The Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED) of the Kochi Corporation has been adjudged winner of the innovative model for ‘urban governance’ instituted by the Union government’s Housing and Urban Development Corporation for recognising best practices to improve living environment.
The award for the 2019-20 fiscal was declared at a function held in New Delhi on Thursday.
“Standard Operating Procedures for Bus Transport – Post COVID-19 Lockdown” prepared as a part of Integrated and sustainable urban transport systems in smart cities (SMART-SUT), by GIZ India.
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Standard Operating Procedures for Bus Transport – Post COVID-19 Lockdown
The Kochi Municipal Corporation in association with the World Resources Institute India organized a ‘Mapathon’ in coordination with the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development, as part of the Cities4Forests project from 9 to 11 January, 2020 at St. Teresa’s College, Kochi to develop monitoring mechanism in Kochi and enhance community participation in restoration.
Kochi is the only city in the country to have been selected for the project last year. In the first phase of the project, councillors from the Corporation’s 74 divisions along with local experts participated in the mapathon which identified the current land use in the divisions using satellite images. The purpose of the mapathon is to establish baseline and assess the trends in tree cover and identify potential areas for restoration in the city. Buildings, green patches, open spaces, waterbodies and roads were also mapped by WRI in consultation with the councillors after which they identified the areas in their divisions where trees can be planted. The three-day exercise will result in a map that can suggest spaces in the city that are conducive to the growth of green patches.
In the second phase of the project, the Corporation will determine the implementation of the project and which trees are to be planted.
In cities, everything is closely connected. As cities and urban populations expand across the globe, the problems in cities also tend to multiply. Cities generate over 70% of global carbon dioxide emissions, while also providing a space for urgent (and tangible) climate action. The good news is that solutions can also multiply. And fortunately, solutions already exist today that have the potential to meet the demands of urban lifestyles, without exhausting the planet’s ecological capacity.
One Planet City Challenge (OPCC), earlier known as Earth Hour City Challenge, aims to mobilize action and support for cities to move towards a climate-friendly one-planet future, while inspiring cities to recognize their role to bridge the global GHG emissions reduction gap (between what was agreed within the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and what is needed to stay below 1.5°C, in particular before 2020). OPCC invites cities to: report their ambitious commitments and big win climate actions; express co-benefits their climate and sustainability actions provide (in relation to food, water and energy security challenges; and push for more ambitious actions.
Kochi is one amongst the many cities participating in the OPCC program. In this regard, the Kochi Municipal Corporation along with WWF and ICLEI – South Asia organised a stakeholders meeting and public event called ‘One Planet Cities Pedalathon’ to raise awareness and gather support from the citizens for adopting smarter and greener choices of commute.
The project is being coordinated by c-hed.
Fort Kochi is known as the cradle of Eurasian culture. It has a history of more than 500 years with an influence of both Indian and international cultures. Its vibrant history and culture makes it one of India’s major tourist hotspot. It has also been included under Kochi Smart City Project.
WRI India in collaboration with Kochi Municipal Corporation ,Cochin Smart Mission Limited and the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development is developing a framework for inclusive development of Fort Kochi. The plan aims to develop strategies for interconnectivity, walkability and accessible public spaces, and also focus on integrating multiple modes of transit.
In this regard, WRI organized a stakeholder consultation workshop to better understand the aspirations of the resident communities in Fort Kochi, map ongoing initiatives in the realm of public spaces and plan a roadmap for the sustainable development of the area. The main objective of the workshop was to engage stakeholders and representatives of the Fort Kochi area to idealize a vision and discuss opportunities that can be leveraged to make public spaces economically vibrant, socially inclusive and spatially interconnected. It will also focus on methods to provide safe and secure connectivity to multiple modes of transport.
The Kochi Municipal Corporation (KMC) had, in its Annual Budget 2018-19, announced a rather innovative project “Zero Carbon Buildings” , which it intends to implement by associating with World Resources Institute India (WRI India) to develop a roadmap and action plan for all buildings to achieve zero carbon potential for Kochi city. Kochi is both a solar city and smart city and therefore has a unique opportunity to initiate transition to ZCBs. Depending on the development path of Kochi, the vision of its planning agencies and development authorities, a roadmap for ZCBs will respond to local climate, building stock, markets and institutional capacities and the needs of its people. Priority actions to realize the ZCB vision and goals could include implementing enabling policies and regulations (e.g. mandates for buildings energy performance disclosure), adoption of technologies and design strategies (e.g. mandating application of passive design principles), incentives and financing mechanisms (e.g. risk mitigation instruments for ZCB projects) for creating viable markets for achieving zero carbon for the building stock of the city.
In this regard a kickoff workshop was organized on June 7th to initiate the road map development process for Kochi. The objectives of this workshop were:
- Communicate Kochi Municipal Corporation’s commitment towards achieving transition of all new buildings to ZCBs for Kochi city.
- Identify and engage a diverse set of stakeholders who are important in the preparation of the ZCB roadmap.
- Identify ZCB scope and definition and priority building typologies for the roadmap.
- Discuss project tasks, activities and timelines.
- Assess data availability and needs for development and implementation of roadmap actions.
- Establish a shared body of knowledge among stakeholders with different levels of technical expertise.
- Identify partners who are interested in assisting the city achieve ZCB vision.
The project is ongoing and is coordinated by c-hed for the city.
The city of Kochi has been invited to be part of new initiative – the Urban Pathways project that aims at action delivering on the New Urban Agenda in the context of the Paris Agreement by the UN Habitat. This is in continuation with the SOLUTIONs project (Sharing Opportunities for Low carbon Urban TransportationS) in which Kochi was a take-up city. In this regard, a preliminary meeting was held on 22nd of January , 2018 from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm at the Ernakulam Government Guest House. The meeting aimed at shaping the local activities of this new initiative to develop implementation concepts for low-carbon urban energy, mobility and waste management solutions. It also included discussions on specific implementation actions, planning, financing and governance strategies and discussions with Key stakeholders.
The Urban Pathways project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Environment (BMUB) under the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The project is jointly implemented by the UN – HABITAT, UN Environment and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Energy and Environment.
The project aims to work at an urban level in cities in Latin America, Africa and Asia to encourage the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Agreement in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project aims to assist cities in increasing their technical know-how through various capacity building activities and bring cities working on a common goal together through city twinning. The project aims to work on 3 major urban issues viz. Urban Mobility, Urban Resource Management, and Urban Energy.
Kochi is the only city selected in India as the pilot partner of the project .
Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the India and investing in cleaner air and doing even more to tackle air pollution are important priorities.
In order to bring air quality solutions to Kochi and tackle the growing problem of air pollution, the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (c-hed) with the support of Clean Air Asia and the Kochi Metro Rail Limited – organised a consultative multi-stakeholder meeting on Air Quality Solutions in Kochi that brought together officials from the Government, major research institutes and other stakeholders including medical practitioners to disuss an inclusive strategy for Air Quality Solution for Kochi.
The consultation held on Thursday, 7th December 2017 from 09.30 AM to 02:00 PM at The Gateway Hotel, was graced by the presence of the Hon’ble Mayor, Additional General Manager in Urban Transport of Kochi Metro Rail Limited city administration officials and other relevant stakeholders, who could take important steps to improve air quality in Kochi and who could also look into technology solutions for better air quality.