According to the Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, ‘urbanisation is the engine of growth, which is critical for a country to prosper and cater to the requirements of the people’. Presently, urban areas in India contribute to more than 65% to the GDP and by 2050 it will be more than 80%.
Understanding the need of the hour and acknowledging the challenges associated with such kind of an incremental growth, the Honorable Prime Minister of India released multiple programs including Swachh Bharat Mission or Housing for All. He had a vision of rapid transformation, which India is experiencing now.
Under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Transformation (AMRUT) 500 cities which comprise of nearly 65% of urban population are being provided with infrastructure development. The massive program of nearly INR 78,000 Crore (USD 11,314,680,000) budget and projects worth INR 72,000 Crores (USD 10,444,320,000) are focused on improved water supply and sewer development. Changing all water pumps to energy efficient pumps and changing all street lights to LED lights is one of the components under the Mission.
The ‘Smart Cities’ programme will showcase how a planned development through retrofitting and redevelopment will look like. 100 cities have been already selected and the activities adopted in the smart cities is a reflection of the aspirations of the people.
The Ministry of Housing and Ministry of Urban Development is convinced that the Nexus/Integrated approach, once understood and applied, can help India achieve its ambitious goals.
The “Urban Nexus Training and Training of Trainers Workshops” were conducted in New Delhi on July 31st and August 1st, 2018 in the framework of the GIZ “Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus” project financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and organized jointly with the Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI South Asia), and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).
It was attended by different stakeholders, about 65 participants representing national ministries and agencies, city level agencies as well as training institutes (Administrative Training Institutes “ATI”). Subsequently 35 of those participants also attended the training of trainers’ workshop.
At the beginning of the workshop India’s major challenges -Municipal Solid Waste Management, Air Pollution, Water and Waste Water Management, and Housing for All- were analyzed. Later participants were provided with analytic tools to scrutinize their respective urban challenge, with a focus on inter- and intra- institutional cooperation both vertically and horizontally. “Design Thinking” was used as method to inspire new and surprising forms of creative teamwork through an interdisciplinary approach.
Participants learned how to identify stakeholders and pursue synergies between sectors, jurisdictions and technical domains, how to increase institutional performance, optimize services quality and contribute to greater resource efficiency in the context of a circular economy. Moreover, participants learned how integrated planning helps to avoid poorly coordinated investments and underutilized infrastructure, as well as the relevance of cities for global agendas.
During the Training of Trainers workshop the participants learned how to improve their training skills or how to become successful trainers themselves.
The participants had positive feedback on both parts of the workshops and expressed that the new perspectives and skills gained are of great value for their daily work. Participants from training institutions expressed their intention of conducting the Urban Nexus training for their respective clients which are mainly public organizations of India.
The workshop marks the start of cooperation between the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, NIUA, ATI’s and the GIZ Urban Nexus Project, hence strengthening and building up new partnerships for the mutual benefit of cooperation achieving ecological, social and economic sustainability in India.