Guest Article: Making Delhi a low Carbon City

Delhi is a symbol of India’s growth story.  The footprints of Delhi’s growth are apparent in its heritage, morphology and ecology. During recent years Delhi had been dubbed as one of the most polluted cities in the world. Making Delhi a low carbon city is emerging as a major priority. This paper discusses about an integrated approach which needs to be adopted towards  urban planning, transport, natural resources, ecology and environment in making Delhi a low carbon city.

A.K. Jain
Guest Article: Addressing Biodiversity Conservation through Low Carbon Strategies in Urban Areas

India is a land of mega-biodiversity, encompassing diverse ecosystems, is facing a threat to climate change. There is an urgent need to address impacts of Climate Change, not only due to the physiographic and climatic diversity, but also because of economic disparity and the size of the population that would be effected. This paper analyses the current initiatives taken for addressing the climate change and biodiversity in India and also detailed out the Good Practices adopted in various countries.

Meenakshi Dhote and Neha Tripathi
Research Perspective for Low Carbon Cities-Decoding Urbanisation and GHG Emission in India

Global climate change is one of humanity’s greatest challenges; addressing it is key to our long-term well-being and the continued vitality of our societies. As a UN study reflects, the link between climate change and human settlements has already been established. Cities contribute to Climate Change and Cities are affected by Climate Change (UNCHS, 2011). Another authoritative research on the subject, shows that 50 largest world cities combined, rank 3rd in both population & greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and 2nd in GDP when compared with the largest and wealthiest countries. In addition, cities meet approximately 72% of their total energy demand from coal, oil, natural gas—the main contributors to GHGs and responsible for 80% of GHGs emissions (World Bank, 2010). All the above forms an essential base- the urban environment will determine the pace of global warming. The paper, through literature study and analysis of the Indian scenario, explores various research perspectives, gaps and issues in this interdisciplinary discourse.

Mahendra Sethi
Policy, Governance and Institutional Framework for Sustainable Urban Habitat and Climate Change in India; Assessment and Way Forward

It is now widely understood that there is a positive and significant relationship between urbanization and climate change and nearly 75 percent of green house gases are likely to be produced in urban areas. As a result urban areas are likely to experience problems of flooding and inundation, rising temperatures, decreased water supply and ground water table, increased pollution, increased disease burden and health costs and so on. This requires effective policy, governance and institutional mechanisms at national, state and city levels for addressing sustainable urban habitat and climate change issues. India has the second largest urban system in the world with an urban population of 377 million constituting around 31 percent as per Census 2011 and it is projected to increase to 50 percent by 2050. The policy, governance and institutional framework for urban areas in India in the past have not paid adequate attention to climate change and sustainable habitat issues. It was only after the synthesis report 2007 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the policy framework in India has focused its attention on climate change and habitat issues resulting in formulation of “National Action Plan on Climate Change” (NAPCC) and preparation of eight mission documents including the ‘national mission on sustainable habitat’ by the Ministry of Urban Development in 2008. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (2005), National Urban Sanitation Policy (2008) and National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy (2007) aimed at better management of urban habitat and encouraged states and cities to formulate similar policies. These policies are not holistic to deal with the issue of climate change and sustainable urban habitat. The governance and institutional arrangements for implementation of these policies at the state and city level are also weak and inadequate. The paper provides a broad review of the existing policies, identifies gaps in implementation, examines the adequacy of governance and institutional arrangements and suggests a broad way forward for sustainable urban habitat and mitigating and adapting climate change drawing from the observations of the UNHABIAT Global Report 2011 on Cities and Climate Change.

A. Narender
Climate Resilience Mainstreaming plan for the city of Gorakhpur city, India- A TERI-ACCCRN initiative

Urbanization as a process, and at its current pace, is posing new opportunities and challenges for growth and development of urban areas and regions in the country. These include acute gaps and constraints to address growing demands on infrastructure, services, housing, and other facilities. Additional threats like that of climate change are aggravating these issues. It is unequivocal that climate action would impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people in urban centers. There is a need to address current risks and to begin building climate resilience into urban fabrics and systems to likely future risks. This paper gives a discussion on one such initiative for mainstreaming urban climate resilience carried out in Gorakhpur city, India under the ACCCRN programme. 

Divya Sharma and Raina Singh
Transforming Cities with Transit- Transit and Land use Integration for Sustainable Urban Development

This study explores the complex process of transit and land-use integration in rapidly growing cities in developing countries. It first identifies barriers to and opportunities for effective coordination of the transport infrastructure and urban development. It then recommends a set of policies and implementation measures for overcoming these barriers and exploiting these opportunities.

Hiroaki Suzuki, Robert Cervero, Kanako Iuchi
State level Integrated Land use and Transportation Policy Framework aimed at Low Carbon and Sustainable Growth in Indian Cities

According to International Energy Agency (IEA), India was the fourth largest carbon-dioxide (CO2) emitter in the world after China, United States (U.S.) and European Union (E.U.) in 2011. Considering the accelerated economic growth dynamics in the Indian cities, the contribution of urban agglomerations to the overall carbon emissions is only going to increase in the coming years.

