Lighting the roads of Thane in an energy efficient way – ESCO street lighting
ICLEI South Asia will provide lead services to assist in structuring and developing an Energy Service Company (ESCO) project for 10,000 street lights for improving the illumination level of the city of Thane; ensuring large scale energy efficiency in municipal street lighting, modernising and ensuring the proper operation and maintenance of street lighting services in the city; with the sole aim of reducing the energy burden of the service.
Street lighting is an essential service provided by the Urban Local Bodies to the city and its people. Numerous issues such as lack of optimisation and technological upgradation not only affect the quality of services, but also put an extra burden on the energy demand of local government services and subsequent increase in costs. The European Commission funded Promoting Low Emission Urban Development Strategies in Emerging Economy Countries (Urban LEDS) project, implemented by ICLEI South Asia and UN-Habitat in eight Indian cities, is assisting the city of Thane in adopting Low Emissions Development measures through knowledge transfer and provision of technical expertise; the ESCO project for street lighting is one of the activities carried out under the project.
ICLEI South Asia has sought the services of a technical consultant who will provide support in assessing the techno-economic feasibility of the ESCO project, developing the necessary tender documentation and subsequently managing a competitive bid process for selecting the ESCO.
Exchange of experiences and learning at the Urban LEDS study tour
As a step towards helping Urban-LEDS cities learn more about innovative urban low-carbon solutions, a study tour was organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability from 4-11 April 2014. The study tour showcased highly relevant examples of waste to energy solutions, green buildings and districts as well as low emission transport solutions in three leading European cities participating in the Urban-LEDS project, to facilitate an exchange of experiences and learning between them and the cities coming from the four project countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and Indonesia).
As a part of the Europe study tour, the participants visited Almada, Portugal – the first Portuguese municipality to develop a local Strategy for Climate Change, with a strong integration of low carbon development into the local development strategy; Copenhagen - the European Green Capital 2014 which has set for itself the ambitious target of becoming the first European capital city to be carbon neutral by 2025, addressing economic growth and innovation as two cornerstones; and Hannover – which has set up a unique partnership within its region, involving sixty organizations, and a fund that distributes around €5 million per year for energy efficient refurbishment measures in buildings.
Sanjit Rodrigues, Commissioner of Panaji, India, an Urban-LEDS Satellite city, took part in the tour, together with Emani Kumar, Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia and Soumya Chaturvedula, Regional Manager, ICLEI South Asia. Bio-methanation and eco-mobility were two core areas that stood out as interested domains for Panaji and the rest of the Urban LEDS cities. While in Copenhagen, Mr. Rodrigues witnessed the evaluation of the first stage of The Norrebrogade Project which aims at decreasing car traffic and increasing the number of cyclists and pedestrians by creating wider cycle tracks and pavements. This specific project was of much interest to Panaji as the Indian city is in the process of developing a bike- share programme; and provided the Commissioner with valuable insights into the operations of a bike-sharing program as well as details of related equipment and infrastructure ,which can further guide successful implementation of similar programmes not only in Panaji but possibly in the rest of India as well.
Panaji also intends to set-up a bio-methanation plant to effectively treat and recover energy from biodegradable municipal solid waste. The visit to the anaerobic biological residual waste plant within the integrated solid waste management plant in Hannover was an opportunity to practically observe a similar system in action. Discussions on the operational and management aspects of the plant will benefit the proposed installation in Panaji.
The tour also included participation in the ICLEI Global Town Hall @ Metropolitan Solutions in Hannover, the globally leading fair for urban infrastructure. The ICLEI Global Town Hall provided direct access and understanding of the innovative urban solutions offered by the private sector as well as opening further dialogue, networking and partnership opportunities with such businesses. On 10 April, as part of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development agenda, a presentation was made on the Solar Cities Masterplan – Preparation and Implementation, for the city of Rajkot, India, by Ms. Soumya Chaturvedula on behalf of the Urban LEDS team at ICLEI South Asia.
The study tour and the Global Town Hall definitely catered to the needs of the Urban LEDS cities and had loads to offer in the form of panel discussions, study visits and much more, thus giving the city representatives and the Urban LEDS team of ICLEI South Asia a basketful of ideas, strategies and guidance to take back home.
