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Sustainable Cities India Program


Sustainable Cities India Program: Relevance

  • GS 3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Sustainable Cities India Program: Context

  • Recently, World Economic Forum and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) has signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to collaborate on a jointly designed ‘Sustainable Cities India program’.


Sustainable Cities India Program

  • It aims to create an enabling environment for cities to generate decarbonization solutions across the energy, transport, and the built environment sectors.
  • This initiative is particularly noteworthy as it comes after India’s commitment to turn net zero by 2070 as a climate mitigation response at COP26.
  • The ‘Sustainable Cities India program’ intends to enable cities to decarbonize in a systematic and sustainable way that will reduce emissions and deliver resilient and equitable urban ecosystems.
  • The Forum and NIUA will adapt the Forum’s City Sprint process and Toolbox of Solutions for decarbonization in the context of five to seven Indian cities across two years.
  • City Sprints will help to jumpstart and/or accelerate net zero planning and action.
  • The City Sprint process uses the Toolbox of Solutions – a digital platform containing over 200 examples of clean electrification, efficiency and smart infrastructure best practices and case studies across buildings, energy systems and mobility from over 110 cities around the world.
  • The City Sprint process will also enable cities to run pilot solutions and, based on findings, India will be able contribute 10 to 40 best practice case studies which will be integrated into the Toolbox of Solutions and showcased across the world.


Sustainable Cities India Program_40.1


Sustainable Cities India Program: Significance

  • As per the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2022, densely populated countries that are highly dependent on agriculture, such as India, are especially vulnerable to climate insecurity.
  • Decarbonization in cities is a real opportunity to keep global warming well below 2°C and cities in India can make an enormous contribution in reaching this goal.


About Net Zero Carbon Cities

  • The World Economic Forum’s Net Zero Carbon Cities’ mission is to create an enabling environment for clean electrification and circularity, resulting in urban decarbonization and resilience.
  • The program aims to do this by fostering public-private collaboration to bridge the gap across the energy, built environment and transport sectors.


Sustainable Cities India Program_50.1


About NIUA

  • Established in 1976, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is India’s leading national think tank on urban planning and development.
  • As a hub for the generation and dissemination of cutting-edge research in the urban sector, NIUA seeks to provide innovative solutions to address the challenges of a fast urbanizing India, and pave the way for more inclusive and sustainable cities of the future.


India and the Decarbonising Transport initiative

  • Government has announced various measures to achieve the objective of Decarbonization of economy. Some of them are
    • Adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).
    • Switching to renewable based energy.
    • Social security schemes like UJJWALA.
    • Promotion of walking, cycling and public transport.
    • Vehicle Scrappage Policy to stop plying of the older vehicles on road.


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