Pilot Projects

Pilot Projects which have the potential for continued implementation will be organised. In total, eight concepts for pilot projects, initially developed and communicated during last year’s international workshop in Hyderabad, have been approved by the project coordination, following continuous consultation with BMBF. The concepts were finalised during the national workshop in May 2011, and the majority of them have been formally launched in October 2011. Below we provide a description of the PPs.

  1. Enabling climate-proof city development by introducing the Climate Assessment Tool for Hyderabad (CATHY) into the planning processes
  2. Integration of climate change aspects into the strategic transport planning process (adaptation and mitigation) by means of a strategic planning tool
  3. Sustainable Street Food Plan
  4. The LPG Project - Collective Action for Fuel Transition among the Urban Poor
  5. Implementing cooperative and technical solutions to increase agricultural water pump efficiency
  6. Solar Powered Schools: Feasibility and implementation strategies for small-scale on-grid photovoltaic installation
  7. Education for Sustainable Lifestyles: Participative learning about sustainability and life-cycle thinking
  8. Community Radio: A tool for community development and empowerment

(1) Enabling climate-proof city development by introducing the Climate Assessment Tool for Hyderabad (CATHY) into the planning processes

Hyderabad is presently characterised by climatic conditions that are extreme in the sense of large variations in temperature and precipitation during different seasons. Scenario calculations show that these conditions are very likely to become more extreme in the future (Lüdeke et al., 2010). Already today, the city is hardly able to cope with these extremes, and frequent damages occur – including health problems, property damage, infrastructural damage, life disruptions, water scarcity and a reduction in quality, and energy supply problems – all with a host of economic implications. A comprehensive assessment of the impacts has been undertaken, documenting that it is of great importance to reduce climate change impacts on urban functions through, for instance, improved planning (Reckien et al., 2009, 2011). This would allow the city and its people to act in order to reduce urban flooding and urban heat islands and their impacts today as well as in the future.

The ongoing climate change process poses a tremendous challenge to urban planning and decision making processes worldwide. The availability of climate-relevant information, the possibility to compare climate and socio-economic scenarios and to assess alternative futures are very important prerequisites for cities as focal points of global growth to align themselves with sustainable development pathways and to successfully adapt to the climate of the future.

The Climate Assessment Tool for Hyderabad (CATHY) is an already implemented pilot project in this regard. CATHY seeks to serve as a prototype for urban decision-support systems, specifically designed to tackle climate-related issues of the city of Hyderabad, India. This original tool is being designed by drawing upon the expertise of local partners and stakeholders and aims to become an important mechanism for Hyderabad's decision makers in assessing the possible impacts of climate change under various climate and socio-economic development scenarios. Furthermore, CATHY will be used to facilitate the search for realistic management options aimed at balancing the socio-economic development of Hyderabad over mid- to long-term planning periods. The open source architecture and functionality of the decision-support tool relies on knowledge rather than cost-intensive solutions for continuous assessment of policy and technological decisions with regard to climate change scenarios, including their uncertainties. The tool extensively uses high-resolution satellite imagery analysis techniques. It its current form, CATHY incorporates a custom developed settlement structure-based slum detection algorithm as well as a flood risk model. It is also capable of performing assessment of vulnerability to extreme weather events.

(2) Integration of climate change aspects  into the strategic transport planning process (adaptation and mitigation) by means of a strategic planning tool

The initial starting point for this PP is a growing awareness of the negative effects of growing motorized traffic in cities by relevant ministries (MoUD ) and planning bodies in India. This refers firstly to the traffic and environmental quality of cities, but increasingly also to climate change effects from as well as on the transport sector.

