Category Archives: International Collaborations

The city of Kochi is an important place of employment for migrant workers in Kerala. The migrant workers in any urban centre are often forced to live in unhygienic and unsafe conditions. The case to some extent in Kochi is the same. They are often denied the access to safe and fair accommodation in the city.

In this regard, the Kochi Municipal Corporation decided to prepare and implement a comprehensive plan to address the housing crisis of migrant workers in the city. With an aim to ensure that no one is left behind or homeless, the Kochi Municipal Corporation introduced ‘Rapid Response Policy Engagement – Affordable Rental Housing for Internal Migrant’ project in its annual Budget for the year 2021-22. The aim was to engage with relevant stakeholders to collectively devise a policy for ensuring access to affordable rental housing for internal migrants in Kochi. The project was spearheaded by the Kochi Municipal Corporation with the technical support of the University of Reading, United Kingdom and coordinated by the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (c-hed) in association with the Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development (CMID).

The policy document prepared as part of the project was presented to the Kochi Municipal Corporation on September 03, 2021 . Prof. Angelique Chettiparamb of Reading University handed over the policy document to Mayor Adv. M. Anilkumar. The function was attended by Deputy Mayor, various Standing Committee chairs, Councillors and Kochi Municipal Corporation officials.

Auto Ambulance service

An emergency service to cater to the needs of COVID patients, especially transport of COVID patients to hospitals, supply of medicines, oximeter, oxygen cylinder and thermometer and to patients houses, etc kick started yesterday in the city. Covid relief works have been on the radar for Kochi municipal corporation and C-HED has been providing backend support for the operations. The” Auto Ambulance ” service is initiated jointly by the Kochi Municipal Corporation (KMC) and Ernakulam Jilla Autorickshaw Drivers Cooperative Society Ltd. (EJADCS), supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH under the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is funded by the ‘SMART-SUT’ project, which is under the Green Urban Mobility Partnership between India and Germany. This initiative is coordinated and supported by the National Health Mission, Government of Kerala, The Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED) and Technovia Info Solutions. Pvt. Ltd. In this regard, a training program for 18 volunteering auto drivers and for supporting staff was carried out at the Ernakulam Town Hall. Safety kits (including PPE kits, masks, gloves, face shield) and medical equipment (like pulse Oximeter, infra-red thermo meter, portable oxygen cans) were also handed over to the team.

Policy Presentation- Rapid Response Policy Engagement – Affordable Rental Housing for Internal Migrants

The city of Kochi is an important place of employment for migrant workers in Kerala. Workers from Tamil Nadu have been living and working in the city for decades. In addition, workers from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and many more can be found in the city today. The migrant workers in any urban centre are often forced to live in unhygienic and unsafe conditions. The case to some extent in Kochi is the same. They are often denied the access to safe and fair accommodation in the city.

In this regard, the Kochi Municipal Corporation decided to prepare and implement a comprehensive plan to address the housing crisis of migrant workers in the city. With an aim to ensure that no one is left behind or homeless, the Kochi Municipal Corporation introduced ‘Rapid Response Policy Engagement – Affordable Rental Housing for Internal Migrant’ project in its annual Budget for the year 2021-22. The aim was to engage with relevant stakeholders to collectively devise a policy for ensuring access to affordable rental housing for internal migrants in Kochi. The project was spearheaded by the Kochi Municipal Corporation with the technical support of the University of Reading, United Kingdom and coordinated by the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (c-hed) in association with the Centre for Migration and Inclusive Development (CMID). As part of the project, a local stakeholder workshop and an online colloquium were conducted to gather suggestions from various stakeholders across the country on policy making.

In this regard, the Kochi Municipal Corporation has successfully prepared a draft policy document with the support of the technical team. The policy document was presented before the stakeholders under the aegis of the Hon’ble Mayor of Kochi on May 19, 2021. The online discussion was attended by various local and national stakeholders from across the country. Representatives from National Health Mission, Department of Town and Country Planning, GCDA, Kerala State Housing Board and GIZ also participated in the discussion.

International Urban Cooperation Project

Funded by the European Union, the International Urban Cooperation (IUC) programme activities will support the achievement of bilateral policy objectives as well as major international agreements on urban development and climate change, such as the Urban Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Agreement. The IUC programme will engage with major international financial institutions and partners to link city decision-makers with potential funders. 

Target countries include China, India, Japan, Canada, Mexico, USA, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru. For component 2, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region are included in the programme.

EU cities are paired up with peers from other regions facing related sustainable development challenges. Chosen cities will be supported to share knowledge and best practices on sustainable urban solutions. This will be achieved partly through the development of local action plans, which will outline activities and pilot projects to achieve tangible results. A knowledge-exchange platform has been established with resources and best practices on overcoming specific urban development barriers. 

In this regard, the city of Kochi , one amongst the 12 cities selected from India in the project, has been paired with the city of Vilnius, Lithuania. The first visit of the delegates from Kochi to Vilnius has completed. The team of officials from Vilnius, will visit the city of Kochi in the month of January, after which the areas of cooperation will be finalized.

The Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development is the nodal agency for the project in Kochi.

 
 
 
 

Visit of Hon’ble German Consul General Ms. Margit Hellwig-Bötte

German Consul General Ms. Margit Hellwig-Bötte met with the Mayor of Kochi Ms. Soumini Jain to discuss the Smart City Initiative. Germany is supporting Kochi in the Smart City project with the requisite technical and financial assistance. The Mayor and the Consul General agreed that “a city is smart when it improves the livelihood of the common man and woman!”scities_kochi

The Smart city intiative by German development bank KfW aims to connect the Kochi metro with the ferry metro and inland bus services. This integrated model of connecting the land and water projects can set an example for future smart city networks in Kochi. It will help to improve the lives of millions who spend a lot of time travelling making it an economical and environment friendly approach to the transport challenges in Kochi.

The visit was coordinated by the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (c-hed)