WRI India | Thriving Eco-city Regions

24th January 2024: WRI India Submits the CM Grid Road Infrastructure Key Design Principal Review

The CM Grid Road Infrastructure Key Design Principal review reflects a comprehensive analysis of crucial design principles for hierarchical road network planning. Our focus centered on optimizing road infrastructure, ensuring uniform travel lanes, and addressing last-mile connectivity and other utilities. In addition to these core principles, our submission included valuable suggestions for junction improvements and road geometry based on the dynamically evolving traffic and travel demand. By emphasizing these aspects, our aim is to contribute to the development of an efficient and sustainable road network that not only meets current demands but also adapts to future needs. This review aligns with our commitment to fostering thoughtful urban planning and infrastructure development for the benefit of the community and its continued growth.

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30th January 2024: Two #ExpertTalk Sessions Offer Insight into Biodiversity Conservation and GIS Fundamentals for Fellows

The Expert Talks 8 session provided a platform for deepening understanding and addressing environmental challenges pertinent to the Jalandhar Eco City-Region. Mr Bageshwer Singh, Lead - Environmental Projects, Pahal Insights, shed light on the rich biodiversity of Jalandhar, emphasizing the importance of conservation efforts and proactive measures. Recommendations were made for tree plantations and field visits to preserve native flora and fauna effectively. The session underscored the significance of collaborative efforts with local initiatives and experts in promoting environmental awareness and implementing sustainable practices within the Eco City-Region.

The Expert Talks 9 session focused on equipping the fellows with fundamental understanding and practical skills in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Participants gained insights into GIS concepts, applications, and relevance in data-driven decision-making processes for sustainable urban development. Through theoretical explanations and hands-on demonstrations utilizing QGIS software, fellows acquired practical skills in spatial data analysis and digital mapping. The session by Mr. Raj Bhagat Palanichamy, Senior Program Manager, WRI India underscored the critical role of GIS in enabling informed decision-making and fostering sustainable development within the Eco City-Region.

30th January 2024: Consultation Meeting Convenes on Pond Rejuvenation in Bulandpur and Nangal Karar Khan in Jalandhar

The Joint Consultation Meeting convened stakeholders to address the challenges and requirements for the rejuvenation of Bulandpur Pond and Nangal Karar Khan Pond within the Jalandhar Eco City-Region. Through collaborative discussions, a comprehensive understanding of the current state of these water bodies was attained, highlighting the need for soil testing, hydrology studies, and design considerations. Agreement was reached on the necessity of field visits and Draft designs were exchanged, laying the groundwork for further refinement and implementation. The meeting emphasized the importance of field studies in guiding sustainable solutions for pond rejuvenation, marking a significant step towards enhancing environmental resilience within the Eco City-Region.

16th – 24th January 2024: WRI India Gathers Expert Inputs on the Formulation of Economic Development Plan for Srinagar Metropolitan Region (SMR) – 2047

In January, we assessed the economic drivers in the Kashmir Valley, analyzing each sector’s contribution to the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). Various experts were consulted to discuss the region’s economic issues, challenges, and potential sectors for growth.

Additionally, we explored the importance of economic diversification in the region, including discussions on attracting foreign and national investments. Factors contributing to economic underdevelopment were also deliberated upon to provide input for the Plan.

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9th February and 21st February 2024: Fellows Receive Training on Informal Settlements, Urban Design and Landscape Projects in Jalandhar

Urban designed Sandeep Paul conducted the seventh MANTHAN session on urban design practices and discussion on ongoing landscape projects in Jalandhar. Sandeep is the co-founder, The Urban Lab and also serves as a visiting faculty at CEPT University. Through discussions on project stages, national and international examples, and concept development exercises, fellows engaged in analysis and synthesis of learnings for implementation in live projects. The session focussed on pond rejuvenation projects in Jalandhar and landscaping initiatives along water bodies and natural infrastructure in the city.

Krishna Kumar, Program Associate at WRI India led the seventh #ExpertTalks session on urban water ecosystems offering fellows insights, and local projects, fellows applied concepts to real-world contexts. The session covered the importance of blue and green spaces in urban areas and their role in urban water ecosystems, guidelines for pond rejuvenation as per Central Pollution Control Board, National Mission for Clean Ganga, and the Ministry of Jal Shakti, and best practices in India for the restoration of urban blue spaces, with a discussion on Nangal Karar Khan and Bulandpur ponds in Jalandhar.

