India has seen rapid urbanisation in recent times, its urban population growing from 286 million in 2001 to 377 million in 2011, constituting 31.16% of the country’s population. This is expected to reach 590 million by 2030, contributing 70% to the country’s GDP. According to a report, by 2030 India will have 6 mega cities with a population of 10 million or more, 13 cities with 4 million people each, and 68 cities with population of over 1 million each.
With the demographic boom in cities in India showing strong and irreversible trends in urbanisation, cities are now contributing to over 65% of the country’s GDP of India, and are playing a major part in the economic development. However, cities are all bursting at the seams, with major deficiencies in urban infrastructure, citizen’s services, as well as governance mechanism.
This gargantuan growth of urban population is throwing up challenges and opportunities in the housing and infrastructure sectors for the central, state and local/ city governments, as well as private industry.
Municipalika has been instrumental in highlighting pertinent issues revolving around these challenges and opportunities, sharing best and leading practices, evolving technological and managerial solutions, and providing inputs for policy interventions.
Municipalika 2014- the 12th International Conference & Exhibition on Emerging Trends in Sustainable Habitat & Integrated Cities was held at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar from 13th to 15th November 2014. It had the participation of over 1200 delegates including 25 Mayors, 20 Municipal Commissioners, Secretaries from 24 states and 7 countries and Urban Planners and various cities, besides, professionals, technology providers and other stake holders including civil society groups. Municipalika 2014 was organised alongwith CAPEx, the trade show focusing on Construction, Architecture, Planning and Engineering to deliberate on sustainable built environment and good urban governance.
Municipalika 2014, was inaugurated by M Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India, and presided over by Anandiben Patel, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat, the Host State, in the presence of Dr Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN Habitat, and a galaxy of dignitaries, thought leaders, experts and urban stakeholders.
In his Inaugural Address, M Venkaiah Naidu referred to the significant initiatives taken by Government of India, Swachh Bharat Mission for providing 100% sanitation, clean and hygienic cities by 2019. He gave a clarion call for Jan Andolan for making it a people’s movement for participative initiatives towards total sanitation. Considering the major challenges in housing in cities as well as provision of shelter for slum-dwellers, Naidu outlined the provisions for housing for all by 2022, through the 30 million urban homes with predominant thrust on weaker sections and low income group. He called for optimisation of all resources - land, finance, building materials and technologies - for the speedy construction of affordable homes. Considering the phenomenal thrust on economic development, he highlighted the lead being given by Government of India, for the development of 100 smart cities in the country, in order to modernise and make them internationally competitive. He also referred to the efforts being done for upgrading and retrofitting the existing facilities as well as to provide new integrated smart and green cities. In this context, the historical relevance of many old cities and the need to have a strong conservation of heritage identities of cities was emphasised. He exhorted the need for major capacity building efforts for changing the mindscape of governance mechanism for ensuring timely and efficient services to the citizens. The role of e-governance and IT applications comes into sharp focus, he stressed.
In her Keynote Address, Anandiben Patel referred to the many proactive steps taken by the Government of Gujarat for overcoming the challenges faced by urbanisation. She highlighted the efforts for launching Mahatma Gandhi Swachhta Mission to make zero waste cities. The efforts for total sanitation under Nirmal Gujarat, was also indicated. The Hon’ble Chief Minister shared the progress under Mukhyamantri Gruh Yojna to provide affordable housing for all with all social amenities. She also referred with satisfaction decision and efforts for hosting Municipalika + CAPEx 2014 as it provided a unique platform for sharing best practices in all sectors in housing and urban development.
Dr Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN Habitat, in his opening statement referred to the two flagship initiatives – the World Urban Campaign & I’m a City Changer dedicated to improve the urban future. He laid special stress on dealing with the problems of slum settlements, improving the living conditions of slum-dwellers and providing them with the regulatory framework for citizen’s participation, incorporating design issues in the built environment, and integrating urban poverty alleviation issues with employment generation.
Highlighting the role of the private sector in the creation of the infrastructure development, Zubin Irani, President of UTC Building & Industrial Systems indicated that this would cover latest technological advancements for buildings, infrastructure, financial resources, operations and maintenance. He conveyed the great sense of anticipation and excitement in the industry on the Government’s new initiatives, and assured full support of the private sector, matching measure-for-measure the government’s initiatives, especially in urban infrastructure development.
