institute they went to. Participants also spoke about the ease of using Ujjwal and the expected future trainings. 14 employees participated in the discussion forum bringing forward varied experiences from institutes like IIM-A, IIM-C, ISB, ASCI, ESCI and IRMA-Anand.
Employees who went to IIMA were extremely happy with the standard of the training and the course delivery. The course on Theory of Relativity helped them understand the dynamic nature of an organizational setup, ways to establish a relationship matrix and understand the authority in the organizational set up. The other course conducted at Ahmedabad campus engaged the participants extensively in assignments and role plays for enhancing communication strategies. They were also happy with Ujjwal Team’s assistance on course selection. Participants who went to IIMC, ESCI and IRMA appreciated the overall course content and delivery by faculty, campus premises, boarding and food arrangements. They were impressed by the punctuality and professionalism maintained throughout the training programme. Participant who attended training in IIMC praised the faculty for modifying the course content as per participants’ expectations.
Emphasizing on the benefits of the attended training in personal and professional growth, the participants requested the training cell to insist every employee of CIDCO to attend a training. Some participants suggested cross-functional learning within different departments in CIDCO, in response the training cell explained them the procedure to raise customized training programme request for the same.
Most of the employees were happy with their learning experience through Ujjwal. They appreciated efforts done by the training cell and were thankful to the management for providing such an opportunity to CIDCO employees.
CIDCO Smart City Lab participates and help organize CITIIS Preparatory Workshop
October 2, 2018
The CITIIS program, launched by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Union (EU) organised a national-level Preparatory workshop for 100 smart cities on 25-26th September 2018 in New Delhi. Under the program, 15 projects from the city's Smart City Proposals will be selected through a challenge process. CIDCO Smart City Lab participated and actively helped in organizing the 2-day workshop.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab Publishes Volume 4, Issue 2 of CIDCO@Smart
August 7, 2018
CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 4 - Issue 2 of its newsletter 'CIDCO@Smart', detailing the team’s activities between April and June 2018. Concentrating on the bus transport networks, this special issue takes different case studies from all around the world. It identifies the issues and challenges faced by the bus systems and the subsequent articles focuses on various best practice models in different cities around the world.
The newsletter is available for viewing and downloading here.
The training cell conducts 4th session of ‘Vimarsh’
August 6, 2018
The training cell conducted 4th session of 'Vimarsh' on 3rd August 2018 where they spoke with all available training participants of June '18. These participants had attended training programs in different institutes like ASCI, CSE, ESCI, IIMC and IIRS. The discussion was specific to experiences and individual feedback on course contents and the institutes.
IIRS and CSE received positive reviews, the participants were quite happy with the course delivery. The course in IIRS provided the participants with worthy insights on application of GIS and an opportunity to interact with the senior scientists on its use. Engineers who attended the training at CSE were impressed by the energy efficiency and resource management practices implemented in its campus introduced during the training and through various experiences shared by practicing architects.
The participants were happy with their program in ASCI and were keen on recommending the Institute to others. The site visits during the training helped them understand the topic thoroughly. They found the campus, accommodation and food exceptionally good. They felt the course was very informative, however one of the participant felt that the programme was more relevant to beginners and inclined towards project administrators rather than planners. This participant also felt that Ujjwal has very few courses for planners, while it was duly conveyed that there are lot more courses for planning department and almost all officials from planning have already gone for the related courses of their interest and relevance to their roles in the department. Several courses relevant to planning available on the portal are repetitively organized every year by respective organizations. Training cell also explained that employees can always suggest courses to be uploaded.
Overall employees had very good feedback regarding trainings. They appreciated efforts done by Training Cell and were thankful to the management to provide such an opportunity to CIDCO employees.
Director, NIUA presents at 3rd Transforming Urban Landscape in Lucknow
July 30, 2018
The convention 'Transforming Urban Landscape: 3rd Anniversary Celebration of PMAY(U), AMRUT & Smart Cities Mission' was held in Lucknow on 27th and 28th July 2018. Prof. Jagan Shah, Director, NIUA stressed on the significance of capacity building to achieve goals of urban missions and presented the case-study of CIDCO's capacity building programme. The presentation emphasized on CIDCO's training policy and the implementation of training portal UJJWAL.
The training cell conducts third session of ‘Vimarsh’
July 2, 2018
Third session of Vimarsh was concluded on 28th June 2018. The discussion was specific on the courses attended by CIDCO Officers and their individual feedbacks on course contents and institute. All training participants from the month of May ’18 were invited. Participants who had gone to ASCI, CSE, ESCI, INGAF, IIMA and NPC attended the discussion.
Most of the feedbacks received were positive. Participants who had gone for training to Administrative Staff College of India were very happy. Their training consisted of site visits as well, which was very useful to their day-to-day work life. Institutes Like ASCI and ESCI also arranges city tour for their participants.
One of the senior leader suggested that junior employees should take the trainings seriously and select training according to their profile and projects they are working on. The senior leader expected some more solemnity to the learnings during the course. One of the participant requested for specific courses for her department, where Training Cell informed her about few relevant courses and conveyed her on any further inputs or suggestions for adding more courses that are specific.
Overall employees had a very good experience regarding training. They appreciated efforts done by the Training Cell and were thankful to the management to provide such an opportunity to CIDCO employees.
The training cell conducts second ‘Vimarsh’ session
May 15, 2018
Second session of ‘Vimarsh’ took place on 11th May, 2018. All training attendees from the month of March and April 2018 were invited. 13 participants who went to ASCI, ESCI, IIMB, NPC and NCTSR attended the discussion.
The feedback received was positive and almost all of them intend to bring a change, either at their personal or professional desk. Participants who had gone for training to IIMB were specifically very happy and recommended that each employee of CIDCO should go there at least once. One of the participants said, “IIMB focuses on complete development and apart from the training also teaches ways to overcome stress.”
Upon a query, the training cell informed the participants that the selection of courses is done on the basis of TNA done for the employees of CIDCO and prior to upload, the courses are approved from the respective HODs and JMD. Some participants suggested on conducting specialized trainings and were subsequently explained about customized trainings and the request procedure.