20th February and 28th February 2024: WRI India Experts Conduct Sessions on Research Design and Data Sources and Analysis

The sixth session of MANTHAN for Jalandhar Eco City Regions Fellows was facilitated by Neha Lal from WRI India. She delved into the ongoing study on informal settlements in Jalandhar. The session focussed on framing research design and identifying the correct research tools and methods, in addition to discussion on parameters for socio-economic and demographic analysis. ECR fellows were pushed to bring in a critical lens while analysing and evaluating research questions and data collection methods.

The eleventh #ExpertTalks session was led by Paramjeet Chawla, Program Manager at WRI India who focused on data sources and analysis, equipping ECR fellows with essential research skills. By exploring national and global data sources, visualization techniques, and indices, fellows were able to gauge the sources and methods for data analysis. The session covered the distinction between data and information, emphasizing the importance of data-driven decision-making, identification of research objectives, and their alignment with national and global data sources. Exploration of resources such as the census India website, National Family Health Survey website, and district handbooks, as well as discussion on indices and their relevance to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with examples from Jalandhar, were part of the session.

19th- 20th February 2024: WRI India Visits Jalandhar, Engages with Government Stakeholders and Eco City-Regions Fellows

Neha Lal, Tanya Chawla, Krishna Kumar and Sandeep Paul from WRI India undertook a three-day trip to Jalandhar to interact with fellows from the Eco City-region Fellowship, where team members observed and discussed ongoing initiatives supported by them and Jalandhar Smart City.

Accompanied by the fellows and local ecocity coordinator Rishab Gaba, the team visited potential pond rejuvenation sites such as Nangal Karar Khan and Bulandpur. The team also undertook assessments for stone pitching work being carried out along the Kala Sanghian canal. The walls of the canal are being stabilised with stone as a shift from concretisation to a more nature-based solution, allowing for better permeation than concrete lining. The team also got the opportunity to discussed how to integrate the pond rejuvenation initiatives to improve urban blue green spaces within Jalandhar with SDOs in Smart City Office.

The field visit by WRI India provided ECR fellows with a hands-on understanding of challenges and opportunities in pond rejuvenation projects. By observing and analyzing local ecologies and community dynamics and drawing insights from field work discussions, fellows will be streamlining future actions towards more ecologically resilient outcomes.

22nd February 2024: WRI India Participates in a Round Table Meeting Organised by Janaagraha, Highlights Emerging Urbanisation Trends

Rejeet Mathews from WRI India participated in a meeting on rural-urban transition and emerging trends organised by the non-profit organisation, Janaagraha. She shared insights from the WRI India’s publication “Morphology of Delhi National Capital Region’s Economic Geography and Its Implications for Planning.”

This report presents the findings on assessing Delhi National Capital Region’s industrial structure over time, diversification, and sector wise competitiveness. It further discusses through an economic geography lens, how the subregions within Delhi NCR underwent a unique transformation with associated demographic impacts without compromising on the economic prominence of the overall region.

24th February 2024: Rejeet Mathews from WRI India Speaks to NDTV 24X7 on Economic Potential and Opportunities in Gurugram

Rejeet Mathews, Director, Urban Development at WRI India recently spoke to NDTV 24x7 about the economic potential and livability of Gurugram in the wake of its new metro line and expressway. Speaking to NDTV’s Manisha Natarajan Rejeet said “Connected infrastructure de-risks the economy & are key to economic efficiency and productivity.

India’s leading urban agglomeration economy, located within Delhi NCR, includes Gurugram, and is predicted to overtake Tokyo in terms of population. Speaking on opportunities for more jobs in Gurugram, Rejeet said “Gurugram is part of the larger economic capital of India that overtook Mumbai a few years ago. While textile and automobile industries are still dominant in the area, IT and management jobs are all coming here and that needs better infrastructure.”

Rejeet also highlighted the need to improve the quality of life and livability index of the city. She said, “while we build economic infrastructure you also need infrastructure for quality of life. While you have the metro line you need other forms of public infrastructure & walking infrastructure, green spaces, waste sewerage & storm water draining systems.”

