Sustainable Cities India Program


    In News

    • Recently, the World Economic Forum and the National Institute of Urban Affairs signed a MoU to collaborate on a jointly designed ‘Sustainable Cities India program’.


    • The aim of the Collaboration is to create an enabling environment for cities to generate decarbonization solutions across the energy, transport, and the built environment sectors.
    • This initiative is particularly noteworthy as it comes after the Prime Minister stated India’s commitment to turn net zero by 2070 as a climate mitigation response at COP26.

    Sustainable Cities India program

    • Decarbonization of cities: 
      • It intends to enable cities to decarbonize in a systematic and sustainable way that will reduce emissions and deliver resilient and equitable urban ecosystems. 
    • Forum’s City Sprint process:
      • The Forum and NIUA will adapt the Forum’s City Sprint process and Toolbox of Solutions for decarbonization in the context of five to seven Indian cities across two years
      • The City Sprint process is a series of multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder workshops involving business, government, and civil society leaders to enable decarbonization, especially through clean electrification and circularity. 
    • Expected outcome: 
      • The outcome of the workshop series will be a shortlist of relevant policies and business models, which not only reduce emissions but also maximise System Value, such as improved air quality or job creation. 
      • City Sprints will help to jumpstart and/or accelerate net zero planning and action. 
      • The City Sprint process will also enable cities to run pilot solutions and, based on findings, India will be able contribute 10 to 40 best practice case studies which will be integrated into the Toolbox of Solutions and showcased across the world.
    • Toolbox of Solutions:
      • It is a digital platform containing over 200 examples of clean electrification, efficiency and smart infrastructure best practices and case studies across buildings, energy systems and mobility from over 110 cities around the world. 



    • It will help Indian Cities Meet Net Zero Goals.
    • Sustainable Cities India program will create an enabling environment for Indian cities to decarbonize to achieve greater climate resilience.
    • By product will be improved air quality.
    • More jobs will be created in the process.
    • Clean and efficient energy transition will take place.


    Challenges in Urban India in making Smart Cities

    Image Courtesy: WEF 



    • This partnership between NIUA and WEF is an important step towards that direction. 
    • This collaboration will help cities in India and cities globally to learn from one another and drive action towards sustainable development and climate resilience.

    Image Courtesy: WEF 


    About Net Zero Carbon Cities

    • The World Economic Forum’s Net Zero Carbon Cities’ mission is to create an enabling environment for clean electrification and circularity, resulting in urban decarbonization and resilience. 
    • The program aims to do this by fostering public-private collaboration to bridge the gap across the energy, built environment and transport sectors.


    About NIUA

    • Established in 1976, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is India’s leading national think tank on urban planning and development. 
    • As a hub for the generation and dissemination of cutting-edge research in the urban sector, NIUA seeks to provide innovative solutions to address the challenges of a fast urbanising India, and pave the way for more inclusive and sustainable cities of the future.

    Sources: PIB