To improve the transport system, Hyderabad has recently taken up a Comprehensive Transport Study, which aims to develop a comprehensive mobility plan for the metropolitan region, according to the guidelines established by the MoUD. This is a big step in the direction of creating a sustainable transport system. However, no methodologies are given in the various guidelines or toolkits provided, for example, by the MoUD on how to quantify environmental impacts (energy efficiency, air pollution, GHG emissions) ex-ante for different strategies in order to take these effects into account when choosing the most appropriate strategy for a “future-proof” transport system. Therefore, the Comprehensive Transport Study for Hyderabad will not be able to address these issues fully. Based on the existing conditions in Hyderabad and discussions with partners, the objective of the PP is, accordingly, to contribute the missing knowledge and methodologies needed for the development process of the Comprehensive Mobility Plan for Greater Hyderabad.

In particular, the following questions are being addressed:

1. How can the transport infrastructure be adapted to extreme climatic events most efficiently? The transport sector is not only contributing approximately 20% to Hyderabad’s GHG emissions, but also its functionality – and with it the urban life and economy – is being greatly affected by climate change (traffic interruptions from rainwater flooding, etc.).

2. What potentials for reduction of energy consumption, GHG emissions and air pollution can be expected from implementing particular measures in the transport sector? Focus areas here will be improvement and optimization of public transport and road designs.

The various activities connected with the PP will be linked to the Strategic Planning Tool (SPT), thus far developed as a prototype by PTV and its Indian research partners ESCI, JNTU, and NIT Warangal within the scope of the Sustainable Hyderabad Project. The SPT consists of a multi-modal transport model, set up with the state-of-the-art software VISUM and based on secondary data from Hyderabad, plus a tool for impact analysis.

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Conducting the Walkability survey

Software training in the computer lab at NITW

Workshop participants

(3) Sustainable Street Food Plan

The conceptual framework for the pilot project “Sustainable Street Food Plan” was developed over a period of more than three years of networking, awareness raising and intensive research on various aspects of Hyderabad’s food system. The pilot project is based on four pillars identified and selected during field campaigns and networking workshops by relevant stakeholders, social scientists, activists, and vendors’ representatives. The intervention areas identified are (1) legal certainty, being the most crucial objective in the process of restructuring and modernizing the urban street food provision system; (2) food safety; (3) food culture; and (4) empowerment. In light of these issues, the major objectives of the pilot project are (a) to improve food security of urban dwellers, (b) to secure livelihoods of petty trade vendors, (c) to improve food safety standards and (d) to contribute to socially inclusive and low-emission urban development.

Different instruments are used to raise awareness and sensitize urban stakeholders, research institutions, social activists, vendors’ associations, media persons and consumer groups (e.g. scientific background studies, street food festivals, workshops and group discussions, information desks, media campaign). Capacity building measures are targeted at the state and city administrations to implement the long-pending National Policy on Street Vendors in AP (in close cooperation with MEPMA) and at local organizations (NASVI ) to the improve knowledge and skills of the vendor community.

Three best practice activities are conducting experiments  within the conceptual framework of the PP as applied micro-projects. The first is being conducted in close cooperation with the Food and Nutrition Board, Government of India, and food inspectors of the Additional Commissioner of Health and Sanitation, Veterinary and Transport, GHMC . It focuses on the improvement of street food safety standards by providing knowledge, skills and on-site training to the vendor community. A street food safety manual in the English and Telugu languages compiles information on important food safety issues, such as the purchase of safe and healthy raw materials, energy-efficient food preparation, safe handling and waste-reducing practices. The second best practice activity highlights street food as part of Hyderabad’s cultural heritage. A street food festival, which will be conducted every January as part of the National Vendors’ Day initiative, communicates the importance of the local street food sector in providing safe, healthy, affordable and culturally embedded food items. During the festival, training seminars for vendors and cooking classes for visitors will be conducted, and the need to involve vendors in urban planning processes will be highlighted. The third activity focuses on the issue of empowering marginalized women. The project aims to provide assets, knowledge and skills to sustain their livelihoods as street food vendors and food safety trainers.

