Rajkot city has become the national winner of the ‘One Planet City Challenge (OPCC)’ for the fourth time. The city participated in the 2022 challenge with support from the CapaCITIES project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The city won the challenge after demonstrating a comprehensive approach to implementing progressive actions toward climate initiatives.
The OPCC is a biennial global challenge, organised by the World-Wide Fund for Nature, which recognises cities for their ambitions and innovative actions in sectors such as energy, transport, housing, waste, and mobility solutions to power the global transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. Rajkot won the coveted title earlier in 2016, 2018, and 2020.
More than 280 cities from 50 countries participated in the 2022 challenge to showcase their climate actions in various urban sectors. They reported comprehensive climate data on the CDP- ICLEI Track, the world’s leading climate progress accountability mechanism for cities. The OPCC International Jury of Experts met in March and April this year to select one city from each country as the ‘national winner’. Kochi and Surat were also finalists, while Rajkot emerged as the national winner.
Among the impressive climate initiatives of Rajkot, there are concrete action plans on grid-connected solar power, cycle paths with quantified targets, and street lighting, which demonstrated that the city’s planning is well-developed and accountable. The city has also undertaken various adaptation actions such as preparing emergency response plans for extreme weather event management, and setting up health centres near vulnerable communities for easy accessibility, besides putting rainwater harvesting systems in place in low-lying areas. The jump in Rajkot’s overall score since winning the OPCC in 2020 is evidence of the city’s commitment to climate-resilient development. The city’s reporting on risk assessment and adaptation impacts and actions was also very strong.