Category Archives: International Collaborations

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)

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.