Many of the participants had attended a training for the first time and would like to have such trainings in future as well.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 4, Issue 1 of its newsletter
April 16, 2018
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes CIDCO@Smart Volume 4, Issue 1 detailing the team's activities from January 2018 to March 2018. The newsletter gives an insight into the work done by the Smart City Lab team in the areas of Research, Capacity Building, Innovation and Project support for CIDCO.
It is available for viewing and downloading here.
The training cell initiated ‘Vimarsh’ workshops
March 30, 2018
The objective of the workshop was to initiate a dialogue with the participants to know more about the institute they went to, their accommodation and their learning. All participants in the month of February’18 were invited. Participants who had gone to ASCI, IRMA, CSIR-CRRI and ESCI attended the discussion.
During the discussion, almost all participants spoke individually about the institute, the accommodation, the faculty/instructors, learnings from the training, and how they would like to make a difference through this training.
The idea behind Vimarsh is to have a healthy and interactive discussion with the participants and discuss about their experiences during the training. This will allow them to know about other institutes apart from the institute they have already attended.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab attends workshops and discussions
March 17, 2018
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab participated in the WSDS 2018, organised by TERI, by attending the thematic workshop on 'Strengthening an evidence-based policy framework for sustainable transport' on 15th Feb, 2018. NIUA-CIDCO Smart City lab also attended the stakeholder discussion on 'India Urban Mobility Study' organized jointly by TERI, World Bank and the ITF on 16th Mar, 2018.
Customized training program for DOs and ADOs in YASHADA, Pune.
February 16, 2018
Training cell conducted a Customized training program for general cadre DOs and ADOs in two different batches at YASHADA, Pune from 1st to 3rd Feb, 2018. The trainings were designed for three days each with an objective to familiarize the participants with land related matters and compliance in legislative and judicial work. Several internal and external faculties were invited for the session and each faculty shared an in depth knowledge of topics assigned to them.
Training cell conducted another Samvad session for the planning department at CIDCO.
February 11, 2018
The training cell conducted another Samvad session for the planning department of CIDCO wherein various cadre officers from planning were told about the newly introduced features of Ujjwal. Officers came up with several queries on the use of Ujjwal and the training cell team managed to resolve all of them. Several senior planning officers suggested to add the option of keyword search in selecting a course.
NIUA CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 3 Number 3 and 4 of its Newsletter
January 23, 2018
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes CIDCO@Smart Volume 3 Issues 3 and 4, detailing the team’s activities from July 2017 and December 2017. The newsletter gives an insight into the work done by the Smart City Lab team in the areas of Research, Capacity Building, Innovation and Project support for CIDCO. It is available for download here.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab Shares Comments on the Draft TOD Policy for Delhi
September 1, 2017
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab shared comments on the Draft TOD Policy for Delhi. These comments were presented in context of the five constructs of Transit Oriented Development – Urban Density, Design, Diversity, Mobility and Housing. In summary, they were as follows:
Need for phasing the development of areas under the policy along the MRTS corridors
Need to ensure strong multi-modal integration
Need for stronger parking restrictions within the TOD
Need for eliminating FAR limits within the TOD and:
Using number people/households/jobs as markers of density
Reducing the practice of using FAR based incentives
Need for diversification of housing unit size, types and occupancy
MoUD announces 30 cities under Round III of the National Smart Cities Mission
August 4, 2017
The Ministry of Urban Development announced the selection of 30 cities under Round III of the National Smart Cities Mission, bringing the total number of cities chosen in the mission to 90. The remaining 10 cities have an opportunity to revise their smart city proposals and resubmit in order to ensure feasible plans. This announcement was followed by the launch of City Liveability Index, whose purpose is to measure the quality of life in 116 major cities including smart cities, capital cities and cities with a population of above one million each. During the launch of the City Liveability Index, a companion document named “Methodology for Collection and Computation of Liveability Standards in Cities” was also released. It is meant to be the guiding document for data collection, analysis and calculation of various scores for the different parameters.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 3 Issue 2 of its newsletter
August 4, 2017
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 3, Issue 2 of its newsletter detailing the team’s activities between April 2017 and June 2017. The newsletter titled ‘CIDCO@Smart' gives an insight into the work done by the CIDCO Smart City Lab team in the areas of Research, Capacity Building, Innovation and Project support for CIDCO.
The newsletter is available for download here.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab launches Ujjwal Training Portal
August 3, 2017
On 5th July, 2017, NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab launched Ujjwal, CIDCO’s first customized training portal. Its purpose is to aid the implementation of CIDCO’s new Training Policy. The Training Policy was approved by the CIDCO Board as a step towards overcoming barriers to training and knowledge enhancement for all Class I & Class II CIDCO officers. Ujjwal is an integrated platform that provides access to a wide choice of managerial, technical and behavioural courses from world-class institutes, through a user-friendly interface. It can be accessed at https://cidco-smartcity.niua. org/ujjwal.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab Training Cell is driving the propagation of the training portal across the multiple departments within CIDCO. As a part of this effort, it is conducting training sessions titled ‘Samwaad’ in every department within CIDCO. In the three weeks since its launch, the portal has already registered 25% of its expected users. Out of which 50% have registered their interest for participating in trainings and 80% have been confirmed for participation.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab establishes a Training Cell at CIDCO, Navi Mumbai
August 3, 2017
On 15th May, 2017, NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab established a Training Cell at CIDCO, Navi Mumbai to facilitate the implementation of CIDCO’s Training Policy. The primary aim of the Cell is to support CIDCO and its officers in the identification of training needs and facilitation of participation in corresponding training programmes.
Lead by the Training Coordinator, Ms. Manjali Arora Suneja the Training Cell is situated at CIDCO Bhavan in Navi Mumbai to ensure dedicated support to the capacity building activities within CIDCO. It works in close collaboration with NIUA’s New Delhi office. The Cell is focused on promoting use of Ujjwal, CIDCO’s first Training Portal, through trainings for CIDCO Officers. It also addresses all queries and issues related to the use of the portal and maintains an update course database. One of its key tasks is to build partnerships with institutes that provide relevant trainings on subjects relevant to CIDCO. Any enquiries regarding the Training Cell’s activities can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab Provides Comments for the Delhi Land Policy
June 14, 2017
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab shared comments on the New Delhi Master Plan Chapter on Land Policy and the Regulations for Operationalisation of Land Pooling Policy. The recommendations focused on:
Reducing land acquisition and transfer of land to the government through the policy as it goes against the principles of land pooling.