15th March 2024: Fellows under the Jalandhar Eco City-Region Fellowship program receive Professional Empowerment Training (Expert Talks 12)

Expert Talks 12 was a significant session within the Jalandhar Eco City-Region Fellowship program, organized by WRI India. Dolma Sharma from the talent acquisition and human resources team at WRI India, led the session. She covered essential topics such as empowering interns and fellows, crafting compelling CVs, optimizing LinkedIn profiles, interview preparation, and securing opportunities. The session provided valuable insights and practical advice, equipping participants with tools and strategies for navigating their professional paths effectively. Additionally, the interactive Q&A session facilitated an exchange of ideas and addressed specific queries, enhancing the learning experience for all attendees. Expert Talks 12 demonstrated WRI India’s commitment to nurturing fellows’ professional development and future career tracks in urban development and sustainability.

19th March 2024: WRI India conducts a review and strategic discussion with the CEO of Jalandhar Smart City Limited and Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Jalandhar

The Jalandhar Smart City Project Review and Strategy Session represented a significant milestone in the collaborative efforts between WRI India, Eco City-Region (ECR) Fellows, and Jalandhar Smart City Limited (JSCL) Experts. The session showcased ongoing projects in Jalandhar, highlighting their structure, objectives, and the fellowship program’s involvement. Rishab Gaba from WRI India presented updates from ongoing projects like Kala Sanghain Drain rejuvenation and Pond Rejuvenation, discussing the role of ECR Fellows in conceptual design and addressing associated challenges. The Commissioner emphasized maintaining project’s financial viability and stressed the importance of documentation for future reference. Positive feedback was received for the upcoming Haria Bharia Jalandhar project- a community-led and managed urban greening effort in Jalandhar city, Ideas for long-term project engagement, including a portal or app, were proposed. Overall, the event highlighted WRI India’s and Eco City-Region Fellows’ active involvement in project presentation, strategic discussions, and collaborative decision-making, showcasing their integral role in advancing sustainable urban development initiatives in Jalandhar.

19th March 2024: Collaboration and knowledge exchange session in Jalandhar Eco City-Region Fellowship by WRI India

The Buddy Connect Session in the Jalandhar Eco City-Region Fellowship program, led by WRI India, served as a dynamic platform for fostering camaraderie, collaboration, and knowledge exchange among participants. Participants engaged in lively discussions to address challenges, share experiences, and explore opportunities for collective learning and growth. Highlights included identifying specific learning needs, such as sessions on QGIS, informal settlements, and econometrics, reflecting WRI India’s commitment to tailored training and support. The session exemplified the collaborative spirit and community-building efforts central to the fellowship program.

6th March 2024: WRI’s partnership with the Directorate of Urban Local Bodies and the Government of Uttar Pradesh

On March 6th, WRI India formalised a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Directorate of Urban Local Bodies, Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP), aimed at providing technical expertise and knowledge assistance across various critical sectors. is focused on developing strategies for state-level stormwater management, utilising data-driven tools, and crafting guidance documents to promote climate-resilient urban planning tailored for smaller towns within the state. The collaboration also includes capacity building and training initiatives in urban governance, planning, and environmentally sustainable development.

The MoU signing ceremony was conducted between Dr. Nitin Bansal (IAS), Director of Urban Local Bodies, GoUP, and Madhav Pai, CEO of WRI India, in the presence of Shri. AMRIT ABHIJAT (IAS), Principal Secretary, Urban Development Uttar Pradesh, and Rejeet Mathews, our Program Director for Integrated Urban Development.

Link to the LinkedIn post: WRI India on LinkedIn: Bus Karo

3rd and 4th April 2024: WRI India conducts MANTHAN Session 8.0 to discuss methods and frameworks for assessment for informal settlements in Jalandhar

MANTHAN Session 8.0, conducted on April 3rd and 4th, 2024, served as a forum for exploring structured approaches for analyzing existing informal settlements in Jalandhar. Led by experts Paramjeet Chawla, Neha Lal, and Raj Bhagat Palanichamy from WRI India, the session focused on analyzing the report titled “The Unseen Lives: Slum Assessment of Jalandhar City,” authored by Mohnish Batra who is one of our Eco City-region fellows in Jalandhar. Discussions focused on streamlining the report’s structure, content, approach, using research tools like indices, and questionnaires. The session provided a comprehensive platform for critical evaluation and refinement of the study, contributing significantly to the ongoing efforts to address urban challenges in Jalandhar. WRI India team members focused on using representative and diverse data sets, creating frameworks for evaluation and reducing researcher’s bias.

