Category Archives: International Collaborations

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)

Twin City Programme between Kochi and Menlo Park

Kochi, the home of Startup Village, Infopark and upcoming Smart City signed a MoU with the US City, Menlo Park. A 3 member delegation led by the Mayor of Menlo Park Catherine Carlton along Mr. Ray Mueller, Menlo Park City Council Member and Mukul Agarwal, Bootup Ventures Managing Partner visited Kochi City as part of the twin city programme.It is the first twin city agreement between Menlo Park and any Indian city, and it aims to create a bridge between Silicon Valley and the emerging Silicon Coast in Kerala.


One of the objectives of the twin city agreement is to promote sharing of talent and ideas in the technology sector, thus boosting employment opportunities in both the countries. The agreement would establish a year of cultural exchange during which the two cities will create a framework to encourage interactions between their citizens. Through this collaboration, Kochi will be able to get to the global stage and emerge as a key player in the telecom-technology sector and also aim to boost Landing Pad, a project supported by the Kerala Government at the Silicon Valley.


The project is being coordinated by c-hed for the Kochi Municipal Corporation.

Solutions Project (Sharing Opportunities for Low carbon Urban Transporation)

The UN-Habitat supported European Union funded SOLUTIONS (Sharing Opportunities for Low carbon Urban transporTatION) is one of the major ongoing project of Cochin City. The project aims to support the exchange on innovative and green urban mobility solutions between cities from Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean. The project also focuses on the uptake of innovative and green urban mobility solutions across the world through dialogues and exchanges.

Cochin is one of the take-up cities and has been 1teamed-up with the City of Hangzhou (China) with ICLEI as the take-up Coach. As a next step towards this project, a team led by the Project Manager of SOLUTIONS, Oliver Lah, visited Cochin and interacted with the officials and other stakeholders.  The project is progressing and is coordinated by c-hed for Cochin.

The project is being coordinated by c-hed for the Kochi Municipal Corporation.

AsianCitiesAdapt : Learning Exchange


Twenty cities from all around South Asia came together in Cochin on October 30th, 2013 to learn from each other on the issue of adaptation to climate change at the AsianCitiesAdapt: Learning Exchange, co-organized by Kochi Municipal Corporation and ICLEI South Asia.

DSC_0056The workshop, that took place on 30th-31st October 2013, gathered an impressive line-up of high level local representatives from India, the Philippines, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal, who discussed solutions on how cities can adapt to climate change, together with climate experts and other practitioners from India, Southeast Asia and Europe.

Dignitaries included Mayor Maizan Ali Manik, Male city (Maldives); Mayor Zulfikar Ali, Mongla and Mayor Shamim Al Razi, Singra (Bangladesh) and Deputy Mayor Tikender S Panwar, from Shimla (India).

DSC_0348The workshop, a forerunner to the closure of the project “AsianCitiesAdapt – Impacts of Climate Change in Target Cities in India and the Philippines and Local Adaptation Strategies” – brought together science, policy and practice to help four cities in India (Howrah, Madurai,Vishakapatnam and Kochi) and four cities in the Philippines (Baguio, Dagupan, San Fernando, Tuguegarao) take the first steps towards developing an appropriate adaptation strategy.

The entire programme was coordinated by c-hed for the Kochi Municipal Corporation.

Preservation and Conservation of Heritage Zones of the city of Cochin in association with UNESCO

The city of Cochin and it surrounding locations has now become an important tourism destination because of its rich natural and cultural heritage. The Fort Cochin and Mattanchery placed right at the sea mouth has experienced immense trade related activities and has developed a rich pluralistic culture and tradition unique to this heritage zone. This is visible in the heritage of this area. fk3

However, with rapid urbanization and development of the city, the conditions of both environment and heritage has become more and more critical.

The c-hed has associated with UNESCO as a part of their planning effort, to conserve, protect and sustain the heritage sensitive area of the city. A detailed project report in this regard is already prepared and efforts are on to move ahead with the initial stages of this association.



Association with Indian Heritage Cities Network (IHCN-F)

Culture and Heritage play an important role in the sustainable development of the city. More emphasis is being laid on the conservation of cultural heritage assets, promotion of intangible heritage as the resource for achieving development objectives and protecting the natural and cultural heritage.

The city of Cochin is affluent in heritage and culture  and efforts are on to preserve and identify the heritage zone for the urban. The c-hed has been associating with Indian Heritage Cities Network Foundation (IHCN-F) to explore the possibilities of conserving the social and cultural heritage of Cochin with support from the French city of Lorient.

The foundation formed to foster and support heritage-based development in cities across India by developing and disseminating best practices, has been acting as a catalyst for the conservation and preservation of Fort Cochin-Mattanchery Heritage Zone.

As a forerunner of this association, a three day workshop is being organized by c-hed from April 17th, 2013 to April 19th, 2013.

Milwaukee Sister City Program

Although Cochin is surrounded by water, the city is still facing scarcity of clean drinking water. With Cochin’s population rising along with rapid urbanization, it is indeed an immediate priority for the city to develop the water infrastructure and management capabilities.

The city of Milwaukee of Mahattil, in this regard, has a well-established fresh water management system, which has paved way for a Sister City association with Cochin. Apart from being the largest cities in their respective states, both the cities share several attributes such as an active maritime port, distinguished educational institutions and diverse community, in addition to the great natural beauty each holds.

With an endeavor to establish a vibrant sister city relation between Milwaukee and Cochin city, letters of consent were exchanged between the cities and c-hed has been coordinating this program which is in its initial stages.

Association with Cardiff City

The c-hed had coordinated the entire CLGF project between the Cardiff City and the Cochin City with an aim to strengthen Cochin’s corporate governance and leadership capacity by developing a strategic policy framework which in turn was supported by increased technical expertise in service delivery.  cardiff

The partnership agreement between Cardiff Council and the Kochi Municipal Corporation was initiated during the first scoping visit to Cochin in September 2006 by officers from Cardiff Council. 

This visit provided the opportunity for discussions between Cardiff Officers and the Mayor of Cochin, the Secretary of the Kochi Municipal Corporation, key elected members and Cochin’s Project Manager in relation to key issues facing the city and the agreement around priority areas for collaboration. It also enabled a greater understanding of Cardiff’s expertise and experience of regeneration and governance models and also further discussion and confirmation of the priority areas for collaboration.