Climate Resilient Smart Cities: Opportunities for Innovative Solutions in India
India’s overall exposure to climate-induced risks—such as cyclones, extreme rainfall, riverine floods, heat waves, and disease outbreaks—is causing large-scale damage to many states as well as unprecedented economic loss in cities. Since the late 2000s, the Government of India has been actively trying to incorporate climate change within the country’s development goals. Inclusion of the Climate Change Department within the Ministry of Environment and Forestry is one such initiative. This initiative has had some success in preserving biodiversity, but has contrastingly led to limited actions in cities, which function under the Ministry of Urban Development. In cities, most urban administrators have a short tenure ranging from 1 to 3 years, while political representative such as the Mayor has a maximum term of 4 years, thus making it difficult for them to deal with challenges that are probable 10–20 years in the future. Further, the magnitude of developmental challenges given rapid urban migration has led urban managers to address the immediate basic needs of citizens rather than plan for future eventualities, both in terms of climate change adaptation/mitigation and future population growth. The lack of inclusion within government programs, lack of incentives, increasing exposure, and spending for coping has created opportunities for individuals, communities, and institutions to design and implement resilience measures to address the problems of shocks and stresses that arise from climate extremes. This chapter highlights some of the wicked challenges faced by smart city initiatives in the context of climate change and offers innovative solutions to address them across scales and in time.
KeywordsClimate change Resilience Smart cities Urban development India
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