12th April 2024: WRI India conducts #ExpertTalks 13, a session focused on learning GIS basics

Expert Talks 13, held on April 12th, 2024, was an immersive learning experience on Geographic Information System (GIS) software, specifically QGIS. Led by Abhimanyu S, Program Associate at WRI India, the session aimed to equip Eco City-region Fellows with practical skills in handling raster and vector data. Participants engaged in hands-on exercises, exploring functionalities such as file management, attribute creation, symbology customization, and data visualization using maps of Punjab geography. The session highlighted the importance of leveraging advanced tools for spatial analysis and how evidence driven decision-making can drive urban planning and development.

24th April 2024: WRI India conducts #ExpertTalks 14, a session focused on exploring using statistics in decision-making

Expert Talks 14, conducted on April 24th, 2024, provided a comprehensive overview of basic and advanced statistical concepts relevant to urban planning and development. Led by expert Paramjeet Chawla, Program Manager (Urban Economist) at WRI India, the session delved into topics such as hypothesis testing, regression analysis, correlation, and causation. Through interactive discussions and illustrative examples, participants gained insights into the application of statistical methodologies in addressing complex urban challenges.

16th April 2024: WRI India meets IAS Satya Prakash Patel, Special Secretary to the Government of UP, Urban Development Department and UP CNDS State PMU Team on Stormwater Scheme

WRI India met with Shri. Satya Prakash Patel, Special Secretary to the Government of UP, Urban Development Department, and Construction & Design Services (C&DS), a Consultancy Service assisting the GoUP team in Lucknow, to discuss integration of water security within Stormwater Drainage Management Scheme in Uttar Pradesh (UP). The preliminary meeting helped in getting information on its status, criteria and phase of formulation. Following this discussion, significant insights were gained. In parallel, WRI India team is conducting an internal review of the scheme draft to provide data driven analysis for informing the scheme guidelines. WRI India team focused on developing a water security approach and using data for prioritizing high-risk areas within this scheme for a targeted approach.

29th April 2024: Krishna Kumar and Neha Lal publish blog on ‘Advancing Ecosystem-based Yamuna River Management’

The blog on “Advancing an Ecosystem-based Approach for Yamuna River Management” by Neha Lal and Krishna Kumar explores the intricate relationship between Delhi’s growth and the well-being of the Yamuna River. Delving into the river’s historical significance and its current environmental challenges, the blog underscores the urgent need for a comprehensive approach to ensure the sustainability of river ecosystems in urban environments. From highlighting the grim reality of pollution to discussing the complex drainage morphology of Delhi, the authors emphasize the importance of integrated strategies and collaborative efforts from various stakeholders. They advocate for proactive measures, such as the establishment of a High-level Committee and the development of strategic frameworks, to rejuvenate and restore the health of the Yamuna River. By prioritizing comprehensive river management and fostering collective action, Delhi can safeguard its lifeline and preserve the Yamuna as a vital resource for future generations.

26th April: Project Kick-off Meeting and engagement updates with city-region partners Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission

The project kick-off meeting chaired by the Member Secretary (FAC) of the State Planning Commission, Tamil Nadu, was held on April 26, 2024. The meeting outlined the scope and expectations of both projects and emphasized the integration of specific elements into our research studies.

Additionally, a virtual initiation meeting was conducted between WRI India and Member-Secretary Ms. Sudha S(I.F.S) of the Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission, facilitated by the Tamil Nadu State Land Use Research Board (TNSLURB). Discussions revolved around addressing urbanization challenges, administration, and the importance of implementing a robust land use information system for informed decision-making.Exciting progress lies ahead as we work closely with Tamil Nadu state authorities to tackle pertinent issues and achieve our project objectives.