Recognizing the complexity of the land pooling process and enabling the DDA’s critical transformation from a developer into a facilitator for that process.
Reducing the multiple approval processes at the different stages of development for plans and layouts.
Overall, the comments question the policy’s deviation from its objective of using the land pooling method for maximizing citizen engagement and eliminating land transfer to the government.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab @ 14th Municipalika Conference
May 19, 2017
Rewa Marathe, Research Associate, NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab presented at the 14th Municipalika conference in Navi Mumbai, as part of the panel on Healthy, Green & Connected cities. She shared the findings of a study recently conducted by NIUA on Transit Oriented Development in Indian Smart Cities. The presentation can be viewed here. Former Secretary, MoUD, Dr. M. Ramachandran chaired the panel and it included representatives from public and private sector. The discussion focused on the need of high quality pedestrian infrastructure for last mile connectivity and the significance of citizen participation for creating a healthy, green and connected city.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (Vol 2, issue 4 & Vol 3, issue 1) of its newsletter
May 11, 2017
CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (Vol 2, issue 4 & Vol 3, issue 1) of its newsletter detailing the team’s activities between October 2016 and March 2017. The newsletter titled ‘CIDCO@Smart' gives an insight into the work done by the CIDCO Smart City Lab team in the areas of Research, Capacity Building, Innovation and Project support for CIDCO.
The newsletter is available for download at NL_LO
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab Participates in Stakeholder’s Workshop on Delhi-Gurgaon-Rewari-Alwar Regional Rapid Transit System
April 22, 2017
Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC) organised a stakeholder engagement for the Delhi-Gurgaon-Rewari-Alwar RRTS on the 22nd of April at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. Research Associates Suzana Jacob and Rewa Marathe participated in the workshop on behalf of the CIDCO Smart City Lab.
UMTC shared the DPR for the RRTS corridor, outlining the technical specifications and the financial models adopted for the project. The presentations included a discussion on the alignment and construction of the corridor along with expected ridership and revenue generation, multi-modal integration at the various stations and the development of the area around it. Ministry of Urban Development Additional Secretary Shri. D.S. Mishra delivered the inaugural address for the workshop.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab presents on National Smart City Mission at Constitution Club
March 22, 2017
Siddharth Pandit, Chair – CIDCO Smart City Lab, presented an overview of the National Smart City Mission to Members of Parliament at Constitution Club. PRS Legislative Research organised the talk where NIUA was invited to give insights on the National Smart City Mission. The presentation included an overview of the Mission, highlights from the Smart City Proposals of 33 cities and implementation parameters such as formation SPV and PMC, and challenges and opportunities lying ahead. The presentation can be viewed here-Smart City Mission PRS 22.3.17
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab submits suggestions on the National TOD Policy Draft
March 3, 2017
The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India has prepared a draft for the national Transit Oriented Development (TOD) policy. On 28th February 2017, it held a workshop to brief the States and UTs on the policy framework. CIDCO Smart City Lab submitted suggestions/inputs for the TOD policy draft to the MoUD based on its learnings from the study conducted on TOD in Indian Smart Cities. These suggestions/inputs were structured into three parts:
· overall suggestions for sections
· specific suggestions for amendment to the existing language within the sections
· specific recommendations for critical issues that should be included in the policy.
Some of the key suggestions/inputs submitted are as follows:
1. Establish access to high-quality mass transit and parking restrictions as the underlying core mechanism for TOD.
2. TOD should support higher density than the surrounding area. Density should be defined in terms of built-up area, population and jobs (per unit area). FSI should not be used as the sole measure of density. High density should be complemented with a mix of land uses (places of work, residence and leisure) to reduce the need to travel.
3. TOD developments should address the larger housing needs of the city by including a larger component of affordable housing (including rental, micro units and temporary shelter housing). Further, classification of the housing stock should be diversified beyond traditional income-based groups to include tenure, size, composition, household type (from census definition).
4. DCRs and Form-Based Codes should be used to create street-oriented buildings and active street frontages that lead to the use of public spaces all through the day. This can help make the neighbourhood vibrant and safer through natural surveillance. Public spaces should also accommodate the informal sector (such as street vendors).
5. Engagement of the private sector in the process of developing a TOD to enable the developers to build projects that respond to the local environment, improving the chances of its success. This will also help the local governments deficient in capacity, experience and resources, in long term and large-scale citizen engagement.
6. Reorganisation of the 21 principles of TOD outlined by MoUD in their TOD Guidance Document, into 5 constructs of TOD: Design, Density, Diversity, Housing and Mobility - to simplify the discussion on TOD.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab @ International Workshop for Development of TOD Projects in Indian Smart Cities
January 16, 2017
CIDCO Smart City Lab participated in a two day International Workshop on the Development of TOD Projects in Indian Smart Cities on 12th and 13th January, 2017. The event was organised for administrators of Smart Cities, which have proposed implementation of TODs in their Smart City Proposals. City representatives and PMCs from 13 cities took part in the event held at India Habitat Center in New Delhi.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab @ Roundtable on Smart Cities : Enabling Citizen Participation Through Technology
November 16, 2016
Siddharth Pandit, Chair, NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab, presented at the roundtable hosted by Jaanagraha on “Smart Cities: Enabling Citizen Participation through Technology". The roundtable was organized to look at the whole gamut of citizen participation in governance including use of technology, the available digital engagement tools and the challenges in enhancing its usage. The experience of various stakeholders in activating and enhancing citizen participation in governance were shared.
In the presentation titled "Citizens Engagement in Smart Cities Mission", Siddharth shared the findings about the efforts taken by the 20 Lighthouse Cities and the important differences in the approach to strategic planning the National Smart City Mission is advocating than the traditional top down landuse planning process. As such citizen engagement becomes an important part of organizational culture and decision making for planning bodies and the impacts will be seen over time rather than overnight successes. Yet for lack of previous experience, city agencies have shown the appetite and adaptability to undertake this new approach in urban transformation; the lighthouse cities have exemplified the quality of their proposals by emphasizing citizen engagement. Technology has enabled undoubtedly to jumpstart the collaboration and idea seeking for visioning, area identification and project prioritization. The challenge remains to permeate this process during the implementation and monitoring of the projects as the mission moves forward.
