The Kochi Corporation has prepared a local biodiversity strategy and action plan which sets 29 goals for the city to achieve on biodiversity conservation by 2025. The city is the first in the country to develop a ‘scientifically informed and participatory’ action plan, according to Mayor Soumini Jain’s message in the plan.
The plan was readied as part of the Integrated Subnational Action for Biodiversity (Interact-Bio) project being implemented in the city by the civic administration’s Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED), which is collaborating with ICLEI-South Asia. The plan is meant to function as a tool that the local government can use to take action related to the conservation of biodiversity and climate resilience. It identifies nine focus areas including islands, lakes, agriculture, green and open spaces, inland waterbodies, marshes and mangroves, and seashore and sandbars. The 29 goals under these focus areas include mapping of agricultural land, identification of new cultivable land, conservation of paddy fields, transitioning to a low emission city and protecting green spaces.
Actions to be taken include setting up decentralised sewage treatment plants, developing a geo-referenced map of inland waterbodies, establishing a special purpose vehicle for management of the Vembanad Lake and sea-wall construction using eco-friendly methods like setting up mangrove nurseries.
Kochi Municipal Corporation (KMC), with the support and cooperation of GIZ India, under the “Sustainable Urban Development – Smart Cities” (SUD-SC) project, has launched the ‘EnteKochi-Competition’ – a novel approach to a national-level ‘Urban Design Competition’ (UDC), that aims to jointly ‘design the future city’ of Kochi. Multi-disciplinary teams of professionals from diverse backgrounds (Social Sciences, Humanities, Ecology & Environmental Sciences, Spatial Planning, Architecture, Urban design and allied fields) participated in the competition. EnteKochi Competition jury met virtually in September 2020 and selected the Winning Entries of the EnteKochi Urban Design Competition. Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (c-hed) coordinated the event on behalf of Kochi Municipal corporation.
The 3 winning teams of the EnteKochi Urban Design Competition will now have the opportunity to jointly develop the detailed plans in a participatory manner for implementation in EnteKochi (My Kochi) in close cooperation with the organizers – the Kochi Municipal Corporation and GIZ India.
Mobilise Your City (MYC) project, an initiative of the Union Government to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions related to urban transport. Kochi is one of the cities selected for the MYC project. Urban Mass Transport Company (UMTC) has been entrusted with the task of implementing the project in Kochi.
Under the MYC programme, the Corporation is planning to construct a 2.5-km-long corridor between North and South railway stations in Ernakulam and thereby decongest MG Road and Chittoor Road. As part of the green corridor project (North – South corridor), a detailed analysis of the stretch was done and the result of the same was presented before the Hon’ble Mayor by the consultants. The meeting was attended by Sri. P.M Harris, Works Committee Chairman, Councillors, Mr.Nithin Norbert, Railway Division Manager, Mr. Dennis Jose, UMTC and the representatives from c-hed.
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.
The Summer Winter School Program of The Premier Habitat University of India , CEPT for 2019 begins in Kochi. This year the program focuses on Smart and Sustainable Urban Development – Experiences from Kochi, India and Frankfurt, Germany with more than 26 CEPT university Masters students and Town planning officials participating in the same. The week long (Dec 1-7, 2019) program will allow students to interact with key officials, policy makers and major stakeholders of the city to understand the various sustainable initiatives and urban practices in Kochi in terms of affordable housing, urban infrastructure services, urban mobility, public spaces, participatory planning and cultural heritage management. The program is being supported by the German International Development Agency (GIZ) in association with the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development .
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India is implementing a project named ‘Climate Smart Cities’ in Kochi city which is commissioned by Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The project is implemented by GIZ. The project is aimed to develop climate-friendly solutions for urban infrastructure projects and area-based development as well as the measuring and monitoring of the GHG emissions.
The main focus of the project is to mitigation and adaptation to climate change as well as disaster resilience by 2020, promote selected climate-relevant solutions for urban infrastructure and increase the capacity of cities and regional institutes contributing to reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, develop a concept for an MRV system to document and evaluate the long term envisaged mitigation impact of the measures supported in the three partner cities, disseminate German and international experiences for including climate aspects into Smart City projects through a networking platform and experience exchanges in between Indian smart cities and training institutes.
c-hed is coordinating the project for the city and the programme is ongoing.
A two day capacity building workshop on sustainable urban freight management in Kochi in association with ICLEI South Asia and Kochi Metro Rail Limited, on 7th and 8th June 2019. The focus of the capacity-building workshop was to prioritize strategies that promote goods transportation with minimal impacts on air quality, noise, health and fatalities and injuries, besides reducing traffic congestion and GHG emissions.
More than 175 stakeholders such as government officials and representatives of central and state government agencies, private stakeholders, freight lorry associations and trade, industry and research organizations, attended the workshop. In the workshop, National and international freight experts presented sector-specific learning and strategies, as well as good practices from developed and developing countries. Besides technical presentations, there was brainstorming on sustainable urban freight management strategies in Kochi.
As part of the International Urban Cooperation Program funded by the European Union, a five member delegation from Vilnius, Lithuania led by the head of the urban development department, Mr. Mindaugas Pakalnis, visited Kochi to meet various stakeholders within Kochi Municipal Corporation, Kochi Smart City and other parastatal agencies involved in various urban development related activities in the city. The basic objective of the visit and meeting with diverse set of stakeholders was to understand, analyse and learn the baseline scenarios related to solid waste management, policies on climate change and an assessment of the current
institutional framework in the city. After a series of discussions it was finalised that the two cities would cooperate on three major areas: Solid waste management, transport and tourism.
Earlier, a team from Kochi led by the Hon’ble Deputy Mayor, had visited Vilnius. The exchange was as part of the City to city cooperation under the IUC Programme.
c-hed is coordinating the project for the city and the programme is ongoing.
The Kochi Solar City Cell has launched an energy survey at Chullickal division of the Kochi Municipal Corporation. The survey kick started on 24/1/2019 with the support and help of 30 students from the Department of Commerce, Cochin College.
The survey aims to identify the possibility of installing solar panels at residential buildings, finding the energy efficiency of the buildings and propose measures for achieving energy efficiency.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India had launched a scheme on “Development of Solar Cities”. Under this scheme Kochi was selected as one among the 60 cities to be supported for development as “Solar/ Green Cities”. The council of the Kochi Municipal Corporation had assigned the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development(c-hed), an institution under the Kochi Municipal Corporation, the task of functioning as the Solar City Cell. As part of the cell’s campaigning activities, the Kochi solar city cell had conducted a poster designing competition with the theme “My vision of Kochi as a Clean Energy City” for the students in the grades 8, 9 and 10 in September 2018. Around 60 posters which showcased the creative visions of the young minds on the theme of the competition were received. The first six students with the best posters were awarded at the Council hall of the Kochi Municipal Corporation in presence of all the council members. Honorable Mayor gave away the certificates and trophies to the winners. The winners were – First: Nived Prem (TocH Public School), Second: Savvy Thomas (TocH Public School) Third: Angel Lizbeth (TocH Public School), Consolation: Pooja V Shenoy (Bhavans Vidhya Mandhir), Gayatri B Nair (Chinmaya Vidhyalaya), Shreya Shibu (Bhavans Vidhya Mandhir).