- The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
India is witnessing rapidly expanding urban centres with their increasing contribution to the national GDP. At the same time, cities are also overwhelmed by infrastructure deficits and inadequate provision of urban services like water supply, sewerage, solid waste management, energy access etc. In order to address these challenges, the Government of India launched several new urban schemes in 2015 - Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Housing for All (Urban) Scheme and the Smart Cities Mission. The schemes are intended to recast the urban landscape of the country enable some 500 cities to become livable, sustainable, smart and inclusive while driving the economic growth of the country. But India has some 8000 cities and the question remains how the cities that are not in the fortunate list of 500 develop a vision for their future and find innovative approaches for implementing the New Urban Agenda and achieving Sustainable Development Goals? What kind of capacities will cities and urban local bodies require? And what kind of public private partnerships and implementation mechanisms can be built?
This side event on 'Sustainable Urban Transformation: Challenges and Opportunities for India' is proposed at the World Urban Forum at an opportune policy juncture in India when 90 'winner' smart cities and various AMRUT cities are already in the process of implementation of their Smart City Proposals (SCPs) and Improvement Plans while the remaining cities are revising their proposals. The event would focus on ways and means to shape sustainable urbanization process in India, in line with the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda, in the 500 Mission cities and beyond. It would also discuss enablers for shifting from a project based approach to a knowledge sharing approach for building sustainable, smart and inclusive cities in India.