Climate Smart Cities

The dynamic urbanisation in India poses significant challenges for the development of urban infrastructure. High economic growth rates go hand in hand with an increase of urban population and changing consumption and mobility patterns. Indian cities are causing increasing GHG emissions and have started playing a crucial role for Indian climate change policy. 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, India has 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 is a major contribution to this mitigation strategy. 

The Climate Smart Cities (CSC) project is being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) jointly with the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India. The CSC project is funded under the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of BMU and contributes to the New Urban Agenda (Habitat III) as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 11 and SDG 13.

The project aims at anchoring climate-friendly solutions for urban infrastructure projects and area-based development in the planning and implementation of projects under the Smart Cities-Programme of the Government of India.  

The project provides advisory services a) to cities and states for the implementation of resource-efficient and climate-friendly measures for infrastructure and area-based development b) for complementary capacity development activities as well as c) for networking and learning formats for exchange of practical experiences. Furthermore, the project will support the Indo-German political dialogue on urbanisation and the international exchange of experiences on urban climate strategies. 

The project advises cities for the sustainable implementation of concrete measures, relevant to climate mitigation. 

It enhances the competences of staff regarding climate-relevant aspects of urban development. It also contributes to organisational development by developing and institutionalizing monitoring systems for measuring mitigation.  

Simultaneously the project advises the national government as well as selected states in their climate-relevant national urban policies that provide cities with technical and financial incentives and the necessary framework through respective funding programmes. The supported local measures will be upscaled through the implementation of the Smart Cities Mission and will be integrated in the future national urban policies of the Government of India. 

The project contributes to the attainment of national mitigation and climate goals and the urban Sustainable Development Goals. Especially to SDG 11.6: that is targeted to reduce, till 2030, the per capita environment impact of cities, especially in the field of air quality and solid waste management and SDG 11.9: till 2020, to increase the number of cities that implement integrated policies and plans for more resource efficiency and mitigation and adaptation to climate change as well as disaster resilience. SDG 13 (Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning; Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning)

The project also targets decision makers in institutions at national and sub-national level responsible for the development and implementation of integrated climate-friendly urban development measures. At national level the project supports institutions of the Smart Cities Mission (MoHUA, National Institute of Urban Affairs – NIUA, etc.) to implement urban development missions in a result-oriented manner and to make climate relevant impacts of these programmes visible for the public, Indian decision makers and the international political community. Another important target group of the project are the inhabitants of Indian cities that will benefit from the successful implementation of climate friendly solutions in the Smart Cities Mission leading to healthier and more sustainable living conditions.