For further information on the outcomes of the Global Town Hall, visit:
Stakeholders push forward Urban LEDS in Thane
Introducing the “Promoting Low Emission Urban Development Strategies in Emerging Economy Countries” (Urban LEDS) project to stakeholders and seeking their feedback formed the base of the First Stakeholder Consultation meeting held on 13th February 2014 at Thane Municipal Corporation. The main agenda of the meeting was to gain inputs from the stakeholders to take forward the Urban LEDS project through the provision of expertise and experience along with suggestions for the pilot project.
The meeting was attended by eminent personalities of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), some of them being, Mr. Aseem Gupta, Honorable Municipal Commissioner, Mr. Shyam Sundar Patil, Honorable Additional Municipal Commissioner and Mr. S. D. Pote , Deputy City Engineer, Electrical Department; along with the ICLEI South Asia team. The meeting began with a welcome address by Municipal Commissioner and Deputy City Engineer (Electrical) followed by a brief introduction of all the stakeholders, about ICLEI as an organization and the Urban LEDS project. This was followed by a presentation on Energy status and Emission inventory for Thane (city level as well as Corporation level activities) on the basis of data collected and analysis done so far.
Myriad agendas were discussed in this meeting, some of them being:
The stakeholders came up with several other suggestions and ideas to make Thane Municipal Corporation a progressive Urban LEDS city. As per detailed discussions and critical analysis of potential highlighted projects and priority sectors, based on the draft GHG emissions inventory prepared by ICLEI South Asia, following pilot projects will be taken up by the Thane municipal corporation immediately in near future under the Urban LEDS programme:
During the energy consumption and GHG emissions data analysis and validation session, the ICLEI South Asia team presented the basic analysis of the energy consumption data collected from different departments within Thane Municipal Corporation as well as from other relevant Government agencies for city level energy data. The pattern of consumption for various energy sources like electricity, kerosene, petrol and diesel was also discussed and the consumption trends were analysed. Discussions on data gaps were then followed by suggestions of potential data sources from stakeholders.
The meeting concluded with special thanks by Municipal commissioner to all the participants for active participation and it was emphasized that similar stakeholders meetings should be conducted under the project on a regular basis. ICLEI South Asia thanked all participants for their valuable contribution and indicated their willingness to work with the local community to take forward the Urban LEDS project.
Project Advisory Group provides essential takeaways for the Urban LEDS project
Held at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, the First Project Advisory Group (PAG) meeting of Promoting Low Emission Urban Development Strategies in Emerging Economy Countries (Urban LEDS) witnessed the participation of representatives from esteemed organisations like Kfw (German Development bank), GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH), UN-Habitat, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), the European Commission and Schneider Electric India Pvt. Ltd. The Project Advisory Group will advice ICLEI South Asia on strategic directions to take forward the Urban LEDS project through the provision of expertise, experience, engagement, advocacy, policy support and partnerships.
Mr. Emani Kumar, Executive Director of ICLEI South Asia, opened the meeting and gave a brief introduction about ICLEI South Asia’s work and mission to help city governments achieve their sustainable goals, followed by a brief description of the activities of the Urban LEDS project and achievements so far.
The meeting aimed at updating the PAG about the progress of the project, at getting their inputs and at looking for synergies and support in Urban LEDS’ ongoing work. Mr. Jagan Shah, NIUA, rightly said, “This meeting aims at looking forward to an integrated view on developing the urban sector without the need for duplicating previous views or actions.”
The PAG looked upon the scenarios of working with cities – the pros and the cons of it. Data collection and validation, lack of support from the local bodies etc. emerged as some of the challenges of working with local governments. However, as Soumya Chaturvedula, Senior Manager, ICLEI South Asia, correctly stated, “Cities do have challenges but they have tremendous opportunity as well.”
The members of the PAG came up with myriad suggestions and ideas so as to make working in cities an easier and more efficient task for the Urban LEDS project:
The PAG acknowledged that such a project brings to the forefront first generation interventions, and praised the project partners for creating an immense platform covering all important aspects needed to build and develop a sustainable environment and for creating awareness among people of the need to shift to low emissions development.
In his final comment, Mr Tripathi from MNRE encouraged ICLEI South Asia to keep up the good work and sensitize local governments “Show them what is happening, show them what you will do for them!”
