28 March 2019

29 March 2019

Inaugural Session: Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Vice President of India

Address by Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu

Electric Mobility Forum: Accelerating EV Adoption

India is currently the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world and the transport sector accounts for 13 percent of India’s energy related CO2 emissions. In addition, transport is also a major contributor to air pollution in urban areas. This is a serious issue for Indian cities, and at present, India has 15 of the most polluted cities in the world. If commutes are cleaner, it will reduce GHG emissions and air pollution. It will also improve public health, as commute accounts for a significant proportion for exposure to pollutants than any other activity.There is a growing belief that electric vehicles (EVs) offer a solution. India has made some bold commitments for growing EVs but getting to these targets will require a serious push from all stakeholders. It is important to come up with creative solutions that are scalable, adoptable, replicable, and feasible. The Electric Mobility Forum will facilitate a platform to bring together various stakeholders so that the country can electrify and decarbonize its transport.

Vision Zero: Scaling Road Safety in India

India accounts for only 2 percent of global motor vehicles, yet it contributes to over 12 percent of global road traffic deaths. Around 150,000 people lose their lives on India’s roads every year, making them some of the most dangerous in the world. The conservation about road safety revolves around legislative changes while at local level its mostly about educating the users. Two big missing pieces in the road safety debate in India are involvement of the states and looking at comprehensive approach. Haryana has launched Haryana Vision Zero campaign by bringing together leadership of state government along with the concept of safe systems approach. The government of Punjab is now taking to the next level though the Punjab Vision Zero campaign. Therefore, learning from such state level initiatives can greatly influence safety in the country.

Inspiring Innovation for Urban Transformation

India’s urban population is expected to double in the next two years, but 75% of the infrastructure required to serve this population is yet to be built. City officials across India are having to find alternative, innovative ways to stretch their limited budgets to meet infrastructure and service provision needs. To aid this, there is a growing ecosystem of domestic start-ups that are developing solutions aimed at managing urban water, waste, energy and mobility. Solutions these companies offer range from supply-side efficiencies such as better materials or efficient equipment, to demand-side management like monitoring and IT-enabled solutions. This session will bring together government officials, private investors and other stakeholders to discuss varied pathways to use innovation to accelerate sustainability, resource efficiency and service delivery in cities, particularly through new technologies like AI and Internet of Things, and alternate methods to overcome public process hurdles towards accessing markets and scaling. The session will also discuss ways in which to ensure that solutions that are coming from the innovation ecosystem are inclusive.

Air Quality Analytics: Motivating, Sustaining, and Scaling Air Quality Management

This session will be divided into two parts. The first part of the session will focus on “Operational Air Quality Analytics”. Session will have mix of representatives from public sector and impact investors. The second part will focus on discussions around launching of large-scale chemical monitoring and expand data initiatives for awareness building to contribute to science of analytics with representation from others working in the field.

Plenary: Shri Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry

Address by Shri Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India

Safer Buses for Safer Transit

Bus safety in urban areas is typically given less importance, partly due to the assumption that urban travel on larger vehicles is safer compared to other modes. WRI India has been working with Indian public bus companies on improving the quality and safety of city bus systems. This session will focus on the issue of safety in the face of declining ridership across bus systems in most major cities in the country. The issue of bus safety is extraordinarily complex. City bus service providers usually focus on measures and interventions that focus on the safety of passengers while they are inside the vehicles. However, crash records show a disproportionately higher number of fatalities amongst pedestrians and motorcyclists. Therefore, it is important to address safety at different levels, which has the potential to improve the quality and appeal of buses and thereby increase ridership and reduce congestion. The discussions will explore the issue of infrastructure gaps while making connections between different modes namely, bus to bus, bus to metro and bus to intercity bus.

Unlocking Finance for Sustainable Infrastructure in Indian Cities

Entrepreneurs have exposure to a variety of financing sources. This session will be a technical discussion on infrastructure financing, comparative financial models and how to manage financial and business risks specifically for sustainable technologies, including challenges and opportunities around banking, innovative financing schemes, donors, venture capitalists. The session will also look at ways in which entrepreneurs and smaller solution providers can successfully engage on public private partnerships.

