on September 20, 2019

Venue: Marriot Hotel, Kochi (Kerala, India)

Registration for the Workshop is Closed

During 2016, 2017 and 2018, prominent institutions from Germany and India conducted several Indo- German workshops in India that focus on the potentials and the challenges of the concept of smart cities. These events have been coordinated by the Heidelberg University (Branch Office New Delhi), jointly with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA). The events were supported by Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Consequently, workshops have been organized in Aizawl, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Kochi, New Delhi, New Town (Kolkata), Pune, Ranchi, Shimla, Kolkata and the initiative will be continued in 2019.

In continuation of this initiative, a workshop on smart cities is being held in Kochi on September 20, 2019 at Hotel Marriott. It is being organized by the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University (Branch Office New Delhi), ORF, SPA, and Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), in collaboration with Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR).

The concept of smart cities has been well received in both research and policy practice. While it encompasses a variety of approaches, the common overarching theme is to look at urban challenges from an integral perspective, to foster sustainability and to explore the opportunities that communication technology offers. It is viewed as a solution for cities to better cope with key societal challenges like energy transition, mobility and social innovation through extensive and effective use of big data and IT. This, in turn, calls for new modes of ‘smart’ planning, design and governance, with the active involvement of a wide diversity of public, private and citizens’ organizations. In India, the Smart Cities Mission represents an urban renewal and retrofitting program by the Government with a mission to develop 100 cities all over the country making them citizen-friendly and sustainable.

The idea of ‘smart cities’ cannot be realized without inter-disciplinary inputs and collective ideation. Towards this, the workshops intend to bring together experts from India and Germany to not only openly discuss opportunities and benefits of smart cities, but also critically look at the challenges that may arise. What makes a city ‘smart’? What potentials do cities have to achieve greater vitality, competitiveness and resilience when coping with less and more expensive resources and space? How can smaller and poorer cities incorporate aspects of the smart city concept that is often entangled with ideas of ‘global’ or ‘world-class cities’? How can smart cities outbalance citizens’ needs with demands from industry and investors to avoid top-down practices? What role can information and communication technology play in sustainable urban development, and how can actors from civil society be included in rethinking the city? 

    Thematic Sessions:
  • Smart Governance-Inclusive Cities
  • Built Environment- Planning and Design
  • Mobility
  • Natural Resources Management
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