Home >News >India >Centre launches initiatives for cities to combat climate change
Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri launched the two challenges.  (PTI)
Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri launched the two challenges. (PTI)

Centre launches initiatives for cities to combat climate change

  • Puri also launched the streets for people challenge, which seeks to make cities more pedestrian friendly

NEW DELHI: Union minister for housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday launched the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF) 2.0, which looks to provide a clear roadmap for cities towards combating climate change.

Puri also launched the Streets for People Challenge, which seeks to make cities more pedestrian friendly. This comes at a time when the extended lockdown and social distancing norms have spurred an interest among people for cycling to work.

“The launch of these initiatives today aims to address urban challenges in two of the key areas -- climate change and livability," Puri said.

The climate assessment comes as the last decade has seen an increase in the frequency of cyclones, floods, heat waves, water scarcity and drought-like conditions. Also, over the last couple of years there has been an increase in incidents of water scarcity, droughts and cyclones across many cities in the country.

He said it is estimated that climate change will impact India's GDP by 2-6% on an annual basis, which means that our future development goals and investments will also be severely affected if we do not address climate risks now.

“This year we plan to take the assessment and support to beyond our 100 smart cities in India. The idea is to handhold, support and facilitate Indian Cities to build on their current initiatives and mainstream climate resilience in the ongoing urban development activities to future-proof our investments and meet sustainable development goals," Puri said.

The framework has 28 indicators across five categories -- energy and green buildings, urban planning, green cover & biodiversity, mobility and air quality, water management and waste management. The Climate Centre for Cities under National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is supporting the ministry to implement this initiative.

Experts say the assessment framework will support cities in planning and managing measures to address climate change.

"Given the population density of most of Indian cities it is important that urban challenges in terms of climate change risks and related disaster situations are identified, assessed and mitigation measures planned. The framework addressed aspects of environment and resource sustainability across the water management, waste management, air quality, energy and green cover & bio diversity," Anindya Mallick, Partner, Deloitte India said.

The street for people challenge aims to plan for pedestrian-friendly market spaces and will support cities across the country to develop a unified vision of streets for people in consultation with stakeholders and citizens.

“The covid-19 pandemic has also presented the need for physical distancing while moving through the city and accessing essential services. Cities around the world have responded by transforming streets for walking and cycling to ensure safe mobility. Cities will be required to reimagine their streets as public spaces through the lens of economic regeneration, safety, and child-friendly interventions, to ensure a green recovery from Covid-19," Puri said.

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