Climate Smart Cities


India ranked seventh among the ten most affected countries by impacts of climate related extreme weather events (Global Climate Risk Index, 2021) and as the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG), the country accounts for about 7% of the global GHG emissions. Therefore, India is a critical actor when it comes to dealing with climate change related issues. 

Rapid urbanisation poses significant challenges for the development of urban infrastructure, basic services and housing in India. High economic growth rates go hand in hand with an increase in urban population and changing consumption and mobility patterns. It is projected that the urban population in India surpasses 50% by 2050. As a consequence, Indian cities are causing increasing GHG emissions and have started to play a key role for Indian climate change policies. However, local capacities for efficient implementation of urban climate strategies are limited. 

As a response to these challenges, the Government of India has introduced the ambitious Smart Cities Mission as part of a larger programme package for urban development in June 2015. Furthermore, following the Paris Agreements in 2014, India declared in their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to reduce the emission intensity by 33-35% compared to the 2005 levels by 2030. The development of climate resilient urban centres using the Smart Cities Mission.


Thematic Areas

MoHUA and GIZ jointly work on implementing the Government of India’s Smart City Mission, to optimize the national orientation framework and disseminate practice-proven approaches on sustainable urban development. 

Specifically, the Climate Smart Cities (CSC) project works with the three Smart Cities of Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore and Kochi and their respective state governments of Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. 

In consultation with these partner cities, five specific thematic areas were identified for on-ground interventions:

  • Construction and Demolition Waste
  • Green Buildings
  • Green Cover
  • Solid Waste Management
  • Storm Water Drainage Management


According to their most pressing challenges, the three partner cities chose on which sectors they would like to focus their efforts. Through the collaboration of various project partners, these measures aim at planning and implementing smart and climate-friendly solutions for infrastructure and area-based development as well as measuring & monitoring GHG emissions. 

The implementation of the CSC project has a three-level approach, with its field of action being focused on the city, state and national level: