'UK is committed to supporting India’s goal of 100 smart cities'

Speaking notes for Dominic McAllister, British Deputy High Commissioner Bengaluru at sustainable urbanisation conference, 19 April.

100 स्मार्ट शहर

Ladies and gentlemen

It gives me immense pleasure to be speaking at CII’s Annual Environment and Sustainability conference.

The UK supports the ‘Make in India’ campaign, as does UK business. The UK is committed to supporting India’s goal of ‘100 smart cities’.

During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK in November 2015 both prime ministers agreed to a new five-year partnership to develop three smart cities in Amaravati, Indore and Pune.

The choices that are made today on building designs, waste management, water, energy and food systems, urban ecosystem management, transportation, infrastructure development and retrofitting will have critical implication for future urban habitats.

UK companies can help India across the entire span of the four-pillar smart city framework/sustainable urbanisation. We have expertise in infrastructure – from smart transport and mobility to water and waste management – in digital – particularly in fin tech and e-commerce – and in design, professional services, healthcare and e-governance.

2012 London Olympics is a good example of developing East London on the principles of sustainable urbanisation. Few achievements

  • one of London 2012’s most visible achievements was the creation of the Olympic Park on once-contaminated industrial land, which became the largest new urban parkland in Europe for 150 years.
  • London Velodrome boasts natural cooling, water harvesting and daylighting and was constructed with lightweight materials.
  • 240 electric and hybrid cars were among the 4,000 vehicles used during the Olympics.
  • the food packaging was made from compostable materials like starch and cellulose.
  • 3,000-square-meters of mostly-recycled copper was used to build the Copper Box – venue for Handball arena – eliminating lighting during day and harvesting rainwater
  • the aquatic centre – second largest Olympic building was built on a brownfield site and with sustainable sourced timber. Trains supplied the material to save on fuel for trucks.
  • 100% of games operations waste was diverted from landfill, with 62% of that waste being reused, recycled or composted. Additionally, 99% of the waste from installing and decommissioning the games venues was reused or recycled.
  • UK’s capabilities lie in urban design, planning and architecture. BRE UK developed BREEAM green building standards and Building Information Management (BIM) software used internationally
  • UK construction and civil engineering firms lead major urban infrastructure developments worldwide. One of them ATKINS is based in Bangalore (Bengaluru).
  • UK strengths applied in global context for major infrastructure and urban development financing and project delivery
  • there are now over 3,384 low carbon emission buses in the UK. (delivers a 15% well to wheel GHG saving). 1,500 hybrid electric buses and 15 pure electric buses also run on London roads. Around 3,000 buses are expected to run on biodiesel, renewable biodiesel from waste products, including cooking oil and tallow from the meat processing trade.

Some of the work we are doing in India especially in the space of low carbon growth and climate resilience includes

  • supported Madurai and Mysore with their low carbon masterplan through special planning tools. The pilot test gave impressive results, all the services at 30 % less land expansion, 45 % less investment and 33 % less carbon emissions. Many of the recommendations have been adopted by the municipal corporations in their masterplan.

  • another concept that we are supporting is the future proofing in Aluva – designing a framework for the town of Aluva near Kochi in Kerala to become climate resilient.

  • DfID also developed a roadmap for Kolkata in creating sustainable business opportunities in low-carbon growth; reducing carbon emissions; building skills and capacity; and making cities more climate resilient.

Sustainability requires holistic consideration of social, economic and environmental dimensions of urban challenges to develop solutions that meet future needs. Sustainable urbanisation is the process of sustainable development in urban areas.

I would like to congratulate CII for bringing multiple stakeholders under one roof and initiating a discussion on the need for sustainable urbanisation.

Published 20 April 2016