The Government of India has formulated the National Mission on Sustainable Habitat (NMSH) and The National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) as a part of its efforts to induce low carbon and sustainable urban growth. These policies together advocate integrated land use and transportation planning as a tool to reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions. However, there exists no policy to guide integrated land use and transportation in the cities or assist in future decision making in similar matters.

In this paper, we define a framework for such a state level integrated land use and transportation policy aimed at reducing GHGs and improving sustainable accessibility. The framework draws policy pointers from similar efforts globally. We then explore the barriers in implementing such a policy in the Indian context. We also identify existing schemes/programs that can support the implementation for such a policy. The paper concludes with a list of actions that would facilitate the implementation of an integrated land use and transportation policy in India. Whereas, such a framework is rather befitting for new developments, travel demand management policy frameworks can be better utilized to render existing developments less carbon intensive. However, the scope of this paper pertains to new development/growth.

Shabana Charaniya and Tarika Khanna
Pedestrian Accessibility Index (PAI) for Transit Stations: A Framework to Evaluate Pedestrian Accessibility to Public Transit

In an attempt to direct attention to pedestrians and their access to the core transportation support service-public transit, the study formulated a Pedestrian Accessibility Index (PAI) that helps in evaluating how well pedestrians can access transit nodes like bus or rail stops. Based on an extensive literature review, the study proposes an easily deplorable 27-point index covering aspects of accessibility, safety, security, comfort and convenience. This tool can be used by field surveyors, transit planners, and other planning agencies in India to evaluate transit nodes for pedestrian access.

The study then applied this index to two stations on the busiest line of the Delhi metro - Huda City Center and IFFCO Chowk. Huda City Center scored 12/27 pts and   IFFCO Chowk scored a little higher score of 14/27 points. This evaluation helped in identifying specific areas of improvement for these stations and suggested parameters to be considered when planning for new ones.

Dristi Neog
Smart City- A New Urban Form for Sustainable Development

A city is a hub of urbanisation and made up of environment, infrastructure, public space and information network. For Smart City to be sustainable, monitoring of public services, multi-model transport system, effective use of information & communication technology and smart mobility have to be ensured also for enhanced quality of people living there. Obviously, well managed Smart City would able to attract tourism and businesses for its enhanced sustainability and quality of life to the people of the city. India has been consistently working towards achieving competitiveness while moving towards a more sustainable urban development. The Indian initiative of ‘Smart Cities’ development  under Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project and Smart City-Kochi will thus be a set of focused efforts comprising of energy efficient land use planning, development of technology, transportation methods and urban utilities. This paper examines emergence of Smart City, its basic requirements, monitoring of various services for its sustainability and India initiatives towards this new form (smart city) of city planning.

Prem Narayan and Sharat C.Pillalamarri
Change in Land-use Pattern of East Kolkata Wetlands: Concern and Consequences

The natural gradient of the city of Kolkata is towards South-East and, therefore, the 12,500 hectare wide wetlands in the Eastern fringe of the city, popularly known as the East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW), are providing her a unique opportunity for natural treatment of waste water and flushing out of excess rain water. Through the algae-bacteria symbiosis process the waste water is getting converted into clean water, rich with nutrients congenial for fish production. However, since the development of Salt Lake Township and the construction of Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, the connectivity of EKW with the main city has improved and the pressure of urbanization is leading to conversion of some of the water bodies into urban settlements. This practice is disturbing the age-old eco-balance and the eco-system based livelihood in the area, creating big environmental threat for both the city of Kolkata as well as EKW. This paper identifies the mouzas of EKW where the maximum conversion to urban settlement has taken place, observes the relationship between the average size of water body, urban proximity and the pattern of land use change, establishes the importance of the level of (formal) educational attainment in reaping advantage of newly emerging urban vocations and discusses the role of social and regulatory bodies in creating awareness about the irreversible consequences of such land conversions.

Debanjana Dey, Sarmila Banerjee
A Preliminary Discussion on the Census 2011 Results

The transformation of a rural settlement into an urban one results in the emergence of a Census Town. In every Census, each State comes up with a list of new towns and also of declassified towns. In 2011 Census, West Bengal tops the list with more than 500 new Census towns against the figure of only 68 in the previous Census.  In the present paper, an attempt is made to find out the causes behind the emergence of such a large number of new towns in the state.

Mahalaya Chatterjee
Urban Bihar- Drafting an Agenda

Although a less urbanised State, urban Bihar is going to have a rich demographic dividend from its 7 million young population. Bihar too implemented most of the provisions of Seventy Fourth Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 (CAA). Following the Act, the State got all its 139 ULBs having an elected body. In pursuance of the aforesaid legislation and in the light of the reform agenda set by the Central government, several actions have been taken by the government of Bihar. Urban governments across the State are yet to assume a true form of Governance since entrusting of all civic functions to ULBs did not correspond with the provision of fund and functionaries. Besides an appalling ignorance of various statutes on the part of functionaries and elected representatives, political will to activate the ULBs is found to be utterly missing. The feeble municipal fiscal health compounded by the inadequate and irregular release of fund have crippled the ULBs. No perceptible community mobilization coupled with indiscriminate trespassing of municipal domain by parastatal agencies have pushed the matter from bad to worse. Given this background, the immediate interventions needed are: comprehensive and consistent municipal data base with regular updating, uniform organizational structure across classes of municipalities.

Binayak Choudhury
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