For further information on the Urban LEDS project, visit:
To follow Urban LEDS India activities, visit:
Anchoring ideas at Urban LEDS First City-peer exchange and learning on Low Emission Development
Thane, Rajkot, Shimla and Gwalior were among the seventeen of the thirty-seven Urban LEDS project cities that came together at the First City-peer exchange and learning on Low Emission Development on 27 to 29th November, 2013 in Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB), South Africa. The International City Networking Seminar, which is the first networking seminar in the framework of the Promoting Low Emission Urban Development Strategies in Emerging Economy Countries (URBAN-LEDS) project, witnessed a reputable line-up of political and administrative representatives from Urban LEDS project cities from Brazil, India, Indonesia and Europe ,who came together to connect, exchange and explore ideas. Political leaders and technical staff learned from experts and one another, exploring urban low emission development, energy security, climate change and the challenges they face. This peer exchange launched the informal twinning between cities and people in the project to foster peer-learning and knowledge exchange.
The particular focus was on jointly finding ways to optimize governance systems and structures and looking at integration for specific tasks. The City-peer exchange, which saw the participation of representatives from UN-Habitat, World Bank, Manchester University, CSIR Built Environment, KMW – Republic of Korea, representatives from GIZ, National government of South Africa, ICLEI World Secretariat and other ICLEI Regional offices including ICLEI South Asia, laid special emphasis upon exploring how to develop vertically integrated NAMAs – Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (V-NAMAs), which will enable local governments to tap into financing mechanisms available for emerging economies and developing countries. ICLEI will support the project cities by helping them identify priority LED projects, promote knowledge sharing and provide the necessary tools and materials to adopt the Green Climate Cities (GCC) methodology, a methodological framework developed by ICLEI to promote Urban LEDS.
Ms. Boliya Raghubhai, Mayor of Rajkot, India, outlined the focus clearly, “One of the key priorities for us is energy efficiency in street lighting, and presently under Urban LEDS we are planning to develop a Street lighting policy for phase-wise implementation of LED Street lights in each of the three zones of RMC. I am Thankful to ICLEI, UN-Habitat & European Commission for giving us this opportunity to participate in this workshop and guiding us on the path of Low carbon development."
This reality is addressed in the Urban-LEDS project where cooperation between different levels of government (vertical) and same levels of local government (horizontal) is explored. Networking and peer exchange are essential elements when addressing local climate action. Every city, every local government has its own unique context, yet there are also many similarities and a lot of existing guidance and knowledge.
Also, Indian cities, Thane and Rajkot displayed their initiatives undertaken as part of the programme. Under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s (MNRE) Solar City Program, the cities of Thane and Rajkot have set a target to replace 10% of conventional energy by Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) activities. Both Model Cities, Thane and Rajkot have taken commendable measures for low carbon strategies such as energy efficiency in Municipal street lighting, usage of star labeled appliances, installation of solar street lights, Bus Rapid Transit Systems (BRTS) and installation of a Solar Energy Park (Solar cell) in the city, to spread awareness on low carbon technologies among the general public.
Shimla Municipal Corporation plans to adopt a tramway and a biomethanation system, while Gwalior Municipal Corporation is looking at Solar PV projects.
Each Model City came up with the possibilities of urban/spatial planning in the Urban LEDS process in their Cities. Each city proposal will be further developed and submitted to UN-Habitat for approval; the selected projects will be supported by UN-Habitat through co-funding and technical support.
The next exchange opportunity will take place in April 2014 at ICLEI´s Global Town Hall at Metropolitan Solutions in Hannover (Germany) from 7 – 11 April 2014.
For further information, click here.
Shaping up LEDS at Asia LEDS Forum 2013
Held in Manila, Philippines from 1-4 October 2013, the second annual gathering of the Asia LEDS (Low-emission Development Strategies) partnership, Asia LEDS Forum 2013: Putting LEDS into Practice, brought together 250 representatives from 22 Asian and Pacific countries and peers from Africa, South America, North America and Europe - national and subnational governments, international organizations, civil society groups, academic institutions and businesses.
The Asia LEDS Forum worked towards three main objectives: to support peer learning and sharing, build communities of practice and acquire skills to support LEDS implementation. Hosted by the Philippines Climate Change Commission, with support from Asia LEDS Partnership members including United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) in partnership with various collaborators like the World Bank Institute, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) etc, the Forum consisted of various workshops, side meetings, learning and sharing of best practices, strengthening peer networks and addressing challenges and skills training for LEDS Practitioners.