Accelerating Innovation in Smart Cities

The Smart Cities Mission has a goal of improving the quality of life of citizens and attracting people and investments to the Cities. This, in turn, would set in motion a virtuous cycle of growth and development. Through the Smart Cities Mission, the Indian government is looking to support city developments powered by technology that will help boost efficiency and effectiveness in governance, infrastructure and service provisioning. One of the key features of Smart Cities, as described by the Mission, is the application of Smart Solutions to infrastructure and services to make them better- more resource-efficient, less vulnerable to disaster, cheaper, etc. To aid this, this session will see TheCityFix Labs cohort of startups with solutions in water, waste and energy management, pitch to high level officials from Smart Cities for opportunities to pilot.

Furthering Public Private Partnerships in Affordable Housing

Part one of this session will bring together stakeholders across government agencies, private developers, transaction advisory agencies, civil society, and academia to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the affordable housing sector. Housing provisions in rapidly urbanising Indian cities particularly for the economically weaker sections and urban poor have remained sluggish. Through the Housing for All 2022 initiative, the Government of India has encouraged private developers to enter the affordable housing segment via PPP models. However, several constraints exist, and the interest of private developers continues to be limited and the need for affordable housing vast. The session will focus on the inherent benefits, risks, and bottlenecks associated with public-private partnerships (PPPs) in affordable housing and what are the solutions moving forward.

Catalysing Innovation in Affordable Housing Solutions

Will focus on the recent Global Housing Technology Challenge India organised by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs aimed at leveraging the scale of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) for effecting a paradigm shift in the construction and operationalisation of affordable urban housing in the country. The panel will discuss the affordable housing segment and the key challenges that innovators in this sector need to understand and in which domains do they typically need mentorship (business model/ team building/ finance/ operations/ marketing).

Engage: Connecting Big Ideas to Action WRI India Talk Series and Dinner

Join us to listen to four inspiring stories of taking ideas to action that is making our country more liveable and sustainable. Each story will be followed by a short QnA session.

Bus Karo 14: Innovations in Scaling Public Transport

Indian bus systems have advanced in the past few years with support from the Central and State Governments. The bus sector has witnessed remarkable growth in bus numbers, improved bus service quality, intelligent transport systems, new financing models and induction of electric buses. Despite this, the public transport demand-supply gap is widening and bus agencies continue to face challenges towards operating electric buses. As the demand for public transport will increase further, it is important that systematic steps are taken at the state-level to develop robust bus systems in the long-term and ensure the adoption of cleaner systems. It is also valuable for the bus agencies to leverage innovative solutions offered by mobility start-ups to transform the bus systems. WRI India through its ‘Bus Karo’ platform works to improve bus services in India by providing technical capacity building support and sharing best practices in the field of public transport. This session will focus on the need, procedure, and enabling regulatory and financial reforms for developing state-level roadmaps for establishing efficient bus systems, as well as mechanisms through which public bus agencies and mobility start-ups can work together to create innovative solutions aimed at augmenting the quality of bus systems.

Managing Suburbanisation - the Future of India’s Urbanisation

WRI's flagship World Resources Report on ‘Upward and Outward Growth’ will be presented which highlights the nature and challenges of city expansion in the Global South. Further a presentation on the spatial characteristics of growth in the top 20 cities of India (by population) and its complexities will follow by WRI India, with a focus on Delhi and Bengaluru. The trend of ‘Metropolitanisation’ of urbanization is found to be strengthening in India, with 1/3rd of urban Indians living in the top twenty urban agglomerations of the country occupying only 1/8th of the urbanized land area. Peripheries of larger cities are expanding rapidly and are often characterized by the presence of urban villages, informal settlements, revenue layouts, exclusive gated communities, and high-tech and other emerging manufacturing industries coming up in unplanned, un-serviced and inequitable ways.

