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Blog Posts: sustainable cities initiative

  • From Bogota to Belgrade, Cities Commit to Energy-Efficient Buildings

    This blog post was originally published on TheCityFix

    Around the world, urban leaders including university presidents, renowned architects, city mayors and financial managers are recognizing the need to manage explosive energy demand growth from rapid urbanization. But changing business-as-usual development is not an easy task.

    Today, 12 new cities are committing to accelerate their efforts in making buildings more energy efficient by joining the...

  • Announcing the New Mobility Accelerator 2016 Cohort

    Technology has revolutionised daily commutes by providing increasingly efficient transport options in Indian cities. Young and dynamic entrepreneurs are deploying technology-bases solutions to offer more convenient, comfortable, and reliable commutes. For example, ridesharing and similar apps have changed the way people in cities like Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai commute.

    Earlier this year, WRI India Sustainable Cities launched the New Mobility Accelerator 2016, offering new and innovative early-stage shared mobility businesses an...

  • Delhi’s Diet Plan

    This article was originally published by the Indian Express.

    At the very least, the odd-even policy will initiate a conversation on car use.

    Kudos to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and all others in the Delhi government responsible for announcing a car-restriction programme. It is great to see city leaders realise that private vehicles cannot solve its mobility problem and start a diet programme. Even London needed 30 years of debate before a visionary mayor, Ken Livingstone, put in...

  • COP 21: An Opportunity to Put Cities Squarely on the Climate Agenda

    This blog post originally appeared on Insights.

    We cannot curb the effects of climate change without building, managing and living in our cities differently. And finally, the world is starting to realize this.

    Historically, discussions on climate policy have largely portrayed cities as the source of problems, painting them as major polluters and areas of intensive resource consumption. The conventional wisdom was—and partially still is—that national governments were...

  • That Dingy Bus Stop is Hindering India’s Progress - An Economic Case for Safe Public Transport

    Women account for 48.5% of the general population of India, but only constitute about 31% of the total work force in the country. You may think that this corresponds with what you know about the status of women in India. But, a deeper look at the trends, would shock you.

    Shocking trends

    First, as our economy grows, fewer women are joining the workforce. In fact, women’s workforce participation rate fell by almost 12 percentage points in six years (i.e., from...

  • Don’t Miss the Bus, Delhi

    This blog originally appeared in The Hindu Business Line

    It is good news indeed that the Chief Minister intends to re-launch the BRT in an improved form. Hopefully, the city will use lessons from its mistakes to build better

    Contrary to popular belief, the Delhi BRT (bus rapid transit) system was not a complete failure. A study by technical experts WRI India, EMBARQ and CST India found that despite its faults, the system provided better mobility to road users. It...

  • Making Urban Streets Safer By Design

    India has the highest number of traffic-crash deaths in the world. Of the 140,000 fatalities that occur annually, more than 40 percent take place in urban areas. A large percentage of these are pedestrians and bicyclists, who typically comprise more than half of the road users in Indian cities. Often, motorists are booked for recklessness, whereas the actual cause and subsequent solution may lie elsewhere. Yet, the popular discourse around road safety is focused on measures that make vehicular-use safer, such as enforcing traffic rules, the use of helmets and seat belts and avoiding drunk-...

  • Reimagining Mumbai

    How can Mumbai become a Smart City that the nation is proud of? The recently published Draft Development Plan (DP) for Mumbai was so poorly received by various stakeholders that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis scrapped it on the 21st of April, 2015. It has to be reworked in just four months – an opportunity to bring in much needed change in the planning discourse.

    Since the DP followed a traditional process of proposing land uses and development control regulations, it is no surprise that the plan did not deliver on the local needs, sentiments and aspirations of citizens. This...

  • Urbanising India: A Closer Look

    India will be one of the last major countries in the world to experience the urbanisation of its population. In 2010, 31 percent of India’s people lived in its cities. By 2030, this is expected to rise to 40 percent. This means that an additional 220 million people move to cities across the country.

    Which cities will these people go to? Is it possible to create jobs for these people? Will they have a good quality of life?

    An enormous challenge

    Approximately 100 million people will go to or be...

  • Cities & Energy: Two things India must get right to improve the economy

    If one looks at the way India is currently growing, it is hard not to see the stress on cities and the rising energy insecurity. Congestion, urban sprawl and poor access to reliable energy make for daunting challenges to the development of the country. Course corrective measures, which focus on compact and connected cities that use more renewable energy and plan for universal energy access, are going to be needed right away for economic growth to enhance human well-being.

    The Problem

    India’s cities are bursting with growth. The country’s urban population will cross 600...

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