ICLEI South Asia took the opportunity of presenting during the “Open Space Session: Tools and Good Practices for Implementing LEDS and Green Growth”, a presentation on “Transitioning to Low Carbon Urban Development through Enhanced Local-National Dialogue” emphasizing the role Urban LEDS play in the transition of a city to a low-emission, green and inclusive urban economy, through its integration into city development plans and processes.
Some salient observations of the Asia LEDS Forum have been listed below:
- LEDS should be articulated in a way that relates and gives weight to not just reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions but also development, adaptation and mitigation.
- Policy-makers and practitioners need tools to help message LEDS in order to get buy-in from national and local stakeholders to drive the process forward.
- Due to the over abundance of information regarding LEDS and the “data blizzard” and user confusion it creates, it is very important to have the ability to filter information to identify the most targeted resources.
- Capacity building in sectors like tools training, promoting innovations and gaining non-technical information on how to create conditions that enable wide-scale change needs to be stressed upon.
- More guidance is needed on how to put LEDS into practice. Detailed case studies showing how LEDS have been implemented and potential application in other contexts can be effective.
More information on the Asia LEDS Forum can be found here.
Urban LEDS Indian cities commit to ambitious low emission development plans
Whether ‘model’ or ‘satellite’, the Indian cities who attended the First Urban LEDS National workshop, that took place in Delhi on 5 September 2013, had two things in common: a number of impressive results already achieved and the ambition and commitment to go even further and switch to low emission development, thanks to the activities that they will implement, with the support of ICLEI South Asia, through the Urban LEDS project.
The EU funded project, in partnership with UN Habitat, aims at creating eight model cities in four emerging nations (India, Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia). This will be done by developing and promoting replicable Urban-LEDS (Urban Low Emission Development Strategies) to be implemented in the Model Cities; matching appropriate technological and policy-related solutions to the specific needs of the local authorities involved will enable them to carry out the selected priority measures. The inclusion of knowledge and expertise from European cities will add value to the learning and exchange process.
Mr Shouvik Datta, from the Delegation of the European Union to India, confirmed in the inaugural session that technology transfer has been a component of many of the recent projects launched by the EU, and that a two way exchange between Indian and European cities is a great example of fully using this opportunity.
Subsequent to the inaugural session, joined also by the Commissioner of Panaji, Mr. Sanjit Rodrigues; the Mayor of Rajkot, Ms. Rakshaben Boliya; the Additional Commissioner of Thane, Mr Shyam Sunder Patil,; and ICLEI South Asia Executive Director, Mr. Emani Kumar, the project was introduced to the audience. The cities involved (Thane and Rajkot as Model Cities, Nagpur, Shimla, Panaji, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Coimbatore and Gwalior as Satellite ones) shared then their achievements and future plans with the workshop participants, including representatives from the national, state and local level, as well as representatives from other knowledge partners like the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), the European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) and funders such as KfW (the German Development Bank).
Whether it was about RE & EE measures (Rajkot and Coimbatore), mitigation and adaptation activities (Thane), water savings (Nagpur), waste reduction and recycling (Panaji), upgrading of infrastructure (Pimpri-Chinchwad), street lighting (Gwalior), or solid waste management (Shimla), all cities had already a lot to report on. Their involvement in the Urban LEDS project proves their serious commitment to go beyond the current status and work towards a long-term and more sustainable way to continue their growth.
The discussion that followed the presentation brought to light several needs of the cities, which will be addressed through project activities. The technical and financial support for mainstreaming and integration of climate appropriate planning that the project offers, can help bring together parallel planning processes and strategies, largely carried out in a compartmentalized manner.
Lots of emphasis was put on appropriate technologies; in the project, the availability of experts and a “basket” of appropriate technology solutions and related policies, will enable the identification of innovations suitable to the local context, guaranteeing their long term sustainability and application.
Usha Raghupathi, from NIUA, while praising the project cities for their commitment, highlighted that these are concrete examples of local governments implementing solutions on the ground, which can and has to inspire many other Indian cities to follow, thus ensuring a much wider impact.
Capacity building was often mentioned as a crucial need of local authorities, as well as one of the main benefits offered by the project. The capacity building workshops planned in the project will be carried out to cater specifically to the implementation phase – technology and technical providers will be invited, together with experts, to interact with the city administration and work directly at the local level.