Inclusion and Equity in the Transition to Zero Carbon Buildings

How will Indian cities prepare for national and global calls for action on carbon neutral buildings, low emissions free transportation systems, reduced water consumption and efficient resource use? Some Indian cities have recognized the benefits of sustainability and are changing the ways in which they plan, build and retrofit and incentivize low carbon technologies. However, policies, schemes, financing, incentives and awareness about low C technologies for buildings sector continue to target high income consumers. A recent WRI report described the adoption of rooftop solar only by the very rich. Information on energy efficient appliances (barring LEDs) and their adoption has not touched low income groups. How can low C technologies in the built environment, contributing eventually to carbon neutral buildings, enter poor and low-income homes? Can the transition be an opportunity to build resilience of poor and vulnerable communities?Then there is the issue of costs associated with the transition to low carbon or zero carbon buildings which can be better absorbed by some households and businesses than poor vulnerable communities. Cities must engage vulnerable communities in the dialogue on sustainable buildings, protecting them from the ‘’burden’’ of the transition and making them the beneficiaries.Taking the case of carbon neutral/zero carbon buildings, the panel will deliberate, the role of all stakeholders in rising up to the challenge of restructuring, reorganizing and rethinking ways in which we build, ensuring that the transition benefits all and doesn’t adversely impact the poor and vulnerable communities.

Last Mile: Connected and Integrated Transport

Part 1: What are commuters looking for and how can cities provide for it? Commuting preferences are based on different parameters. Travel time, cost, ease of access to metro, safety and security are a few factors. The STAMP program has always looked at enabling multimodal commuting with the metro as the central spine- understanding the needs of the commuters and how these modal choices are made becomes the foundation to shape this strategy. To understand this better, the STAMP survey has been conducted with metro commuters over multiple stations across 2 cities and the findings will be presented in this session and form a background for the panel discussion. The findings of the survey will help shed some light on the way commuters structure their decisions and the finer nuances of commuting challenges being faced. The discussions in the light of the learnings with city agencies and mobility solution providers, will help highlight insights on how integrated city transportation services can be modeled so that they provide for commuting needs of everyone.Part 2: Pitch session for Kochi Data Innovation Challenge finalists.

Advancing Climate Action in States and Cities

Climate change requires action from the international arena to the local scale. Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions involves a range of sectors – like energy, transport, industry, and waste. Adapting to climate impacts is inextricably linked with poverty reduction and development goals – across sectors like agriculture, water, health, education, energy, and sanitation. States and cities in India are already taking steps to measure their greenhouse gas emissions, mainstream adaptation into development, and implement climate action across sectors and scales. As state governments embark on the process of revising their State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCCs), sharing experiences and learning about the right kind of data, tools, methods, and case studies can help them advance climate action and contribute to India’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) goals. This session will focus on:How can data be collected and used more effectively to plan sub-national climate action? How can action by states and cities contribute to India’s NDC goals? What are the development benefits of climate action on jobs, health, air, and water? How can adaptation be effectively integrated into development programmes?What are the key gaps in governance and institutional capacity at the sub-national scale and how can these be overcome?What best practices, pilots, and case studies can Indian states and cities learn from each other and from other countries?

The CityFix Labs: Leveraging Private Capital for Sustainable Development in Cities (by invitation)

This session brings India’s leading impact investors together to deliberate on the next big innovations set to change the face of the country. The key discussion points at the Investors session will include how to approach funding/investment, business model feedback, capacity and potential for pilots, product/ solution modifications and consumer acceptance. This session is by invite only and is geared towards TheCityFix Labs cohort.

The CityFix Labs: Scaling Innovations in the Public Sector (by invitation)

This session will entail a dialogue on how to scale and adapt solutions in line with the requirements of central government policy and regulations and other Urban Local Bodies. TheCityFix Labs cohort comprising of 10 enterprises from water, waste and energy sectors will pitch to the Chief Engineers, Secondary Engineers, Planners and other heads and officials from government agencies under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). This session is by invite only and is geared towards TheCityFix Labs cohort.