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Stakeholder discussion during meeting

Women street food vendors during the NGO-Mela

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Discussion group Minister Sridhar and Prof. Hagedorn exchange the signed Memorandum of Understanding

(4) The LPG Project - Collective Action for Fuel Transition among the Urban Poor

Cooking energy constitutes a major share in the total household energy demand. A survey on household energy consumption pattern in the Hyderabad conducted by the project team (comprising TERI and RESS) in 2010 revealed that a significant percentage of the urban poor still use firewood for cooking. Such cooking practices in an urban setting have adverse impact on environment as well as on health conditions of the household members. A transition towards cleaner cooking fuels like LPG has the potential for improving the quality of environment in urban areas, more efficient use of energy and also would help in halting the deforestation.

The pilot project aims at facilitating slum households to pool their resources to meet the upfront cost and enable the poor households in urban slums to shift to cleaner and modern fuels like LPG. In this regard the project team is collaborating with APMAS, a leading NGO having a network of SHGs in the slums of Hyderabad. The two slums identified for the pilot are Banjara Colony and Nandanavanam in L B Nagar area. Two LPG groups were formed with around 30 household not having LPG connections. The pilot started in month of March 2011 and is currently under evaluation.

The LPG group started functioning in Nandanvanam in March 2011. The local HP gas dealer has agreed to provide connections to five households every month. It also been decided to choose these five households every month by lottery and those five households are contributing to the costs in respective months. The group functioned smoothly and all 25 participating households have got LPG connections by now. Though this group has initially decided to borrow from the cluster fund of Slum Level Federation (SLF)  to meet these monthly contributions, later member households felt they can financially contribute without much hardship.

The LPG group in the second slum has been formed in April 2011. The local Indane gas dealer has agreed to provide connections to all 20 households of the group. However, the group almost took 2 months to have consensus about the resource pooling mechanism to share the financial burden. However, this problem has been solved and in November 2011, 14 member households received LPG connections with households also having been selected via a lottery. The success of the implementation of this particular PP surpassed the expectation of the research team and it is now discussed how to organise local up-scaling. Also, international organisations (ADB, Global Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves) will be contacted in order to promote our “institutional approach” and to further elaborate co-operation possibilities. Following some impressions. Pictures provided by Bibhu P. Nayak.
Further information can be found at TERI homepage.

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LPG cooking stove and gas in kitchen (Nandanavanam)

Common cooking stove in visited slums (wood)

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Understanding cooking habits

Woman collecting dry and fallen twigs from road side trees

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Members of LPG SHG in Nandanavanam

Review meeting in Banjara Colony

(5) Implementing cooperative and technical solutions to increase agricultural water pump efficiency

Analyses of IfG-COOP and RESS revealed huge potentials for the reduction of electricity consumption and improvements of energy efficiency not only in the agricultural region around Hyderabad. However, agriculture demands about 30 % of the total energy consumption in AP. Inefficient water extraction due to inappropriate water pump sets, theft and overloaded transformers considerably add to the problem. AP government is well aware of the problem, but nearly all projects targeting energy effciency aim at costly replacement of ineffcient motors. IfG-COOP, together with their partners CWS, PMGER and Prayas Pune, elaborated a less capital intensive solution, which, if implemented properly, achieves similar eff ects as motor replacement with only a fraction of the cost. The idea is to install capacitors into the existing motors. A capacitor costs about 300 INR and reduces voltage fluctuations and hence improves the overall distribution quality. This is known to reduce total energy consumption as well as the burn-outs of motors. and distribution transformers. The concept is "institutionally sustainable" as it creates a win win situations for farmers, the distribution companies and the agricultural subsidy burdened government. In our empirical research we found that farmers pay about 6,000 INR per year for motor repairs. Likewise, distribution companies will bene t from reduced repair cost of transformers. Because electricity is for free for farmers, the government benefi ts because equipped with capacitors, farmers are expected to reduce energy consumption.

A precondition of successful capacitor use is farmers` raised general awareness for better technology and water and energy issues. The pilot project will follow a "farmers`groups-approach" training and organizing farmers to properly oversee their equipment, strengthen their power to demand the services of their distribution companies and raise their awareness of technical maintenance. This collective or group e ffort is meant to be the building ground for further initiative targeting efficiency improvements like for example replacing the valves of pump sets or knowledge-based solutions like reduced dry pumping.