18th & 19th April 2024: WRI India team participates in Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation’s Capacity Building Initiative for MEL Practitioners in Climate and Sustainability Sectors

Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, a facilitator for clean energy and climate solutions, collaborates with various stakeholders to scale energy system interventions. They recently initiated a series of in-person capacity building sessions for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) practitioners in the social impact space, focusing on topics such as Impact Strategizing, Theory of Change, and Results Framework. Our MEL associate, Tanya Chawla participated in this initiative on April 18th and 19th, engaging with practitioners from over 50 organizations. The sessions provided valuable insights into enhancing our existing MEL systems, enabling us to incorporate diverse perspectives and refine our approach to monitoring and evaluation.

April 2024: Onboarding Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) Development Fellows under Eco City-region Initiative towards co-creation of Bodoland

Principal Secretatry,BTC… notified an order to attach xy fellows to WRI India team…

Mr. Debajit Rajbanshi and Ms. Mini Bala Bargayary, have joined us as BTR Development Fellows dedicated towards the Eco City-region initiative in Bodoland.

Mr. Rajbanshi holds a Master’s in Sociology from the Delhi School of Economics (DSE) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Urban Planning and Development from IGNOU. Ms. Bargayary has a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgy and Material Engineering from NIT Trichy, a master’s degree in Appropriate Technology and Entrepreneurship Management from NIT Arunachal Pradesh, and a Postgraduate Diploma in GIS and Remote Sensing for Rural Development from NIRD&PR, Hyderabad. Both have been instrumental in coordinating and liaising with different departments, as well as following up with officials for collating data and stakeholder discussions. We’re excited to have them on board!

1st -2nd May: WRI India meets Principal Secretary and leading IAS officials on ongoing initiatives for sustainable urban development in Uttar Pradesh

WRI India participated in a series of discussions to deepen our engagement with the Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP). Led by Amrit Abhijat, Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department, GoUP, the discussions included reviewing progress across the ongoing areas of engagement outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the presence of key officers and representatives from WRI India

WRI India meets with Shri Amrit Abhijat and Shri Satya Prakash Patel (IAS) from GoUP to discuss Storm Water Drainage Scheme

WRI India team met with Principal Secretary Amrit Abhijat, Shri Satya Prakash Patel (IAS) and stakeholders working on Storm Water Drainage scheme to discuss water security approaches and other mapping and analytics prepared for the State. The team provided data insights for streamlining Storm Water Drainage Scheme currently under preparation.

WRI India meets Shri Nitin Bansal IAS and team to discuss sustainable and resilient planning in alignment with the ‘Aspirational Cities’ program of the State.

We met with Shri Nitin Bansal IAS and team to discuss sustainable and resilient planning aspects in alignment with the ‘Aspirational Cities’ program of the State. The “Akankshi Nagar Yojana” aims to elevate essential urban services and social infrastructure in 100 small cities with populations ranging from 20,000 to 100,000. The scheme fosters convergence among central, state, and local schemes and encourages multi-stakeholder collaboration to ensure sustainable development, improved municipal service delivery, economic opportunities & quality of life for all citizens. WRI India will support the UP government through the development of a planning handbook targeted towards ecologically resilient planning in small cities and towns in UP with population less than 1 lakh.

WRI India meets Shri. Rajender Pensaiya, Directorate of Urban Transport to discuss ways of effective planning, implementation, and monitoring of the Chief Minister Green Road Infrastructure Development (CM GRIDS).

WRI India team met Dr. Rajender Pensaiya (IAS) from the Directorate of Urban Transport and the PMU Urban Road Infrastructure Development Agency (URIDA) team to offer insights on developing a data management system for roads selected under the CM GRIDS scheme. The team shared frameworks and national and international best practices on for real-time road data management monitoring system with government stakeholders, including Kotak and RSAC (Remote Sensing and GIS, Lucknow), who are also involved in building and hosting of the road asset management portal. Discussions from the meeting included suggestions on forming CMGRID Data Management Portal Committee to oversee the development of the CMGRID Data Portal Management Framework, aiming to enhance road asset management and decision-making processes.

