India's urban transition is the most globally significant of the coming decades, with implications for the role that its urban areas will play in the country’s response to climate change. As the bulk of infrastructure is yet to be built, current decisions by cities can lock-in, or lock-out, inclusive and climate resilient forms. Yet we know little about how Indian cities are responding to climate change. What forms of interventions have found traction, and what governance arrangements do they take? How can they be enhanced? We respond to these questions in two ways. First, we present a comprehensive literature review that synthesises the growing research and salience of this topic. In doing so, we describe the recent trends and characteristics that mark Indian cities’ approaches to climate change. Second, we take a deeper perspective by examining the case of a single city, Rajkot. We describe how this second city is using existing governance arrangements to promote climate efforts, and the ways in which the efforts can be scaled. Specifically, the city uses locally specific urban objectives as an entry point for climate action; focuses on implementing state and national level schemes which include climate components; and creatively adapts urban development directives to accommodate climate actions. We end with a discussion of the mainstreaming of these emerging climate actions into the broader set of urban development goals.
Ankit Bhardwaj is a Research Associate at CPR’s Initiative on Climate, Energy and Environment. He works on characterizing India's multiple transitions and using a multi-objective approach to integrate climate and development objectives at the city level in India. His wider research interests include the role of technical knowledge in politics, urban infrastructure and critical theory.
Radhika Khosla is a Fellow at CPR. She works on the integrated nature of India’s energy sector to examine the linkages between energy, development and climate change, particularly in urban areas. She also focuses on the demand-side of Indian energy, with attention to the technological, institutional and behavioural aspects of energy use and its lock-in to a rapidly growing built environment.
This workshop is free and there is no registration required. Find all the available videos of our previous workshops, here.
This is the ninety-seventh in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Olivier Telle of CSH at email@example.com, Partha Mukhopadhyay at firstname.lastname@example.org or Marie-Hélène Zerah at email@example.com