Urban Green Growth Strategies for India Cities

India has undergone unprecedented population growth and urbanization in the recent decades,
propelling the country to become the second largest urban system globally. With urban areas expected
to contribute to 75% of the country’s GDP and house 590 million of its people, emerging cities of India
are truly the engines of her future growth.

Local governments in particular, face a key challenge in ensuring that urban infrastructure and services
keep pace with this rapid urban transformation. There has been an increased focus on following a
responsible growth path which takes into consideration impacts on the environment while ensuring
optimum economic and social prosperity for urban dwellers.

In light of the recent thrust by Government of India on Smart Cities, ‘Urban Green Growth’ is a
very relevant but relatively new approach which integrates economic and social objectives with
environmental goals. ICLEI South Asia and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), with support
from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), have undertaken this project to enable Indian cities
to better understand the Green Growth process and communicate its potential benefits to India’s
urban growth story. To this end, the project entails developing a framework to pilot the Green Growth
approach in Indian cities. An assessment of ten tier-two Indian cities of geographically diverse regions
and compilation of fifteen good practices of urban India in the context of Green Growth Principles were
carried to test the applicability of the framework. The idea is to demonstrate the imperative of long
term integrated planning and investment that would yield multiple development benefits.

The project team would like to thank the local governments and the stakeholders in the cities for their
enthusiastic response and support. Going forward, we hope that the outcomes of this initial exercise
will help Indian cities to develop and implement the Green Growth theory and practice, to meet their
development objectives in a holistic manner. We also believe the analysis and recommendations would
be useful to design the national and state policies on smart cities.


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