3rd May: Submission of Regional Planning frameworks for the Preparation of Regional Strategic Plan for Srinagar Metropolitan Region (SMR) – 2047

WRI India has provided guidance and technical support to draft regional planning frameworks for furthering the process for Srinagar Metropolitan Region (SMR) – 2047 Strategic Plan. Based on the RfP, the selected consultant awarded the regional planning tender will conduct a baseline assessment, define a vision, engage stakeholders, and develop a strategic framework and implementation plan with a focus on sustainable development and resilience. The Terms of Reference outline eligibility criteria, technical and financial proposals, evaluation criteria, and contractual obligations. The consultant will also provide capacity building for Srinagar Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (SMRDA) and Town Planning Organization (TPO Kashmir) staff. The goal is to create a sustainable, resilient, and actionable strategic plan for SMR.

18th and 19th May: RMF Thriving Eco City-regions teams gets together for a 2-day team workshop

The Thriving Eco City-regions team at WRI India united for a dynamic 2-day workshop in Delhi. It was the first in-person meeting for our team, with representatives from Srinagar to Kochi and Nagpur to Kokrajhar. As a pan-India initiative with team members from 12 cities, the workshop provided a valuable opportunity to share experiences, streamline approaches, and exchange ideas. Narratives from each city-region were discussed, offering insights into their unique cultures, economies, and urbanization challenges from a people-centric perspective.

Sessions focused on strengthening our Theory of Change with year-one learnings, building robust Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) practices, and using social media for wider impact. These diverse perspectives guide our efforts towards framing ecologically resilient practices with our government partners, tailored to each region’s unique context.

20th May 2024: WRI India Conducts Expert Talks for MCJ and Jalandhar Fellows on QGIS Training and using Spatial analysis for urban assessments and decision-making

On May 20th, 2024, WRI India hosted sessions 15 and 16 of its Expert Talks series, focusing on QGIS training. Raj Bhagat Palanichamy, Senior Program Manager of Geo Analytics, Sustainable Cities & Transport at WRI India, led sessions, with co-facilitators Abhimanyu S, Program Associate, and Bhanu Khanna, Program Manager, from the Geo Analytics team at WRI India.

The first session provided an overview of available raster datasets, websites, and portals for accessing data, and effective use of data search engines. Challenges related to data acquisition and utilization were addressed, giving participants a comprehensive understanding of the tools and resources available for geo-analytics, particularly in the context of urban development and sustainability projects.

The second session delved into more complex aspects of QGIS, including the use of the Model Query Builder for advanced data analysis, employing raster and vector tools and datasets for geo-analytic purposes, and understanding the Vegetation Index-NDVI and its applications. Detailed information on bands and satellite data was also provided. Additionally, discussions on ongoing projects by ECR Fellows allowed the experts to address specific challenges faced by the fellows, ensuring practical learning and immediate applicability of the skills acquired.

These sessions combined foundational knowledge with advanced techniques, equipping participants with a robust set of skills for geo-analytics and enhancing their capabilities in urban development and sustainability projects.

23rd May 2024: WRI India team meets stakeholders from Jal Nigam and Storm Water Drainage department in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

A meeting was held between WRI India team members and Shri Satya Prakash Patel (IAS), Special Secretary for SWD department. Mr. Patel outlined the focus of the Stormwater Management Policy, emphasizing the need for Municipal Corporations to adopt an agile and watershed-based approach, integrating best practices and economic considerations. Spatial analytics provided by WRI India team re-emphasized the unique challenges of urbanization and climate change in the Indo-Gangetic plains. Additionally, meetings with stakeholders such as Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam (Urban) and AMRUT state PMU (Medhaj) have been conducted for data collection and ground assessment, ensuring a thorough understanding of available data.

27th May, 2024: WRI India Conducts Capacity Building Session on Advanced GIS Techniques for PMIDC

WRI India conducted a capacity-building session for the GIS team at the Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Company (PMIDC), concentrating on advanced GIS techniques, particularly heat map generation. Raj Bhagat Palanichamy, Senior Program Manager of Geo Analytics, Sustainable Cities & Transport at WRI India, led the session, which provided an interactive platform for addressing queries. The training emphasized advanced techniques for generating heat maps, suggested modifications to enhance accuracy and efficiency, and highlighted the importance of using diverse data sets to capture temporal variations. The session was marked by interactive discussions and practical problem-solving.