Luminaries present on the dais included Shankarbhai Chaudhari, Hon’ble Minister of State for Urban Housing, Government of Gujarat; G R Aloria, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development and Urban Housing Department, Government of Gujarat; Mona Khandhar, Secretary, Housing and Nirmal Gujarat; Sanjiv Agarwal, Founder Trustee, Good Governance India Foundation & Editor-Publisher of Urban News Digest, and V Suresh, Advi sor & Convenor, Municipalika.
Municipalika 2014 gets outstanding response from urban stakeholders
Municipalika 2014 was organised with the active support of Government of India, Ministry of Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Host State Government of Gujarat, and under the patronage of UN-Habitat, as well as other state, national and international urban stakeholder institutions.
Municipalika 2014 was bigger in scope and participation than earlier years. Along with the two Indian Ministries, state governments like Rajasthan, Kar nataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Odisha, Chhattis garh, Assam, Tamil Nadu and of course Host State Gujarat were represented in a big way, along with participation from 15 other states. Canada and Switzerland were the Partner Countries offering sustainable urban infrastructure development solutions. United Technologies continued its support in 2014 as an Associate Partner for Municipalika, and for the Urban Innovation Challenge competition. Rolta India, Tata Motors and Mahindra were the Featured Exhibitors, along with 100 others, with products, services and solutions for smart, safe, healthy, green, and inclusive cities and sustainable built environment. Visitors had free entry into the exhibition on all three days.
Over 1,200 delegates from 250+ cities of India and abroad, comprising Ministers, Secretaries to State Governments, Mayors, Municipal Commissioners, City Managers, Town Planners, Architects, Engineers, Urban Transport Specialists, E-Governance Experts, Urban Utility Managers, Private Sector and Citizens Groups participated in Municipalika.
Municipalika Conference Segment had 10 power-packed sessions spread over three days.
DAY 1 CS 01: Progressive and Working Cities Reforms and Financial Management, New Urban Mission and Best Practices, Land-use Planning, Launch of 100 New Cities
CS 02: Safe and Resilient Cities Disaster Mitigation and Management, Fire Safety and Protection, Anti-terror capabilities, Homeland Security, Gender sensitive and child-friendly cities, Policing and Community based Security Support Systems, Flood Relief
CS 03: Vibrant Cities (Heritage Issues) Conservation of Heritage Zones, Linking Heritage Buildings and Precincts as City Tourism, Heritage Walk, Capacity Buildings for Heritage
DAY 2 CS 04: Healthy Cities (Integrated Water Management) Water Supply, Treatment and Distribution, 24×7 Water Supply, Metering, Reduction of T&D losses, Water Conservation, Rainwater Harvesting, Aquifer Recharging, Sanitation for All by 2019, Waste Water Treatment options, Waste Water Recycling and Reuse, Cleaning of Rivers & Water Bodies
CS 05: Healthy Cities (Integrated Solid Waste Management) Collection, Segregation and Transport of Solid Waste, Recycling – esp Building Materials, Plastics and E-waste, Waste to-Energy, Hygienic and Safe Sanitary Landfills, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan 2019 / Mahatma Gandhi Swachhta Mission
CS 06: Green Cities Low Carbon, Energy-Efficient, Sustain able Built Environment and Communities – Sustainable Development options, Passive Designs for Energy Efficiency, Active Design and Application for Energy Efficiency, Use of Renewable Energy, Solar Cities
CS 07: Connected Cities Sustainable Urban Transportation, Traffic Management & Networked Cities – Paradigm Shift in Urban Mobility with Effective Public Transportation, Transit Oriented Development, MRT, BRT, LRT, Non-Motorised options, Walkability, Transport and Traffic Infrastructure, Parking
DAY 3 CS 08: Inclusive & Humane Cities Housing for all by 2022, Slum-less Cities, Optimisation of Resources for Land, Building Materials and Technology, Finance, Delivery System through Partnership options, Financing options - Mortgage & Project Financing, PPP & Non-government Initiatives, Land Markets and Property Rights
CS 09 : Smart Cities Next Level E-Governance Solutions for City Level Services, Geo-Spatial Technologies, GIS-GPS Applications, Retro Fitting
CS 10: Integrated Cities and New Vision Integrated, Self-Contained Cities, New Town Development, Twin Cities, Satellite Cities.
Municipalika 2014 was organised with CAPEx, the trade show focused on Construction, Architecture, Planning and Engineering to deliberate on sustainable built environment and good urban governance. At Municipalika 2014, the national and international experts and though leaders had gathered to answer how do we plan, design, build and maintain sustainable built environment?
