Indo-German Project submits the Action Plan for “Sustainable Hyderabad”

The Indo-German Project „Climate and Energy in a Complex Transition Process towards Sustainable Hyderabad: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies by Changing Institutions, Governance Structures, Life Styles and Consumption Patterns“ – funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) – has successfully conducted its final International Conference from 15th to 16th February 2013 in Hyderabad. The Project Consortium led by the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Prof. Dr. Konrad Hagedorn, Chair for Resource Economics, Department of Agricultural Economics, had the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Institute for Geography of Goettingen University (CULTGEO), the Institute for Cooperation Management and Interdisciplinary Research (NEXUS), the Institute for Cooperative Sciences at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (IfG) and the Planning, Transport and Logistics (PTV) AG, Karlsruhe as members. In the last five years, about 40 scientists participated in the research activities.

The overall objective of the project has been ‘to develop a sustainable development framework for Hyderabad with priority on mitigation and adaptation strategies for climate change and energy efficiency.’ Focusing on the sectors of transport, food, land use planning and provision of energy and water, the project aimed to achieve climate change adaptation and mitigation as well as energy efficiency through designing of appropriate policies aiming towards a change of behaviour.

Analysis of policies, of lifestyles in individual households, of authorities for urban planning and administration and of governance structures were conducted in tandem with the technical analysis in each of the focus fields: energy and water supply, food and health, and transport. The results of both analyses guided the conceptualisation of the pilot projects. The project applied a ‘discourse approach’ to bring in the necessary changes to the institutions and governance. The knowledge generated through research and the implemented pilot projects involving all the stakeholders and actors is embedded in the local discourses.

The process of finalizing and synthesizing the key findings and recommendations from the local discourses started in June 2012 with the publishing of ‘Policy Briefs’ in the focus fields of the project. The results and recommendations were discussed systematically first among the stakeholders who implemented the climate actions on a pilot basis during the first day of the workshop held in October 2012. After the deliberations within various working groups consisting both researchers and practitioners, several recommendations to institutionalize the local climate discourses emerging from the project were agreed upon. These recommendations were proposed before the key decision makers in the government on the following ‘Policy Dialogue Day’ of the workshop. Further, interviews and symposia conducted with relevant stakeholders of urban planning and other sectors and their interpretative analysis, along with the analysis of the proceedings of the workshop and other studies in respective focus fields of the project were used to arrive at a comprehensive document consisting of recommendations for perspective local climate actions.

On 15th of February 2013, this document was handed over to the Hon’ble Minister, Mr. Reddy, representing the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Mr. Neerab Kumar Prasad, Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA). About 100 eminent personalities from the science, administration, politics and civil society participated in this conference. The presented document with its concrete strategies of action has implications for planning across sectors and scales. The demonstrated solutions for large scale climate problem are expected to be integrated in or guide the urban development master plans, proposed state action plan for climate change and any other plans in the sectors of energy, transport, food, water and education.

On 16th of February a „Researcher‘s and Practitioner‘s Fair“, was conducted which was attended by about 450 persons from the scientific and economic fields, practitioners and most importantly students and young researchers from different universities and colleges of the city. It was a very interesting interaction with all these admirers of the results of this 7 year old Project to discuss with them during the lectures, demonstrations, posters, exhibition, simulation models, individual contacts and cultural programs. Already a number of innovative ideas have come up and are getting ready to contribute and become part of the transformation process to make this beautiful Hyderabad a sustainable city.

Last but not least, many sincere thanks are due to all those partners in the consortium who contributed to various outputs of the project, and all the stakeholders in India who participated actively in various exercises for identifying problems, building scenarios, identifying options, piloting the solutions, making sense of these actions and evaluating them, and arriving at recommendations for scaling up of these initiatives. The kind and unstinted support of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) is appreciated without which such a herculean endeavor would not have been possible.

Some impressions of the final workshop: