First City Level Dialogue in Rajkot as part of Capacity Building for Low Carbon and Climate Resilient City Development in India

A workshop on ‘First City Level Dialogue in Rajkot as part of Capacity Building for Low Carbon and Climate Resilient City Development in India’ was recently organised on the 6th of October in Rajkot city of Gujarat. The aim was to create an awareness on low carbon and climate resilient city development, provide an opportunity to know existing urbanisation challenges and its solution, and to capture and exchange knowledge under Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) supported ‘Capacity Building Project on Low Carbon and Climate Resilient City Development in India (CapaCITIES) Project’.

Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), with assistance from the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), has initiated the CapaCITIES project, being implemented by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, South Asia (ICLEI South Asia), South Pole Group and econcept AG, with the goal to achieve lower greenhouse gas emissions growth path for select cities and to increase their resilience to climate change.

The workshop was inaugurated by Ms. Marylaure Crettaz, Head of Swiss Cooperation Office and Counsellor, Embassy of Switzerland, in presence of Mr. Jaiman Upadhyay, Mayor, Rajkot Municipal Corporation; Mr. Banchhanidhi Pani, Municipal Commissioner, Rajkot Municipal Corporation; Mr. Emani Kumar, Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia and Mr. Anand Iyer, Chief Project Manager, NIUA. The workshop, bring together experts, policy makers, academic institutions and various stakeholders to deliberate on the key challenges and help in identifying viable solutions for city of Rajkot.

Around 60 people from diverse background took part in the workshop and provided their views on climate change related challenges and potential solutions for Rajkot city. The workshop offered a unique platform to discuss and highlight features of various initiatives already taken by Rajkot Municipal Corporation, financial and policy level implications, and led to a discussion on the potential of various mitigation and adaptation related interventions for Rajkot city in line with existing planning process of city.

“It is very impressive that lot of innovations have been taken by city government, particularly in affordable housing, wastewater and waste management, BRTS and centralised monitoring command and control center”, said by Ms. Crettaz.

She also explained various projects supported by SDC in India to tackle global issues like climate change, water and food security, energy efficiency and renewable energy, climate compatible development.

“Lot of ideas has been taken into action by Rajkot Muncipal Corporation like: cycle sharing, mass transportation and SCADA system (for water management), Various RE and EE measures, Smart Ghar 3 with support from SDC, Climate Action Planning under CapaCITIES project. By 2020 we target to reduce our Carbon Emission by 25%, for which we will dedicate all the required efforts,” said Dr. Upadhayay.

This was followed by a discussion on city climate action plan where Mr. Sinha presented and provided brief introduction of CapaCITIES project. He also explained present urban scenario and climate context, including climate resilient urban development. He also briefed on CapaCITIES project framework, project cities, various activities, planned outcomes.

Ms. Soumya Chaturvedula, Deputy Director, ICLEI South Asia presented on city climate action planning process for Rajkot city. She briefly explained Rajkot climate profile, climate methodology followed for Rajkot city, sectorial baseline analysis and proposed mitigation and adaptation measures in line with existing planning processes. She also explained Climate Adaptive Cities Planning tool, ICLEI-ACCCRN process including climate vulnerability assessment, Green Climate Cities tool and Climate Adaptive Cities Methodology. She also briefed on CapaCITIES intervention of installation of rooftop Solar PV and Energy Efficient appliances in EWS affordable housing scheme proposed for Rajkot city.