The presentation can be viewed here.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (Vol 2, issue 2 & 3) of its newsletter
November 2, 2016
CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (Vol 2, issue 2 & 3) of its newsletter detailing the team’s activities between April 2016 and September 2016. The newsletter titled ‘CIDCO@Smart' gives an insight into the work done by the CIDCO Smart City Lab team in the areas of Research, Capacity Building, Innovation and Project support for CIDCO.
The newsletter is available for download at newsletter_vol_2_issue_23
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City lab joins immersion visit to UK with 10 city representatives and MoUD representative
October 31, 2016
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab participated in an immersion visit to London organised for representatives from 10 smart cities. The group included eight Municipal Commissioners from Bhubaneswar, Indore, Jabalpur, Ranchi, Raipur, Chandigarh, Faridabad and Davanagere, CEO of SPV of Guwahati Smart City, Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority, Director of AMRUT Mission and Director of NIUA. The trip was arranged as part of a research project on Transit Oriented Development for Indian Smart Cities. It included site visits to King's Cross & Canary Wharf and interaction with representatives from Transport for London, London School of Economics, RICS, ARUP and Future Cities Catapult among others.
More information about the visit can be found here.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab @ National Consultation Workshop for Development of TOD in Indian Smart Cities
September 6, 2016
CIDCO Smart City Lab participated in the National Consultation Workshop for Development of TOD in Indian Smart Cities on 3rd September, 2016. The event was organised for administrators of Smart Cities, which have proposed implementation of TODs in their Smart City Proposals. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss challenges in operationalisation of TOD projects in these cities.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab @ European Cyclists’ Federation
August 11, 2016
Siddharth Pandit, Chair, CIDCO Smart City Lab wrote for the European Cyclists' Federation on the subject of Bicycling in India. This was part of their ongoing Smart Cycling Series where they invite visionaries and leaders in the field of mobility to share their thoughts and visions. The article can be viewed here.
NIUA along with the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY) leads a Side Event on the theme: Prioritizing Children and Youth within the New Urban Agenda at the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom 3) of Habitat III
July 18, 2016
NIUA along with the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY) is the leading organizing intuition for a Side Event on the theme: Prioritizing Children and Youth within the New Urban Agenda at the third session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom 3) of the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) being held at Surabaya, Indonesia from Monday 25 July to Wednesday, 27 July 2016.
This side event will aim to prioritise children and youth within the New Urban Agenda, highlighting their needs in cities across the globe around issues such as housing, sanitation, education, health, transportation, mobility, environment and leisure to bring them into the centre stage of discussions within the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs. This side event will provide a space not only to recognise how children and youth have been active in the Habitat III process, but also highlight and advocate their priorities and recommendations towards the New Urban Agenda. This event will feature a diverse range of speakers – including one child leader and two youth – drawn from our strong affiliate of partners that include Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF), Cities Alliance, India Youth Fund, United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC), UN Habitat and World Vision International.
Central Government announces 13 more smart cities
May 27, 2016
Central Government has announced 13 more Smart Cities from the 23 cities that submitted their Smart Cities Proposal in April 2016. Lucknow topped the list of winners of the Fast Track competition conducted for 23 cities belonging to the 23 states /UTs that did not make it in the first round of winning proposals. These cities improved the quality of their Smart City Proposals based on the feedback received.
33 cities from 25 States/UTs are now covered under Smart City Mission. The winners of the Fast Track competition are Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Warangal (Telanagana), Dharamshala, (Himachal Pradesh), Chandigarh, Raipur (Chattisgarh), New Town Kolkata(West Bengal), Bhagalpur (Bihar), Panaji, (Goa), Port Blair (Andaman & Nicobar Islands), Imphal (Manipur), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Agartala (Tripura) and Faridabad (Haryana).
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab develops a knowledge product on Value Capture from Infrastructure Investments for Smart Cities
May 18, 2016
CIDCO Smart City Lab develops a knowledge product on Value Capture from Infrastructure Investments for Smart Cities. This paper attempts to capture some of the best practices that cities globally have attempted for Value Capture Finance (VCF), a principle that communities benefiting from public investments on infrastructure should pay for it. The paper may be found here.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 2 Number 1 of its newsletter- A National Smart Cities Mission Special Issue, detailing the team’s activities between January 2016 and March 2016
May 16, 2016
CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes Volume 2 Number 1 of its newsletter, detailing the team’s activities between January 2016 and March 2016. This issue captures the National Smart City mission in elaborate details and the highlights of the first 20 cities that were announced as early winners of the mission in January 2016. The newsletter looks at the game changing interventions in the smart cities mission such as demand driven planning, learning and replicability, special purpose vehicle and convergence, and discusses them across the lighthouse cities. It also presents preliminary analyses of several emerging themes the SCPs focus on, which include integrated mobility, environmental sustainability, use of information and communication technology and financial resource management. Beyond the national smart cities mission, the newsletter in the section ‘smart city corner’, engages the readers in a comparison of the smart city programme in India and the US. This section also discusses latest technology used in France for sustainable district wide heating and cooling. Additionally the newsletter features snapshots of three top ranked cities of the first cycle of national smart cities mission- Bhubaneswar, Pune and Jaipur, with highlights of their SCPs that make them stand apart from the rest. With contents that cover the expanse of the smart cities mission of India, this newsletter is intended as a summary of the SCPs of the 20 lighthouse cities.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab gives comments on UNCSTD theme paper on Smart Cities
April 25, 2016
Siddharth Pandit- Chair, CIDCO Smart City Lab, gave comments on UN Committee on Science Technology and Development (UNCSTD) theme paper on Smart cities. The report presents key urbanisation trends and their links to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Department of Science and Technology will be participating in the 19th Session of the UNCSTD that will deliberate on the report. The comments may be found here.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab attends at the BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave 2016
April 16, 2016
Nanda Kishore – Research Fellow, CIDCO Smart City Lab - attended the BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave 2016 as a Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India representative. This conclave, which was held in Mumbai on April 14, 15 & 16, 2016, saw representatives from Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa discuss urban challenges such as security, public transport and affordable housing; an opportunity for BRICS Cities to learn from each other and overcome challenges together.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab presents at WRI India Sustainable Cities CONNECTKaro 2016 Conference
April 5, 2016
Siddharth Pandit - Chair, CIDCO Smart City Lab - presented at WRI India Sustainable Cities conference, CONNECTKaro 2016 in New Delhi. The objective of the seminar, which was held over three days between April 5 and April 7, was to discuss challenges and solutions in the areas of transport and access, urban expansion, land management, renewable energy, air pollution, new mobility, and road safety in cities, drawing from global best practices and applying them to the Indian context. This seminar hosted political leaders, senior bureaucrats, policymakers, business leaders, and experts coming from around the world and country to share their knowledge and expertise on sustainable urban development. In a presentation titled "India Smart Cities and Urban Transport", Mr. Pandit spoke about the present transportation situation in India and the ambitious objectives of the Smart Cities Mission. The presentation can be accessed here.
