Sustainable Urban Development – Smart Cities (SUD-SC)

Project description

Title: Sustainable Urban Development – Smart Cities (SUD-SC)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: India
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India
Overall term: 2018 to 2021


By 2030, India’s urban population will reach 600 million people from what was around 377 million in 2011. This means that almost 40 per cent of India’s population will be living in urban areas by then. This rapid process of urbanisation adds to the complex challenges that Indian cities are facing already, such as providing adequate living space and basic services like drinking water, sanitation, drainage, and solid waste management.

Today the country is facing an urban housing shortage of nearly 18.78 million, which is mainly pertaining to lower income groups. In addition, 27.5 per cent of urban households in rented dwellings are facing issues like poor access to basic services and the violation of basic minimum standards for human habitations. Only one third of urban households are connected to a sewage system, while the rest are dependent on onsite sanitation options, such as septic tank and twin pits. Solid waste management has also emerged as a serious concern for the cities across India. 

Since 2014, the Indian Government has increasingly responded to these urban challenges by establishing various national urban missions and programmes like the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY). While the initial funding strategies were mostly sectoral, the Smart Cities Programme offers integrated approaches and strengthens the role of the states and cities in the implementation process.

India has also reiterated its commitment towards the Habitat III Process (2016), the New Urban Agenda (NUA) that accords focus to housing in addition to Sustainable Development Goal 11, which encourages countries to act towards providing access to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services in cities by 2030.
To effectively implement these missions, the institutional technical capacities related to sustainable urban development and integrated planning must be developed. To meet these growing challenges, institutions need to follow a cross-sectoral and integrated approach in the future.


Responsible national, state and municipal institutions have applied concepts for sustainable urban development and for providing urban basic services and housing that fulfils the minimum standards for human habitation in selected smart cities.


The direct target group of the project are the inhabitants of the three Smart Cities namely, Bhubaneswar (in Odisha), Coimbatore (in Tamil Nadu) and Kochi (in Kerala) with populations of 0.84, 1.05 and 6.06 million respectively. This includes substantial slum populations. The project follows a holistic approach to sustainable urban development for housing and basic services and aims to benefit the entire urban population of the cities. To achieve this, the Sustainable Urban Development – Smart Cities (SUD-SC) project strengthens integrated and intersectoral planning approaches and is thereby increasing synergies and funding efficiency. It works towards providing a framework for improved coordination of sector planning and national urban missions and programmes.

At the national level, the project partners with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and the Government of India to achieve dissemination and upscaling of the experiences of the three partner cities across other cities through innovative formats of peer learning and knowledge exchange.


  • The project aims to support the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) on the strategic steering of its national urban missions/programmes, the optimisation of the national enabling framework and the dissemination of practice-proven approaches for provision of urban basic services.
  • The project will focus on supporting MoHUA in the policy formulation on the gender-sensitive provision of housing as well as in the monitoring of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • The project will provide advisory support to the three states on the optimisation and complementation of their state level strategies and enabling frameworks, the development of practice-oriented training programmes as well as the establishment of horizontal exchange platforms between cities.
  • The project aims at strengthening intersectoral coordination and participation by introducing integrated planning approaches for the three Smart Cities.
  • Finally, the project will support in developing local urban basic services and adequate housing in poor/disadvantaged settlements within cities.