Regional kick-off meeting
kochi - india, 22 January 2018
This workshop focused on the implementation action in Southeast Asia of the Paris Agreement in the context of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The Urban Pathways project works closely with the cities and follow a structured approach to boost Low Carbon Plans for urban mobility, energy and waste management services that deliver on the Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda. The project will start working on concrete steps towards a maximum impact with regards to the contribution of urban basic services (mobility, energy and waste management) in cities to global climate change mitigation efforts and sustainable and inclusive urban development.
THE HINDU newspaper
Urban Pathways project will create an eco-friendly, modern Kochi,
Filling the gaps in the city’s public transport connectivity, evolving innovative renewable energy models and developing feasible waste management systems were matters that dominated the deliberations at a consultative meeting of stakeholders organised by the Kochi Corporation here on Monday.
The workshop was held with the aim of delivering on the new urban agenda in the context of the Paris Agreement by the U.N. Habitat. This was in continuation of the project Solutions (Sharing Opportunities for Low Carbon Urban Transportations) of which Kochi was part of.
The city’s drive towards implementing the new urban agenda will be powered by the Urban Pathways project, which is partnered by the U.N. Habitat, Wuppertal Institute and U.N. Environment. The project will develop national action plans and concrete local implementation concepts to boost low-carbon urban development in key emerging economies - India, Brazil, Kenya and Vietnam. Kochi is the sole city in India to be selected under the project.
Talking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the meeting, Oliver Lah, Coordinator of Urban Pathways, shared the excitement and challenge of helping the city achieve the lofty goals. “The great thing about Kochi is the high level of political support and the presence of a large number of players and projects already in the sectors of low-carbon urban energy, mobility and waste management solutions. What we have to do is to put that all together for the benefit of all,” Mr. Lah said. He emphasised the need for making the mass transport system accessible to all and identified the electrification of autorickshaws and tapping of solar energy as one of the feasible interventions.
Mr. Lah said that it was in second-tier cities like Kochi where the ‘urban battle is won.”
Former Mayor K.J. Sohan urged the Urban Pathways Project heads to understand ground-level realities before suggesting solutions. He said that public transport was still inaccessible to over 50 per cent of the population and urged not to restrict transportation solutions to just city residents.
“There are even four-lane roads in the city like the Stadium Link Road, which was still not served by public transport,” said Mr. Sohan . He reminded that public transport operators were not taxed anywhere in the world.
Earlier, inaugurating the workshop, Mayor Soumini Jain said the Urban Pathways project would create an environment-friendly, modern Kochi.
Concrete Actions proposed
The city of Kochi has some urgent issues to attend, the Mayor explained. While many large scale projects are going on in the city, the city of Kochi needs to focus on small-scale implementation actions to show of the real possibility of transforming of the city into a sustainable and liveable place to live:
- Raising awareness by local pilot projects
- Engaging the public in the discussion
- Informing people
- Improving the walkability of the city
- Promoting public transport
- Implementing the Master Plan of Kochi
- City-to-City partnership with cities facing similar problems
- Learning by best-practice examples
- Focusing on electrification of cars and rickshaws