CIDCO Smart City Lab presents at UITP India Bus Seminar in Delhi
March 29, 2016
Siddharth Pandit - Chair, CIDCO Smart City Lab - presented at the 2nd UITP India Bus Seminar which was held in Delhi on March 29, 2016. The objective of the seminar was to remind the importance of bus based public transport system, to deliberate on ways of making buses more and of developing new bus technologies (electric, hybrid, etc.). This seminar hosted experts coming from around the world and country to share their knowledge and expertise on addressing challenges around increasing bus ridership towards reducing traffic congestion and enhancing quality of life. In a presentation titled "Urban Development and Public Transport", Mr Pandit spoke about the present transportation situation in India and the ambitious objectives promoted by the Smart Cities Mission.
CIDCO Smart City Lab assists the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, for the Indo-German Exchange Meeting
March 7, 2016
Dr. Sameer Sharma, Additional Secretary, Smart Cities, Mr. Munish Kumar Garg, Director, Smart Cities, and Mr. Sajeesh Kumar N., Deputy Secretary, Smart Cities, spoke at the Indo-German exchange meeting, sharing some of the Smart City Lab's analysis of the winning Smart City Proposals. CIDCO Smart City Lab assisted the ministry in identifying the projects related to climate change and integrated mobility for the top 20 smart cities. Some of these projects will be taken up by the GIZ and KFW.
CIDCO Smart City Lab at Velo-city Global 2016 Evolution of Cycling, Taipei, Taiwan
February 28, 2016
Siddharth Pandit - Chair, CIDCO Smart City Lab - presented at Velo-City Global 2016 in Taipei, Taiwan. In a presentation titled "#Indiahasathingwithbikes" he spoke about bicycles & the smart cities in India. The presentation can be seen here.Velo-city is a series of cycle planning conferences organized by European Cyclists Federation to bring together those involved in policy, promotion and the provision of cycling facilities and programs. To learn more about the conference visit their website at www.velo-city2016.com.
Smart City Lab Participates in Workshop on Using Data to Build Safer Cities by Safetipin
February 9, 2016
Rewa Marathe, Research Associate at the Smart City Lab, participated in a workshop on "Using Data to Build Safer Cities" by Safetipin. It included a panel discussion with Ashok Bhattacharjee - Former Director Planning, UTTIPEC, AGK Menon - INTACH Founder-Member, Nandita Bhatla - Senior Technical Specialist at ICRW and Kalpana Vishwanath - Co-Founder Safetipin. The discussion covered challenges of collecting data of the intangible 'feeling of safety', exclusion in planning and design and the gendered nature of the built space. Safetipin also presented its work, explaining their safety audits and the mobile application based data collection process. To learn more about Safetipin visit their website at http://safetipin.com/
National Smart Cities Challenge Winners Announced
January 28, 2016
Government announces the 20 winners of the National Smart Cities Challenge. The winning cities and towns are from 11 states and UTs. Total investment of Rs. 50,802 Crores has been proposed for over a period of five years. The Smart Cities Mission is expected to promote a holistic approach towards development of the cities. These twenty cities account for 3.54 crore population. The 23 States and UTs who could not make to the list of winners will be given an opportunity to participate in a ‘fast track competition’. The highest ranking city from each of the remaining 23 States and UTs can upgrade their smart city proposals and submit them by April 15 2016, for inclusion in the mission.
The press release from NIUA & CBUD can be seen here.
NIUA Collaborates with IIT Madras for Smart Cities Challenge at Shaastra 2016
January 23, 2016
In collaboration with NIUA, IIT Madras held a Smart Cities Challenge at Tech-fest Shaastra 2016. The participants proposed IOT solutions based on the ideas from National Smart City Mission's 'Mera Shehar Mera Sapna' Contest. The entries were judged by a panel of members from NIUA, MoUD, DEIT , and IIT. Siddharth Pandit, Chair - CIDCO Smart City Lab represented NIUA.
For the first stage, all the participating teams submitted their proposals, outlining the concept and the workflow of the proposed IOT solution. For the second stage, twenty shortlisted submissions were presented to panel on the 23rd of January and three winning proposals were chosen. The competition was a great success at the Shaastra 2016 and received positive feedback from all the participants.
The winning proposals in the order of their rank -
Ration Station, Sastra University, Tanjore
Smart Manholes, IIT Madras
Ride On, IIT Madras
Further Details of the competition are available here.
CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (3 & 4) of its newsletter.
January 22, 2016
CIDCO Smart City Lab publishes combined issue (3 & 4) of its newsletter detailing the team’s activities between July 2015 and December 2015. The newsletter titled ‘CIDCO@Smart‘ gives an insight into the work done by the smart cities unit in the areas of Research, Capacity Building, Innovation and Project support for CIDCO.
The third and fourth combined edition showcases the Smart City Plan of CIDCO in CIDCO Navi Mumbai (South). Each issue beginning from this will showcase an overview on one objective area and one project of high impact from the plan. A section on inclusive planning is also introduced. This issue presents an interview with V. Radha, IAS, Joint Managing Director (JMD), CIDCO, on gender inclusive planning at CIDCO. The newsletter also presents initiatives at NIUA-CIDCO Smart City lab which include Citizen engagement strategy for Smart Cites and Designing for Bicycle based Mobility along with a case study- Bike-share system at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
Various smart policies and technologies across the globe which include the application of ICT beyond e- Governance in Smart Cities, Privately Owned Public Spaces and Smart Bus Shelter is captured in this newsletter. It is hoped that featuring these ideas can instigate dialogues and potentially implementation in Indian cities especially Navi Mumbai. The latest progress of the National Smart City Mission is also discussed in this issue.
