Presentation of the City Profile
On April 21, 2021, the Kochi Team of the Morgenstadt Global Smart Cities Initiative (MGI) conducted its first remote Stakeholder and Solution Workshop in the transformation phase of the project. After many months of analysis and evaluation in the Kochi City Lab, the sustainability profile of the city was officially presented to important local actors. The executive summary of the report can be downloaded from the MGI library.
Due to the critical situation created by the global COVID-19 pandemic the event had to be held digitally. For its organization, MGI team members from the University of Stuttgart as well as various Fraunhofer Institutes collaborated with the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED) in Kochi. A diverse group of more than 30 participants attended the online event, from Fraunhofer experts and Indian partners to local experts and representatives of resident associations from Kochi, including prominent attendees M. AnilKumar – Hon. Mayor of Kochi Municipal Corporation and Hitesh Vaidya, Director of the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), India.
The workshop was outlined to present the City Profile of Kochi and to discuss the proposed project ideas in order to develop a pilot project in Elamakkara ward in Kochi. The mayor of Kochi, M. AnilKumar, initiated the proceedings with a welcome address. Afterwards, Petr Suska, Head of the team Urban Governance Innovation (Fraunhofer IAO) gave a brief introduction to the MGI project as well as the process of the City Lab in Kochi. This was followed by Anandi Iyer, Director of the Fraunhofer Office in India addressing Indo-German cooperation in Smart Cities and Fraunhofer’s significant contributions and initiatives in India.
The session continued with the presentation of the City Profile results by the Fraunhofer experts. Firstly, Dr. Marius Mohr, Head of the City Lab Kochi (Fraunhofer IGB), presented the results in the water sector. In the following, the results for the energy sector were presented by Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, Head of the Group Smart Cities (Fraunhofer ISE). Furthermore, Sabine Giglmeier, Business Development Manager and MGI sector expert (Fraunhofer IBP) presented the results in the housing and built environment sector. This was followed by Sophie Mok (Fraunhofer IAO), responsible for MGI Climate Resilience and Capacity Building, presenting findings on adaptation to climate change. Additionally, Jose Antonio Ordóñez, leader of the MGI City Lab in Saltillo and MGI energy expert (Fraunhofer ISI) elaborated on the outcomes of CO2 accounting carried out for primary project ideas. Finally, the results on climate financing solutions were presented by Sanjeev Tamhane from the Frankfurt School of Finance, one of MGI’s implementing partners.
After a break, the second session focusing on project development, was opened by Dr. Rajan Chedambath, Director of C-HED illustrating the activities in Kochi related to the proposed pilot project. He explained that the project has been integrated in the annual budget of Kochi Municipal Corporation for the financial year 2021-22. The session proceeded with the presentation of the current status of this lighthouse project in Kochi which is called “Sustainable Neighborhood”. The aim of this project is to renovate all buildings in Elamakkara North and to equip them with photovoltaic systems as well as sustainable water and sewage systems while considering their historical value and restoring key structures. Additionally, the integration of green spaces is planned to increase the city’s resilience towards extreme weather events and to counter the heat island effect.
The next steps in the project development were discussed further, involving present stakeholders who showed interest in supporting impending activities. Specifically, the definition of a clear timeline and stakeholder structure were highlighted to ensure the success of the project.
After a session for questions and feedback, Dr. Marius Mohr shared some experiences and insights on an Aqua-Hub project in the context of Indo-German cooperation in India. The workshop concluded with M. AnilKumar, Hon. Mayor of Kochi Municipal Corporation underlining the key steps to be taken in the coming months to realize the project progress and once again assuring his full support for the project. On the basis of the insightful findings in the City Profile and with the active support of key stakeholders and important local representatives, the Kochi Team is now sufficiently equipped to initiate the final phase of the project and commence the implementation of the pilot project.