29th May 2024: WRI India prepares and submits Inception Report on Bodoland Regional Spatial Strategy co-creation exercise

As part of our efforts towards co-creating the Regional Spatial Strategy for Bodoland Territorial Region, WRI India prepared and submitted the inception report to members of Bodoland Territorial Council. The report offers a comprehensive overview of the planned initiatives aimed at formulating the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) for the city-region of the Bodoland Territorial Region. It provides a glimpse of the region’s contextual backdrop, the strategy’s relevance, and the proposed approach for this endeavor, highlighting its critical role in addressing developmental risks, ecological degradation, and climate change.The report aims to set the stage for the forthcoming phases of the strategy preparation, ensuring a transparent and seamless progression in the tasks that entail this endeavor.

31st May,2024: WRI India Hosts Buddy Connect Session for Jalandhar Eco City-Region Fellows

On May 31st, 2024, WRI India facilitated a Buddy Connect Session for having productive discussions among the Jalandhar Eco City-Region Fellows. The session helped in identifying learning needs, career exploration, resource access, and work presentations. The session highlighted the necessity for additional training, specifically a session on regression. Fellows engaged in discussions about potential job opportunities in urban development and sustainability fields, and requested access to recordings of previous sessions, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive resource library.

31st May: WRI India Meets with State PMU and CM Fellows to Discuss Baseline Data and Planning Guidelines for 100 selected ULBs under Aspirational Cities Scheme

WRI India met Shri Nitin Bansal and team including dedicated meetings with state PMU (IQVIA) and select CM fellows to discuss the collection and understanding of baseline data. The discussion provided contextual understanding for the formation of the Planning Guidelines Handbook for these small ULBs.

A key takeaway from this meeting was the proposal to hold a brainstorming session with fellows, government stakeholders and diverse knowledge partners. The meetings highlighted the collaborative efforts and strategic planning necessary for developing the Planning handbook.

10th - 11th June: Meeting Government partners to support preparation of Request for Proposal (RfP) for Regional Strategic Plan for Jammu Metropolitan Region (SMR) – 2047

WRI India team members Rejeet Mathew and Subzar Bashir meeting with the Chief Town Planner, Kashmir Bilkies Jeelani (left) and Town Planner SMRDA, Gulzar Ahmed Dar (right) at their respective offices in Srinagar, J&K.

To support ongoing efforts for regional planning in Jammu and Kashmir, WRI India team members met Commissioner Secretary to the Government Housing & Urban Development Department, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Smt. Mandeep Kaur (IAS at Civil Secretariat Srinagar. In addition to being a knowledge partner to Town Planning Office, Kashmir and Srinagar Metropolitan Region Development Authority (SMRDA), WRI India, also extended its support to Jammu Metropolitan Region Development Authority (JMRDA). Under this partnership, we will provide technical support to further the Regional Strategic Plan making for both Srinagar and Jammu Metropolitan Regions of J&K.

This high-level meeting was followed by discussions with the Chief Town Planner of the Town Planning Organisation Kashmir and the Town Planner of the Srinagar Metropolitan Region Development Authority (SMRDA) to finalize the same.

11th June: Submission of the Inception report for co-creation of Regional Spatial Strategy of the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) to Chief Executive Member, BTR, Shri Pramod Boro

WRI India‘s Ecocity coordinator for Bodoland, Michael Islary presenting a copy of the Inception report to Sh. Pramod Boro, Chief Executive Member of Bodoland Territorial Region

WRI India team submitted copies of the Inception Report for Regional Spatial Strategy exercise for Bodoland Territorial Region to the Hon. Chief Executive Member (HCEM), Shri Pramod Boro; the Principal Secretary (PS), Shri Akash Deep, IAS, BTC; and Shri Jatin Bora, ACS, Secretary of the Transformation and Development Department, BTC for their feedback and review. The report offers a comprehensive overview of the planned initiatives aimed at formulating the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) for the city-region of the Bodoland Territorial Region. The members of the Bodoland Territorial Council will provide their feedback to our team and have also requested a presentation and discussion on the matter. An Inception workshop has been planned on 25th-26th July in Kokrajhar with the BTC members to initiate the next stage of regional strategy co-creation.