The Newsletter can be viewed here.
Smart City Lab presents on “Urban Infrastructure in India”at PRS Legislative Research.
January 8, 2016
Siddharth Pandit, Chair - CIDCO Smart City Lab, presented an overview of the Urban Infrastructure Policies in India at PRS Legislative Research to the current LAMP Fellows.
The first urban infrastructure policy in India, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, was launched in 2005 to address the challenges of urbanization, need for urban sector development and improve quality of life in cities. A decade later, Government of India is taking the next steps in process with AMRUT, Smart Cities Mission, Housing for All, HRIDAY and Swacch Bharat. This presentation highlights the challenges and successes of these policies. The presentation can be viewed here.
CIDCO Smart City Lab presents “Technology and City” at Columbia Global Center Mumbai
December 17, 2015
Siddharth Pandit, Chair - CIDCO Smart City Lab presented an overview of the National Smart City Mission and the CIDCO Smart City Plan at the 'Technology and City ' workshop arranged by Columbia Global Center, South Asia, Mumbai.
The presentation showcased the depth and breadth of ICT initiatives implemented in India. These initiatives have traditionally focused on improving governance (e-Governance) and efficiency of service delivery. The National Smart City Mission's emphasis on scaling up these ICT initiatives to other areas of urban planning such as water, sanitation, housing and public transportation and on convergence of knowledge and financial resources was discussed.
CIDCO's recently released Smart City Plan was highlighted through the various ICT initiatives under the objectives areas of the plan. CIDCO is scaling up its commitment to technology as a key enabler to sustainable urban planning. The various initiatives can be found at https://cidco-smartcity.niua.org/cidco-smart-city-plan/
The presentation can be found here
Smart City Lab assists in preparation of CIDCO Smart City Action Plan
December 7, 2015
CIDCO launched its Smart City Action Plan at the hands of Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis on December 4th, 2015 at the Vashi Exhibition Centre in Navi Mumbai. The NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab assisted in the process by facilitating preparation and documentation of proposed smart projects across the various departments of CIDCO. The projects span the brownfield development in the seven nodes of CIDCO Navi Mumbai (South) and the greenfield development at Pushpak Nagar. The projects are divided into 10 objective areas
Smart Organisation : CIDCO recognized early on in its Smart City journey, that to be able to successfully deliver on its Smart City vision, it has to develop itself into a world class organization.As part of this transformational process, CIDCO reviewed the changes in the business environment and proposed to strengthen the four core fundamental principles around which its Smart City vision is anchored, namely – People, Technology, Environment and Efficiency.CIDCO is investing Rs 219.5 Crores by 2019 in various initiatives towards transforming its organization.
E-Governance, Transparency and Ease of Business : Improving transparency and ease of doing business using technology transformation.CIDCO’s Twenty Point Transparency plan has focused on improving public services and growing citizens’ expectations. The transparency plan initiated by CIDCO is a coordinated effort by the Management to improve citizen experience. The plans range from creating a governance framework for better delivery of key e-governance initiatives to creating policies and procedures that would be a guide for employees and stakeholders in delivery.CIDCO is investing Rs 170.04 Crores by 2016 in various initiatives towards using people, processes and technology.
Environmental Sustainability : Environmental Sustainability has been an integral part of the smart city vision. CIDCO has been sensitive towards preservation of environment since the inception of the Navi Mumbai project and has accordingly taken measures to protect it. With renewed vigor it is rededicating to this cause by strengthening its efforts through development of mangrove parks, nature park, missions like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, special projects like river front development etc. Wherever required, CIDCO is determined to regulate undesirable developments and promoting causes such as conservation of water by mandatory stipulations.
CIDCO is investing Rs 418 Crores by 2019 in various initiatives in its efforts towards environmental sustainability.
Swachh Bharat : The mission initiated by the Government of India last year is being fully supported by CIDCO, through employment of good sanitation practices including solid waste management and preventing open defecation through construction of toilets for the convenience of people.CIDCO is investing Rs 378.75 Crores by 2020 towards new sewage treatment plants (STPs), using technologies such as GIS in mapping of health hotspots and in its solid waste management.
Financial Independence : CIDCO believes that cities can flourish if they are financially independent, i.e. all finances required for sustenance of a city have to be generated within the city. These could be based on value added services to citizens, rent on leased public spaces, strategic use of land for commercial ventures etc. Financially sustainable cities attract industries, residential interests, and better social infrastructure and create employment for citizens. CIDCO is undertaking all its major infrastructure, transportation, port and affordable housing initiatives costing Rs.32744 Cr. as well as smart city initiatives costing nearby Rs.2033.40 Cr. out of its self-generated resources. This is because CIDCO has developed a robust market intelligence driven system wherever land is monetized in order to fund the city development.
Inclusive Planning : A key building block of the Smart City is to keep it inclusive where in the women, elderly, differently-abled and sons of soil feel at home. CIDCO has always been ahead of the curve in recognizing and addressing this issue. A holistic approach is considered, wherein physical planning (by way of providing plots for various activities) is supported by commensurate social environment. Housing, employment training , resource centers and recreation centers are some of the initiatives that will benefit from CIDCO’s planned investment of Rs 10911.85 Crores by 2019 towards inclusionary planning.
Quality of Life : Special projects such as Nature Park, Central Park, Golf Course, River front development, have been envisaged to promote greenery and ensure environment sustainability. These have been conceptualized with a view to not only add value to the city and offer its citizens opportunity for recreation etc. but also make water bodies more accessible to the people so that unscrupulous activities do not take place and degrade the environment. CIDCO envisages that one of the key building blocks of a smart city is to develop Navi Mumbai as a city of choice for its residents by offering livability and quality of life. This will be attained by providing, public safety, open spaces, social facilities etc. for a stress free, environmentally friendly citizen experience.
As part of this initiative, CIDCO has undertaken range of projects, namely, river fronts, water fronts and Marina. CIDCO has worked out a comprehensive model towards protecting and enriching open spaces and is investing Rs. 635 Crores by 2019 in these quality of life initiatives.
