Climate Smart Cities

Project description

Title: Climate Smart Cities
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Country: India
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA)
Overall term: 2018 to 2022


India is ranked sixth among the ten most affected countries in the world as per the Global Climate Risk Index 2016, and accounts for about seven per cent of the global Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. It is therefore a crucial actor when it comes to dealing with climate change related issues. 

Following the Paris Agreement in 2014, the Government of India declared in their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) in 2015, that the country would take steps to reduce its emission intensity by 33-35 per cent by 2030, compared to the 2005 levels. However, this cannot be easily achieved considering the size and growing population of India. As per the Climate Action Tracker projection, the per capita emission will increase from 2.1 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per capita (tCO2e/cap) in 2014 to 3.6 tCO2e/cap in 2030. This per capita consumption can be attributed, not only to the changing consumption patterns of society, but also to the growing urban population and its associated demands on urban infrastructure, basic services and housing. The urban population in India is projected to increase to 50 per cent of the total population by 2050.

In order to address the growing needs of the urban areas, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA), initiated the Smart Cities Mission covering 100 cities. While this funding scheme is reported in the INDC strategy for India through supportive mitigation and adaptation measures, a clear climate focus has not yet been realised. The Climate Smart Cities project attempts to anchor climate-friendly solutions in the Smart Cities Mission.


Climate-friendly solutions for urban infrastructure projects and area-based development have been anchored in the planning and implementation of projects.


In close cooperation, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) develop methods to integrate climate aspects into the Smart Cities Mission in a result-oriented manner. In three partner cities, focused efforts in selected fields of municipal services will be implemented and monitored. These will be upscaled to other Smart Cities and multiply the effects to achieve the climate goals by the government.

The project works with the three Indian Smart Cities of Bhubaneshwar, Coimbatore, Kochi and their respective state governments of Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, in the planning and implementation of smart and climate-friendly measures for infrastructure and area-based development, as well as the measuring and monitoring of their GHG emissions. The National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), the research & training institute of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and two German institutions; Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin) and Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik (DIFU), will support the project in implementation as well as the wider dissemination and upscaling of the experiences of the partner cities across other smart cities through the innovative formats of peer learning and knowledge exchange. The project is aimed at the capacity development of 10 additional Urban Local Bodies on climate relevant solutions. 

The project supports the Indo-German Working Group on urbanisation and the international exchange of experiences on urban climate strategies.


The project leads the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework in cooperation with MoHUA and NIUA which is a monitoring tool for all 100 Smart Cities in the country with 30 indicators across 5 sectors. Through this framework, 100 Smart Cities are enabled to assess their status of climate adaptation and mitigation and target future projects and investments to the indicators. A help desk and an online portal have been established to guide and monitor the cities. An extensive actor network of national and international funding and research organisations is providing technical support to the Ministry and GIZ. 

In three cities (Kochi, Coimbatore and Bhubaneshwar) projects in the thematic areas of green buildings, urban green spaces and storm water drains have been initiated through an urban design thinking project in cooperation with TU Berlin. Additionally, support is being provided to cities for the improved management of Construction and demolition of waste and solid waste. The projects will be upscaled to increase the number of cities that implement integrated policies and plans for more resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change as well as disaster resilience. MRV systems for selected climate-relevant solutions are being developed to document and evaluate the long term envisaged mitigation impact of the measures.

The project disseminates German and international experiences for including climate aspects into Smart City projects through a networking platform and experience exchanges in between Indian smart cities and training institutes. Climate aspects in the urban sector thereby receive more attention by decision makers.

Additional information