CAPEx also had 4 Technical Sessions:
TS 01 – Innovative Building Materials and Technologies for Building and Infrastructure Applications – Walling & Roofing options, Innovative use of Industrial Waste like fly ash, Structural systems including composite materials, Doors, Windows, Shutters & Fenestration options, Water Proofing and Damp Proofing options, Flooring and External Hardscapes, Build Materials and Products’ Super Market / Malls/ Retail outlets – a la Home Stores
TS 02 – Techno-legal regime for acceptance of new products and approval systems including Standards, Testing & Certification – Strengthening Testing and Validation Facilities for Quality Assurance
TS 03 – Green Building Technologies and Products – Thermal Efficient products for Walling, Roofing, Energy-Efficient Fenestrations, Energy-saving Star Products for Building Services, Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Products, Environment Friendly and Functional Paints and Surface Treatments for various situations, Building Automation & Smart Buildings
TS 04 – Modern Construction Systems, Practices and Technologies – Fast Track Construction Solutions, Prefabricated and Precast Construction in Building and Infrastructure, Innovative Construction Practices using Modern Form works and Reducing Slab Cycle, Composite Steel – Concrete Construction, Modern Developments in High Strength Concrete Construction, Underground Buried Utilities and infrastructure and NO DIG and Tunnel Boring Technologies, Cost Effective Housing and Building Technologies, Water Saving and Conservation Products, Low-flow Fittings, Fixtures and Equipments
Three Vision Addresses on the vision of Future Cities and the nature of innovative changes needed for futuristic needs of growing cities were delivered by Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat; Mr Arun Bhatia, Director of UTC Carrier India and Mr Bruce Lazenby, President & CEO of Invest Ottawa.
As part of participatory city development, a special Open House interactive session with Mayors, Municipal Commissioners, City Managers, members of the Resident Welfare Associations, Community-based organisations, NGOs, urban planning, architecture students and civil society members was organised among those who govern and those who are governed. The idea was to help frame a larger participative process for Clean India.
From the deliberations of the conference sessions, the following major points of observations and areas of recommendations emerged:
– The agenda for creating clean Cities with total sanitation as part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan was considered the most important intervention for changing the landscape of the country.
– The conference noted that in addition to the policy support from Government of India, State and Local Governments, the programme can be successful only with the full participative involvement of the citizens. To that extent it has to be made a people’s movement and Jan Andolan has to be launched has to be created.
– Community toilets, socially, culturally acceptable, appropriate, affordable and indigenous need to be encouraged.
– The technology and financing options for total sanitation should take in to account the scale and size of cities and provision of sanitary options with safe disposal systems.
– In addition the major thrust has to be on cleanliness in the cites through integrated solid waste management options for Door-to- Door collection, segregation, transportation, treatment and safe disposal. De-centralised options are preferable. Utmost efforts should be made for converting the waste to composed, refuse derived fuel and energy though various technology options.
– Considering the major challenges in housing in cities as well as provision of shelter for slum-dwellers, under Housing for all by 2022, through the 30 million urban homes the predominant thrust has to be on weaker sections and low-income group and through optimisations of all resources, land, finance, building materials and technologies, for the speedy construction of affordable homes.
– For this Government at the centre, state and local level has to create an enabling environment to get participation of all stakeholders and remove bottle necks and support with additional resources on land, finance, infrastructure and building materials.
– As part of the slum development strategy, in addition to efforts for providing adequate and affordable shelter and basic services equal attention should be given for poverty alleviation, job creation and skill development.
– Inclusive planning to provide for the marginalised, poor and disadvantaged is a major message for future city planning – include the Master Plan for Slum free housing in the CDP.
– Needs of Homeless people and pavement Dwellers have to be addressed through Rain Baseras or Night shelters with basic amenities and facilities.
– The potential of land as a resource has to be fully tapped for enhancing the resource base as well as providing equitable and inclusive solutions benefiting all groups.
– Considering the limited availability of land there is sufficient scope to increase FAR/FSI including innovative TDR commensurate with infrastructure addition.
– Keeping in view the limited land and high costs, low rise high delivery development has become necessary. The safety aspects from all points of view have to be kept in view and the building bye laws and enforcement have to take care of the same.
– With a view to bring vibrancy in and conserve the traditional and historical importance of cities there is pressing need to conserve the present built environment and heritage along with new developments. Cultural past is the pillar for future growth and the soul of the city has to be preserved and nurtured by respecting the natural elements of growth.
