With the adoption of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) by the United Nations, cities are recognised at the global level as fundamental engines to achieve sustainable development. Thereby, integrated planning has been identified as one of the critical enabling conditions. In this regard, integrated urban development refers to the need for designing planning processes in a holistic way, for example by working across sectors and inter-departmentally. However, the majority of cities continues to plan and manage along sectoral lines which is also the case in India.
Rapid urbanisation is expected to intensify in India which is likely to result in half of the population living in cities by 2030. Cities are therefore facing complex challenges to provide the urban population with adequate living space and basic services such as water supply, sanitation, solid waste management and electricity. Necessary institutional and technical capacities as well as practical experiences to address these issues through sustainable urban development approaches are very limited at all governmental levels. The Government of India acknowledges these constraints and is willing to promote integrated planning and to strengthen the implementation role of states and cities.
In 2015, the governments of India and Germany jointly decided that Germany would support three selected states and cities, namely Bhubaneswar in Odisha, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and Kochi in Kerala in their efforts related to the Smart Cities Mission (SCM). The project Sustainable Urban Development – Smart Cities (SUD-SC) forms part of this overall endeavour and is implemented with technical support by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Based on a multi-level approach, national, state and municipal institutions are supported in the preparation of applied concepts for sustainable urban development with regard to the provision of urban basic services and housing in selected smart cities.
GOPA Infra and adelphi are mainly responsible for the strengthening of institutional and operational capacities in the aforementioned cities and states. The primary focus lies on pro-poor housing provision and basic municipal service delivery related to water supply, wastewater management and sanitation, urban drainage and solid waste management. Beyond training measures for state level institutes and urban local bodies (ULBs), project partners will assist with the development of infrastructure projects through advisory services along the whole life cycle, i.e. planning, procurement, implementation and monitoring. Particular emphasis will be placed on designing the projects in a way to obtain funding from national missions and international climate funds.