Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

On 1st February 2004, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) announced a call for proposals in the funding programme “Research for the Sustainable Development of the Megacities of Tomorrow”. This funding programme is part of the Division 622 "Global Change" of the Ministry. Based on the selection of the Projects by an international jury, BMBF has launched the new funding programme in May 2005. The research projects funded will run up to 11 years. The first two years have been allotted for the concerned consortia towards the design of the Project.

The 8th World Congress “Metropolis 2005 – Tradition and Transformation. The future of the City” was the platform for the first public presentation of the BMBF’s funding programme. The research consortia which have been selected by BMBF for an initial 2-year funding period presented their projects, met the representatives of Metropolis member cities. The present Project “Hyderabad as a Megacity of Tommorow: Sustainable Urban Food and Health Security and Environmental Resource Management” was represented at this meet by the Project Leader Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Konrad Hagedorn and the Project Coordinator, Dr. Ramesh Chennamaneni.

As has been announced by the UN General Secretary Kofi Annan the “Urban Century” has begun. Where as in the year 1800 only about 2% of the world’s population lived in the cities, today we find ourselves at a historical turning-point: in 2007 every other person world wide will live in a city and two-thirds of these cities will be in developing countries. This is undoubtedly a global change that no longer affects individual countries or regions alone but affect the whole of humanity. These shifts and the increasing population density are unprecedented and are taking place at a pace (the present cities of the world grow by 60 Million per year) that is putting to the test the strategic and innovative competence of politics, the economy and civil society. This trend culminates in so-called megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants. From only five in 1975 their number is expected to grow to 26 in 2015. In addition, there are numerous other large cities and those with over a million inhabitants that are moving towards the 10 million mark. These "megacities of tomorrow" are of special interest to politics as there is still an opportunity for precautionary action and targeted urban development. Characteristic of this focal point of support is that it is firmly embedded in the concept of sustainable development. Environmental, economic and social aspects of urban development are incorporated into a single concept. This means that the envisaged project themes are not oriented towards individual issues (e.g. hydrological cycles) but towards concrete areas of need (e.g. water supply, food and nutrition, health) that encompass all three aspects of the sustainability principle and are inevitably researched in a multi-dimensional and preferably trans-disciplinary way.

Hyderabad undoubtedly belongs to the above mentioned "megacities of tomorrow" and is of special interest for research, development and policy intervention in urban governance. Given this background, the present Project “Hyderabad as a Megacity of Tomorrow: Sustainable Urban Food and Health Security and Environmental Resource Management” focuses on four problem areas: environmental and resource degradation, poverty and nutrition, application of locally generated knowledge as well as institutional innovation and improved governance structures. These will be combined with process-oriented components of the Project such as: communication and co-operation strategies emphasising the gender dimension, development of a knowledge-based action plan and a dissemination strategy (through Policy Learning Workshops). The Project is expected to result in the implementation of an action plan for solving problems of nutrition and environment as well as leading to institutional innovations and governance reforms.

For details on background paper, call for proposals and individual projects of Megacity programme of BMBF see www.emerging-megacities.org or contact Project Management Agency of BMBF:

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Project Management Agency Environmental Research and Technology
Dr. Andrea Koch-Kraft
Heinrich-Konen-Straße 1
53227 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49-228-8199611 Fax:+49-228-8199640
E-mail: umweltforschung@dlr.de