– All efficient water management system including waste water recycling has to be introduced compulsorily and revive traditional systems and also involve communities to deal with the present crisis. Water demand management with reduced fresh water demand of 90 lpcd as against 135 lpcd and use of treated waste water has become a necessity. Water conservation techniques to be implemented in all building projects to bring in 35 to 40% water savings. Rainwater harvesting and aquifer recharging has to be made compulsory.
– Disaster mitigation and preparation to deal with natural and manmade disaster has to be one of the major thrust areas that require attention at the local body level. Most of the cities are ill-prepared. City Disaster Management plans should be prepared and the multi-disciplinary team are fully coordinated to get into operational gear when disaster strikes. Assessing / documenting the natural capital within cities including preparation geo referenced maps, emergency map plans etc. are some of the implementations. Proactive Pre-Disaster Mitigation efforts should be given priority than reactive post disaster response.
– Keeping in view the large scale automobile revolution in cities, there is urgent need to encourage and strengthen public transportation modes and using less polluting and energy efficient public transportation modes. Mobility management including strategies to avoid / address crowding / congestion need to be addressed on a priority basis including the pedestrian and disadvantaged section movement needs attention.
– Considering the larger impact of global warming and climate change, there is a major need to adopt, technologies and practices, which will contribute to creating, environment friendly, ecologically appropriate and energy efficient and saving and built environment. A major attitudinal change of mind, body, heart and soul is needed in this connection – a paradigm shift. The need for creation of “integrated green cities” has clearly emerged for which all encouragement should be green.
– With a view to promote 100 Smart Cities (upgradation of brown field cities and creation of green field cities) an integrated and holistic approach is needed to bring in the smart elements in all infrastructure and built environment components as well as in the operation, management and service delivery for the city development needs with 24×7 service life.
– Modern tools of GIS/GPS and Remote Sensing to be utilized for city based information system and properties, natural resources and planning for development and infrastructure both above and below grounds.
– E-Governance to be given top priority for transparency, information sharing, provision of services to the citizens in user friendly and efficient manner – taking service delivery to the door steps of the people.
– The initiatives for Public-Private-People’s Partnership (PPPP) to be encouraged for housing and infrastructure initiatives for all groups.
– There is an imperative need to strengthen local bodies through capacity building at the level of mayors, councellors, city managers, service providers to deal with the multi-dimensional development needs to make cities work. Appropriate training modules suiting each group have to be evolved. The need for Urban Services Regulator is also been one of the recommendations.
– The intense potential and needs for galvanising the people’s participation through CBO/NGO has come into sharp focus for partnership development and active citizen’s participation.
– Professionalism and transparency of functions is required for efficient city management through capacity building programme.
– Culture is changing fast and there is an imminent need to adapt to new realities and plan policies accordingly with cities adopting new technologies and skill sets to execute them. Possible flexibility needed for diverse regional needs. Building positive relationships among all stakeholders and the capacity building of the key actors is a priority.
– There is a need to augment the existing knowledge systems, technical and financial resources base in small cities and towns along with attending the un-sustainability issues in mega cities.
– In order to achieve long term sustainability, there should be focus on strengthening local processes and local relationships.
Last year, Municipalika launched Urban Innovation Challenge, a design competition for professional students of architecture, urban planning and engineering. This year the response among students and professionals on the competition was tremendous and 15 winners were selected on the themes of ‘Smart Cities and Green Buildings’. The winner students were given GGIF-Municipalika Urban Innovation Awards 2014. A special issue of Urban News Digest, the Official Publication of Municipalika, was released on the occasion.
Also released was a special IGBC publication, “Model Building Byelaws for Sustainable Development of Built Environment in Cities” – a guiding document for revamping building byelaws Development control Rules and Planning Standards of Urban Local Bodies / Planning Authorities.
The Founder Trustee of Good Governance India Foundation and the Publisher of Urban News Digest, Sanjiv Agarwal stressed upon the need for free and fair land markets to usher in sustainable urban development. A book authored by him titled “The Indian Federalist” was also officially released. It highlights the original design of the Indian Constitution that favoured free market of lands and fundamental property rights, as willed by the founding fathers.
The event witnessed outstanding participation from all stake holders dealing with urban development, management and governance contributing to creating sustainable and inclusive cities leading to Safe, Healthy, Green and Smart Cities resulting in Building Vibrant Cities.
For more information, please visit event website www.municipalika.com