14th June: Submission of the Inception report for the Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission on building frameworks for sustainable peri-urban areas management

(Left)Inception Report cover page; (Right)Methodology of identification of settlement typologies

Research insights and suggestions were submitted to the Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP) to strengthen Greening and Horticulture Policy. The suggested framework sets measurable greening targets at state and city levels, emphasizing sustainable practices to protect natural areas and promote scientific, data-driven greening for climate resilience. It integrates urban green spaces into the built environment through strategic planning and maintenance, engaging the community in greening activities to foster participation and ownership. The policy also develops a robust model for maintaining open spaces and aims to promote Uttar Pradesh as a tourism capital. This initiative aims to create a sustainable, resilient green environment, enhancing environmental protection, community well-being, and economic growth.

18th June: Reviews submitted to strengthen Draft of Greening and Horticulture Policy for State of Uttar Pradesh

(Left) Integrated approach for greening; (Right) Urban greening typologies illustrated in Mumbai Greening Manual

19th & 26th June: Meetings with Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP)

WRI India team deployed dedicated staff members with specialisation in GIS, flood modelling, stormwater management in UP to support ongoing policy and scheme preparation. WRI India team members held regular weekly meetings with Special Secretary Shri Satya Prakash Patel (IAS) and the Grand Thornton team head Mr. Vidya Sagar to discuss the Urban Stormwater Management Policy draft and scheme preparation. The focus was on ensuring alignment with national initiatives, improving policy effectiveness and clarity, and incorporating suggestions to enhance water security and contribute to economic and functional goals.

Following this, on June 26, 2024, WRI India met with K.V. Raju, Economic Advisor to the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh; the Chief Engineer of Jal Nigam; and representatives from Deloitte, Grand Thornton (GT), KPMG (SBM), and the Chief Minister Nagar Srajan Yojna (CMNSY). The meeting aimed to discuss the status and requirements for the Request for Proposal (RfP), Expression of Interest (EoI), and Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the Storm Water Drainage Policy in Uttar Pradesh. Discussions also covered the boundaries of the master plan for the UPSCR region, including the calculation of population and area (27,000 sq. km); demand assessment for future infrastructure development; and the evaluation of housing, physical, and social infrastructure needs.

30th June: Completion of the 11-month Jalandhar Eco-City Region Fellowship

End of June 2024 marked the culmination of the Jalandhar Eco City-Region Fellowship, an 11-month initiative jointly run by WRI India and Jalandhar Smart City Limited. The program aimed to engage young professionals in sustainable urban development projects, providing them with the skills and knowledge necessary to drive positive change in Jalandhar. This month was particularly significant as it involved two major activities that brought the fellowship to a successful close. The activities in June not only reflected the fellows’ hard work and dedication but also provided valuable insights and feedback to improve future iterations of the fellowship.

Snapshots of Jalandhar ECR fellows presenting their work, experiences and takeaways from the fellowship

(1) End of term review panels: All fellows participated in end of term review panels, a key event designed to showcase their work, reflect on learnings and receive feedback. Each fellow prepared and delivered a comprehensive presentation, which included drawings, project reports, and other visual materials. These presentations were delivered to a panel of WRI India experts, who provided detailed guidance and addressed possibilities of developing outputs or future research. This session was a crucial learning experience, as it allowed the fellows to articulate their projects clearly and concisely, demonstrating their understanding and the impact of their work. The experts offered constructive criticism and suggestions to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the fellows’ projects. This feedback was instrumental in refining the fellows’ approaches and methodologies, helping them reflect on complexity of urban processes and governance. All fellows received a certificate of appreciation from WRI India’s end.

(2) Exit Interviews: Throughout June 2024, exit interviews were conducted with all fellows as part of the fellowship’s closing procedures. These interviews served as a platform for fellows to reflect on their experiences, share their opinions, and provide constructive feedback on the fellowship model. Each fellow was given the opportunity to discuss what they had learned over the past 11 months, including technical skills, project management techniques, and the ability to work collaboratively in a team setting. They highlighted the wide array of projects they had been involved in, such as urban planning initiatives, sustainable development projects, and community engagement activities. The exit interviews revealed a wealth of information about the fellows’ journeys. Many reported significant personal and professional growth, citing specific examples of how the fellowship had impacted their careers and perspectives on urban sustainability. The fellows also offered areas for improvement. The one-to-one exit interviews are invaluable for the continuous improvement of the fellowship, ensuring that future initatives remain responsive to challenges faced in city-regions.