Smart Cities Project: Experts Highlight Policy Bottlenecks

ICLEI South Asia hosted a roundtable discussion on the way forward for Sustainable Urban Mobility and Built Environment under the Smart Cities Mission on the 17th of April at Eros International Hotel, Nehru Place, Delhi.

It was organised as part of the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation-supported “Assisting Sustainable Urban Transport & Built Environment in Four Indian Smart Cities” project.

ICLEI South Asia is implementing the project in partnership with SG Architects. The roundtable was attended by more than 45 participants, including representatives from more than 15 smart cities, such as Udaipur, Jabalpur, Nagpur and Coimbatore, besides Kochi, Shivamoga, Mysore and Devanagere, in addition to Tumakuru and Eluru.

The meeting was also attended by sector experts from various national and international organisations and institutions such as CEPT University, the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, GIZ and WRI India, besides CEEW, AFD and the UNDP.

The discussions commenced with a presentation by Ashish Rao Ghorpade, Deputy Director, ICLEI South Asia, on the engagement of the project team.

This was followed by an exchange of views on sustainable mobility as part of the Smart City Vision and the strategies to achieve it. The representatives of various cities highlighted the need to learn from the experiences of other cities and replicate successful case examples.

The experts from mobility sectors highlighted bottlenecks such as the lack of an enabling (policy) framework. The consensus was that the Smart Cities framework should detail enabling framework in the form of specific policies, regulatory mechanisms and institutional mechanisms, among others. It was also agreed that a long-term action plan linked to milestones or benchmarks under the Smart Cities Mission was a necessity.

The roundtable meeting provided the participants a platform to share their experiences with respect to the mobility sector, along with the challenges they faced in implementing projects.

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