The city representatives present at the workshop highlighted the richness of information and experiences shared by other cities in the meeting and were happy to be able to already go back with more ideas and inspiration. The interaction with cities from other four countries, in the next three years of the project, will amplify even more the benefits coming from the exchange and sharing of best practices.
GHG emission inventories lay the basis for low emission action plans in Rajkot and Thane
In their pioneering role as Urban LEDS (Promoting Low Emission Urban Development Strategies in Emerging Economy Countries) model project cities, Rajkot and Thane are currently preparing their GHG emission inventories for the years 2009 - 2013. Based on an analysis of completed and proposed climate mitigation actions, coupled with an identification of proposed local infrastructure projects, the two cities will develop an action plan that will enable them to carry forward their low emission development agenda. The cities are also in the process of defining a LED strategy, a part of which will be implemented through the Urban LEDS project.
Gwalior, Panaji, Coimbatore and Shimla have officially come on board as project satellite cities and are collecting and processing information to develop their green house gas inventories, based on which they will develop climate action plans. The implementation of the action plans will then be carried forward by adopting suitable business models and securing necessary funds.
The first Urban LEDS national workshop will bring together project cities and key representatives from the state and national government on 5th September in New Delhi, when the first Project Advisory Group meeting will be held as well.
Thane and Rajkot commit to showcase low carbon development strategies
In the first weeks of March, the cities of Thane and Rajkot, India, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ICLEI, officially signing on as model project cities for the European Commission funded project Promoting Low Emission Urban Development Strategies in the Emerging Economy Countries (Urban LEDS). This project would enable project cities to further the implementation of their solar city master plans, in addition to linking other large scale RE and EE initiatives to national and international reporting and financing mechanisms.
Together with six other satellite cities in India (Gwalior, Shimla, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Pimpri Chinwad, and Panaji) and over 25+ cities in Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa, Rajkot and Thane will pioneer a low emission development model, creating good practices that will be disseminated and replicated globally, to further promote and foster emission mitigation measures in urban development.
Eight cities shortlisted to pilot low emission initiative
Two model cities (Thane and Rajkot) and six satellite cities (Gwalior, Shimla, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Pimpri Chinwad, and Panaji) have been shortlisted to pilot the project Promoting Low Emission Urban Development Strategies in the Emerging Economy Countries (Urban LEDS). This selection was made upon the evaluation and assessment of received expressions of interest from 16 cities across 6 states.
Funded by the European Union, the project seeks to enhance a transition to low emission urban development in India, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa, supported by city-to-city cooperation with leading European cities.
Fifteen Indian cities interested in contributing to low emission urban development strategies
Fifteen Indian cities have officially expressed interest in participating in the project Promoting Low Emission Urban Development Strategies in Emerging Economy Countries (Urban LEDS) funded by the European Commission, which seeks to enhance the transition to low emission urban development in emerging economies. Of these fifteen, two model cities and five satellite cities will ultimately be selected to pilot the project.
Inviting developing cities to join an urban low carbon emission initiative
ICLEI South Asia is inviting an Expression of Interest from Indian cities to participate in the project Promoting Low Emission Urban Development Strategies in Emerging Economy Countries (Urban LEDS) by 6 August, 2012. The project, funded by the European Commission, seeks to enhance the transition to low emission urban development in emerging economies. The global objective is to support the promotion of low emission urban development in developing economies by creating model cities in India, Indonesia, Brazil and South Africa to demonstrate and showcase low carbon development strategies; and to create a network that will promote emission mitigation measures in urban development.
UN-Habitat and the European Commission launch URBAN-LEDS, ICLEI to implement
UN-Habitat and the European Commission (EC) have signed an agreement to begin a project that encourages cities to lower their emissions as they grow. ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, will serve as the main implementing partner. The project entitled ‘Promoting Low Emission Urban Development Strategies in Emerging Economy Countries’ (URBAN-LEDS) responds to the European Commission’s priority objective of climate change mitigation. ICLEI South Asia will be looking to work with seven cities in India, out of which five will be satellite cities. The organisation will be drafting an Expression of Interest (EOI) and will finalise these cities as per their response. This EUR 6.7 million project will run from 1 March 2012 to 31 August 2015