Provision of Basic Infrastructure :As part of self-sustained city program, Infrastructure is the core block that involves application of new strategies and technologies. CIDCO has always aimed to provide adequate infrastructure in the form of water, sanitation, roads, railways, information and communication technology –in order to improve living standards and enhance productivity, mobility and connectivity.
Water supply, power, road network, bus transport systems are some of the investments planned by CIDCO, which is investing Rs 7484.26 Crores by 2019 in world class urban infrastructure.
Transit Oriented Development (TOD) : CIDCO has pioneered the concept of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) by exploiting the air space above railway stations, the landmark being Vashi & Belapur station complex developed in late 90s. On the suburban rail network currently under development, i.e. the Nerul – Seawood – Uran corridor, the Seawood station and its adjoining commercial hub project is another iconic project of TOD.
‘Smart Cities’ are those where the residents can either walk to their work places or have public transport system right next to their houses, so that they can reach their work places quickly. CIDCO had been developing the bus transport and railway transport systems. CIDCO’s ground breaking concept of ‘Railway Station cum Commercial Complex’ makes it a major driving force behind the city’s economic development
CIDCO has launched several rail projects in partnership with central railways and has now ventured into METRO development.
Smart City Lab participates in FGD on Green Freight
November 9, 2015
Ryan Christopher Sequeira, Research Fellow participated in the 2nd Green Freight India Working Group Focused Group Discussion organised by Clean Air Asia and hosted by NITI Aayogon November 5th, 2015 in New Delhi.
Clean Air Asia was established in 2001 as the premier air quality network for Asia by the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and USAID. Its mission is to promote better air quality and livable cities by translating knowledge to policies and actions that reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from transport, energy and other sectors.
Smart City Lab participates in Consultation on building a framework for Gender Inclusive Smart Cities
November 9, 2015
Dr. Debolina Kundu, Advisor and Rewa Marathe, Research Associate engaged in a day long consultation hosted by UN Women and Akshara on Gender Inclusive Smart Cities in Mumbai on 4th November 2015. Dr. Kundu presented the vision of the National Smart Cities Mission and spoke about the role of data in making smart cities inclusive. Other attendees included elected representatives from local municipalities, civil society organizations and planning consultants. The group deliberated upon the issues of mobility and access to the city, impact of affordable housing and the role of technology and public participation in making gender an overarching issue for the development process.
Smart City Lab to present at National Energy Policy Workshop at NITI Aayog
November 6, 2015
National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, Government of India has been entrusted with the task to prepare the National Energy Policy framework in consultation with a large number of stakeholders. NITI Aayog has been organising high level stakeholder dialogue with stakeholder ministries, research organisations, industry experts, and academia to ensure such a policy to be broad based.
NITI Aayog with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) as the knowledge partner is organising "National Energy Policy Workshop", a High level Stakeholder Dialogue on "Exploring Demand-side Concerns for an Energy Secure India".
A. N. Nanda Kishore will be a panellist discussing infrastructure constraints that hamper growth for the consumption sectors and seeks to discuss options that will provide for a long-term integrated infrastructure planning in session "Balancing sustainability and rising demand for housing" from 1615 to 1730 hours.
DownloadBackground Note | Agenda
CIDCO to present Navi Mumbai Smart City model at 3rd Annual Conference on Smart Cities in India
October 12, 2015
India Infrastructure Publishing is organising the 3rd Annual Conference on Smart Cities in Indiaon October 15 and 16, 2015 at The Imperial, New Delhi. The mission of the conference is to highlight the opportunities in smart cities, discuss the challenges, examine implementation strategies and showcase technologies. The conference will also present noteworthy global initiatives and projects.
P. Suresh Babu, Coordinator, Smart City Lab and Additional Chief Planner (A&R), CIDCO will be presenting the Navi Mumbai Smart City model on Day 2.
Bloomberg Philanthropies to conduct Ideas Camp on smart city development
October 1, 2015
Bloomberg Philanthropies', knowledge partner to MoUD for the Smart City Mission, will conduct an Ideas Camp to empower Mayors and ULBs with knowledge of processes and challenges of Smart City development. The Camp is the first element of a program of support developed to help municipal leaders learn from each other and to connect with leading urban practitioners and experts in India and around the world.
The Smart City Lab will coordinate two sessions on Pan-city Initiatives and Financing Smart Cities at the Camp that is being held at the JW Marriot, Delhi on 6 and 7 October, 2015.
For more details visit www.smartcitieschallenge.in
Smart City Lab to present at National Conference on De-polluting Indian Cities
September 10, 2015
International Development Centre Foundation is organising a 2 day National Conference on De-polluting Indian Cities on September 18 and 19, 2015 in partnership with GRC India Ltd., Ministry of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, Indian Council of Medical Research, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi and International Roma Cultural University, Serbia. The conference will be held at the India International Centre, New Delhi.
A. N. Nanda Kishore will be a panellist discussing 'Smart Cities and Climate Smart Cities' in Technical Session III from 1545 to 1700 hours on Day 1.
Smart City Lab presents development of Navi Mumbai at ‘Urban Planning for City Leaders’ Workshop at Kuala Lumpur
September 9, 2015
The 30th KLRTC Workshop was jointly organized by CityNet, UN-Habitat and the Kuala Lumpur Regional Training Centre from September 7-9, 2015. Staged by Kuala Lumpur City Hall, this year’s workshop was specifically designed for urban practitioners and decision makers from rapidly growing contexts and offered new tools for sustainable planning and an opportunity to strategize for a new urban agenda.
With limited resources, a fast changing urban landscape and short political cycles, however, harnessing the benefits of urbanszation can be a difficult task. This short course gets urban actors asking the right questions about land use in their city, bridges the technical and policy dimensions of urban planning, and emphasizes a people-centered approach to decision making.
Attended by 21 participants from nine countries, the workshop was based on UN-Habitat’s unique publication “Urban Planning for City Leaders” launched in 2013 and has been greatly received and applied in Malaysia, Vietnam, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, Kenya, Mexico, Saint Lucia and the Philippines. Some of the modules were Sustainable Urban Pattern and New Urban Agenda, Planning Approach for Achieving Sustainable Urban Development, Public Space for a Liveable City and Dynamics of Urban Planning Challenges.