Adaptation & Cities (With Global Commission on Adaptation)

This session focuses on bringing experts and thought leaders to deliberate and discuss over the challenges and opportunities of prioritizing climate adaptation in the context of cities on the premises of launch of a flagship report to be released at the UN Climate Summit in September 2019; also extending support in the process of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Global Commission on Adaptation launched in October 2018 is comprised of global representatives and commissioners that will oversee the development of the report. The report will comprise of papers on the seven identified themes, one of which is Cities. The focus is on a vision for scaling transformative adaptation solutions and prioritizing adaptation from local to global level. The session will serve as platform to garner feedback on the paper on Cities and reflect on its strategic importance for policy makers, academics, practitioners, and local champions.

Plenary: Shri Kailash Gahlot, Minister of Transport, Delhi Government

Address by Shri Kailash Gahlot, Minister of Transport, Delhi Government

Inspiring, Enabling and Mobilising Cities4Forests Initiative in India

In India, the current proportion of urban population is 31 percent and it is projected to double in the next 25 to 30 years. Past experience has shown that unplanned urban expansion leads to unsustainable production and consumption patterns and overexploitation of natural resources in and around urban areas.Achieving the SDG targets require supporting a landscape approach to restoration that can inspire, enable, mobilise a restoration movement in the urban and peri urban areas for its, inner, nearby and faraway forests, with careful attention to the underpinning enabling conditions, as sustainability of interventions is contingent on it. Achieving these targets is crucial, as forest and tree cover provide multiple regulatory, cultural and provisioning services for cities and its population. World Resources Institute (WRI) recently launched Cities4Forests, a new voluntary coalition of 52 cities involving mayors’ offices— and supported by other subnational agencies such as public water utilities and offices of sustainability— from around the world. Cities4Forests seeks to catalyse political, social, and economic support among city governments and urban residents to integrate forests into city development plans and programs. Globally, there are currently 52 cities members’ of Cities4Forests, including Kochi, in India. As India develops its strategies to fulfil its SDGs and NDC commitments, as well as domestic environmental and development goals, Cities4Forest alliance provides an opportunity to protect, maintain, and increase forest and tree cover in peri-urban and urban areas to inspire a movement around restoration for inner, nearby and faraway forests.This session would discuss: The challenges and opportunities, that urban and peri-urban areas are facing in India which is a barrier to developing a strong bond between forests and its population for inner, nearby and faraway forests.The knowledge gaps that are barrier for cities to prioritize and integrate principles of protecting and increasing forest and tree cover in planning for sustainable urban development. The current institutional framework of urban governance and development and opportunities to synergise urban and rural development using a landscape approach. Innovative participatory approaches, that could catalyse a movement on protecting and increasing forest and tree cover in urban and peri-urban areas.

Urban Agenda Roundtable

Fundamental urban issues are rarely part of the political discourse. While every candidate is besieged by demands to fix the roads or provide water supply, the root causes—weak policy, broken planning and structural issues—underlying the daily problems of voters are too often marginalized. What changes do people want in their cities? For those changes to happen, what do candidates need to be pushed to think about? Citizen Matters, an independent news media platform focused on cities and citizens, invites you to the Urban Agenda Roundtable at Connect Karo. Citizens activists, journalists, urban experts, officials and political representative are part of the conversation on urban issues.

Creating Cities for Children

With the signing of the Brasilia Declaration by India in 2015, road safety got prioritised at the national level, followed by the state-led initiatives like Haryana Vision Zero furthering the agenda. As the nation moves towards reducing road traffic fatalities, there is no clear definition of the age-group that would benefit from the traditional road safety interventions.The World Health Organization estimates that globally every day 224 children lose their lives in road traffic crashes. A report by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways released in 2017 estimates 25 children die on Indian roads every day. While every life counts, losing so many young ones to an avoidable catastrophe is not only devastating for families, but also a great loss to the nation. Cities across the globe have started acknowledging the need to prioritise the safety of our children over general road safety. This session aims to bring the issue safer roads for children to the forefront of road safety deliberations. The discussion in this session will pivot around the need to prioritise child road safety, global best practices in creating safer roads for children, initiatives taken in the country at the national and sub-national levels, the way forward and anticipated challenges.