WRI India | Thriving Eco-city Regions

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About Us

World Resources Institute India (WRI India) focuses on building sustainable and liveable cities and working towards a low carbon economy. Through research, analysis, and recommendations, WRI India puts ideas into action to build transformative solutions to protect the earth, promote livelihoods, and enhance human well-being. Please visit our website to know more - www.wri-india.org

India is rapidly urbanizing with more than 4,000 designated urban centers – 300 of these with more than one million population each. The predominant focus of urban authorities has been on infrastructure augmentation and service delivery in these growing urban centers.

However, urbanization is not just restricted to cities. Today, most of the urban growth in cities is on the edge of municipal boundaries. As cities grow outwards, they impact the surrounding regions on which they depend upon, for resources and ecosystem services.

It is thus imperative that we expand the way we think and plan our cities. Being more mindful of the ecology, local context and resource provenance, at the regional scale, will help us address critical urban challenges such as resource constraints, growing environmental degradation and climate change.

About the Collaboration
Earlier this year, WRI India joined hands with Rainmatter Foundation to launch the ‘Thriving EcoCity-Regions’ (#EcoCityRegions) initiative. The core mission of this new initiative is to nudge the Business-As-Usual (BAU) urban planning and urban development approach to prioritize human well-being, economic productivity and ecological sustainability.

We envision a future where India’s vast system of urban centers are self-sustaining, and desirable places to live, where development, needs and consumption patterns can be (1) judiciously managed through the lenses of context, resource provenance and ecology; and (2) underpinned by sustainability and circularity, to minimize the adverse impacts of urbanization.

The 'Thriving Eco-City Regions’ initiative aims to follow a multi-pronged approach that will incorporate developing empirically driven spatial and statistical analysis, creating multi-stakeholder forums for dialogue and collaborative action, strengthening local capacity and capability and empowering local stakeholders to be change makers. Through this initiative, we seek to derive valuable insights and learnings to inform India’s urbanization journey towards green, inclusive and resilient city-regions for all.

MoU with Jalandhar – Our first selected city-region
Jalandhar, 20 January 2023: The Municipal Corporation Jalandhar (MCJ) signed an MoU with WRI India to collaborate on developing an eco-city approach for the city and identify areas for joint action.

The MoU was signed by Shri. Abhijeet Kaplish, Commissioner, MCJ who said, “Jalandhar City is rapidly expanding, and we are taking proactive steps to ensure holistic development. We want to be one of the first cities in India to ensure that the growth and development we are seeing does not damage the natural spaces in our city."

Read the coverage in The Tribune

Shri. Abhijeet Kaplish, Commissioner, MCJ signs the MoU in the presence of Samrat Basak, Program Director, Water Resilience Practice, WRI India

MoU with Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Company (PMIDC)

Punjab, 2 February 2023: Marking the occasion of World Wetlands Day, PMIDC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with WRI India to build local capacity, devise strategic interventions and develop collaborative forums to improve ecological and economic sustainability for city-regions of Punjab. The MoU was signed by Smt. Isha Kalia, CEO, PMIDC in the presence of WRI India representatives.

Smt. Isha Kalia, CEO, PMIDC signs the MoU in the presence of Samrat Basak, Program Director, Water Resilience Practice, WRI India

Economic geographic approach for thriving eco-city regions presented at the UP Global Investors Summit 2023
Lucknow, 12th February 2023: WRI India’s Rejeet Mathews, Program Director - Urban Developmentm presented in the session ‘Re-imagining Cities as Growth Centres for New Uttar Pradesh’ at the UP Global Investors Summit 2023. The presentation highlighted the importance of an economic geography approach that brings together economics, geography, management, and urban and regional planning. This approach focuses on developing a more holistic understanding of city growth, highlighting the interdependence between a city, its suburb and region and its land, workers, and natural resources. Rejeet further pointed out that where people chose to invest, and where talent and creative workers choose to live depends not just on a city-region’s economic might, but also on its urban experience and its business environment, and how they can achieve sustainability and provide quality social infrastructure for all.

She shared the dais with distinguished speakers, such as Hardeep Singh Puri (Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs & Petroleum and Natural Gas), AK Sharma (Ex-IAS, Minister for Urban Development & Energy, UP Govt.), Amrit Abhijat (Jt. Secretary and Mission Director in GoI under PMAY) and Nitin Gokarn (IAS, Principal Secretary to Govt. of UP- Housing and Urban Planning, State Taxes).

Rejeet Mathews, Program Director, Urban Development, WRI India in the session on ’Re-imagining Cities as Growth Centres for New Uttar Pradesh’ at the UP Global Investors Summit 2023