One of the workshop highlights was the peer-to peer review where participants had a fruitful discussion to analyse and identify key challenges and strategies and come up with a set of recommendations to develop an urban regeneration project, Sungai Besi Town. This project aims at upgrading the quality of township in this area to increase tourism and business activity at the area of Sungai Besi and is currently at the planning phase. They went to visit the project prior to the discussion.
This year’s KLRTC workshop that focused on a more practical level is expected to equip participants with ready-to-use tools to improve their own projects and thus bring tangible improvements for their cities at their disposal.
CIDCO to present Smart City Plan at NITI Aayog
August 31, 2015
NITI Aayog is organising a workshop titled “Transforming Urban India: Developing Smart and Sustainable Cities” on September 2, 2015, from 10:30 hrs to 13:15 hrs at Multipurpose Hall (Kamladevi Complex), India International Centre, 40 - Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi. The workshop will provide a platform for exchange of ideas and knowledge among key stakeholders on issues related to the development of smart and sustainable cities. The Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), Bengaluru is the knowledge partner for this event.
Mr. Sanjay Bhatia, IAS will present CIDCO's Smart City plan at the Workshop and is the only planning authority invited to make a presentation.
Smart City Lab coordinates sessions on ‘Smart City Urban Planning’ at Smart Cities India 2015
May 11, 2015
The Smart Cities India 2015 exhibition and conference is taking place at Pragati Maidan from May 20 to 22, 2015 to bring forth innovative developments in transforming our cities. The three days conference will help in redefining our urban infrastructure.
Ryan Christopher Sequeira, Fellow, Smart City Lab will be coordinating 4 sessions on Urban Planning for Smart Cities on behalf of the National Institute of Urban Affairs.
Day 1: 1130 to 1300 hours
Day 1: 1400 to 1530 hours
Day 3: 1000 to 1130 hours
Day 3: 1145 to 1315 hours
Smart City Lab authors Background Paper for Round table discussion and consultation on Sustainable Energy Integration in Smart Cities
May 1, 2015
The Smart Cities Mission is an ambitious initiative that is pan-India and cuts across sectors. It seeks to redefine not just urban life but also the Indian economy and our social fabric as a whole. The potential is transformational, however, this mammoth undertaking necessitates a paradigm shift in the way we have been managing our cities. Smart Cities can be thought of as a singular overarching idea that brings under it multiple ideas that are whole economic sectors in themselves.
Sustainable Energy is one such idea in the quintessential multi-axial complex of Smart-Cities architecture and design. In the long list of public goods and services that a city provides its inhabitants with, Energy is preeminent. The direct impact and the indirect nexus that energy has withpossibly every other sector, including critical ones such as water, transport, and industry makes Energy one of the topmost priorities when addressing the Smart Cities Mission. Before implementation begins, this mission will benefit from cogent mechanism design, a definitional framework with well-defined standards and standardized systems that are suitably modified only to meet regional and local objectives or constraints.
This first stakeholder consultation would act as the preliminary step towards achieving this objective. This background paper seeks to be a ‘conversation starter’ around the idea of Sustainable Energy integration in Smart Cities and would kick-start wide consultations with stakeholders that would ultimately inform government policy towards a cogent cohesive implementation framework for executing the Smart Cities Mission.
Smart City Lab authors Conference Paper on ‘The Role of m2m+iot in Smart Cities of India’
February 19, 2015
India m2m + iot Forum is the most premium global platform for the machine-to-machine (m2m) and internet of things (iot) community and offers the best opportunity for learning, sharing, connecting, networking, branding and positioning with senior decision makers associated with machine-to-machine (m2m) and the internet of things (iot) world.
The conference will be held on February 19 and 20, 2015 at the Royal Plaza, New Delhi and aims at enriching the machine-to-machine (m2m) and internet of things (iot) ecosystem with market intelligence, technology trends, success stories and capacity building. It is a confluence of a variety of activities in the form of keynote sessions, panel discussions, technology showcase, dialogue and exchange forums - covering the vast gamut of technology, application, policy, use cases from across India and the world.
Dinesh Kapur and Ryan Christopher Sequeira of the Smart City Lab authored the Conference Paper titled 'Smart Cities in India - the role of m2m+iot'
Smart City Lab to present at Digital India Conclave
December 2, 2014
India Inc. along with FICCI, Invest India and Chase India is organising a Digital India Conclave, a series of online and offline activities pivoting around two roundtables in New Delhi and Washington DC. The conclave will bring together around 100 -150 key stakeholders across government/public sector, the private sector as well as other influencers such as think tanks, media and specialist experts.
The Digital India programme by India Inc. is a part of a strategic dialogue series. It involves key stakeholders and influencers who focus on the potential of India US collaboration around some of the key initiatives of the Indian Government. These programmes will be part of the India US Partnership Hub that was launched during Prime Minister Modi's visit to the US in Septmeber 2014.
This online- offline integrated 4 month programme will bring in perspectives and participation from senior policy decision makers in the Government and industry along with other key influencers around a discourse to achieve the following objectives:
Identify the challenges and opportunities in the Digital India initiative
Identifying synergies that can be created between industries and the Government to successfully implement the Digital India initiative.
Explore how the India US collaboration could help in achieving the Digital India vision
Involve key stakeholders and influencers in defining a roadmap that will lead towards a truly Digital India
Produce a series of online – offline activities to facilitate discourse culminating in a bespoke online publication.
Siddharth Pandit, Chair, Smart City Lab is to speak as a panelist in the session on “Digital India & Smart Cities” at the first conclave of the Digital India Programme on 5th December 2014 at Longchamp Hall, Hotel Taj Mansingh, New Delhi at 11 am.
Smart City Lab to present at NextGen City Jaipur
December 1, 2014
The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India and Governance Now is jointly organising the NextGen Cities Conclave in Jaipur on 4th December 2014 at the ITC Rajputana. The Conclave will be attended by key officials of the state government, various agencies, academia, industry and the media.
The NextGen Cities Conclave is a part of the series of capacity building conference on smart cities that Governance Now is organising across India. The Conclave will be attended by key officials of the state government, various agencies, academia, industry and the media.
Siddharth Pandit, Chair, Smart City Lab will speak on Integrated Urban Planning and Development on the session between 1445 and 1530 hours.