In order to initiate the PP, IfG-COOP collaborates with a local energy distribution cooperative (CESS), which is willing to provide their area for the implementation. Further, technical  expertise is provided by the Power Systems Research Center at the International Institute for Information Technology Hyderabad (IIIT) and activities like fi eld implementation, equipment acquisition and upscaling will be supported by the Steinbeis Foundation India, an Indo-German network of engineers concerned with technology transfer. For the field work with the farmers, a local NGO (Self Employed Welfare Society) and a Hyderabad based team of social workers with experience in the energy sector and rural capacity building, aid the implementation process. The fi rst steps of the PP have started as early as February 2011. In the meantime conceptual work and procedures for measurements have been drafted. The field implementation phase will start in December 2011. After the beginning of the implementation phase the total duration of the project is one year. To produce reliable and  provable results, COOP provides extensive measurement and surveys before and after the implementation. The project bene fits the Greater Hyderabad Area in many ways. First, the total energy consumption is reduced, so that more energy will be available for urban consumers. Secondly, farmers livelihoods will improve due to reduced repair and maintenance cost but as well due to increased individual knowledge about technical solutions to improve energy and groundwater efficiency.

For additional information and contacts also see the flyer of the pilot project.

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Transformer and irrigation pump at CESS

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding

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Farmer with power capacitor

Worker repairing a motor

(6) Solar Powered Schools: Feasibility and implementation strategies for small-scale on-grid photovoltaic installation

Energy supply in Hyderabad in general, and for schools in particular, is neither sufficient nor reliable. The PP aims at demonstrating that small-scale solar PV is an economically reasonable and environmental friendly option for energy generation at public buildings. Two schools and the Goethe Centre in Hyderabad have been identi ed as  potential cooperators. One main task is the development of a business model in order to fi nd sustainable solutions that can be replicated on other public or private buildings. By implementing roof-top solar installations at two schools, the project is also contributing to awareness raising and capacity building. A key pedagogic aim is involving children in the installation and maintenance process, so that they can understand the uses and advantages of renewable energy and can then convey this knowledge to their own environments. Further, the schools are interested in integrating di erent aspects of alternative energies into their curriculum. One additional advantage of producing their own electricity is that schools will be able to reduce their energy costs and avoid regularly occurring power cuts, thus continuing the usual lessons without interruption, especially in computer labs.

Objectives of the PP therefore are a) to improve the learning conditions, especially when schools use facilities like computer labs, b) to evaluate whether roof-top PV can be a feasible mode of decentralized energy production and c) to contribute towards awareness and capacity building (renewable energies, climate change, energy efficient lifestyles).

The project involves several stakeholders from the public, the private and the non-governmental sector, including Schott Solar AG and Greenstratos Consulting Pvt. Ltd. The overall long-term objective of the Solar Powered Schools project is for Indian households and domestic consumers to be able to realize that they can contribute to making signi cant improvements of the ecological situation in their region. We hope that the project will identify sound solutions that are applicable to other public and private buildings in India.

A press note on the inauguration of the project can be found here.

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New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of AP (NREDCAP) stall at ICCC

Meeting in head office Photon Solar Energy Systems Ltd

Meeting in principal’s office Saraswatha Academy Trust High School

(7) Education for Sustainable Lifestyles: Participative learning about sustainability and life-cycle thinking

It is widely accepted that a good (school) education is a key prerequisite of successful development, and India's track record in globally competitive branches such as IT is clearly a result of its investments in (higher) education. This also holds when it comes to sustainable development. Energy intensive, wasteful or otherwise environmentally problematic lifestyles are a result of collective mal-adaptation or of institutional failures translating into individual routines. Reprogramming modern lifestyles so that they can be sustained for generations without harming the environment and future generations can thus only happen as a collective learning process, leading to institutional changes and a readjustment of individual attitudes and behaviours. Schools are a good place to learn sustainably and also to learn about sustainability. Given the structure and practices of the Indian school system today, a simple change of textbooks, as difficult as it would be, would not do the job. Learning sustainable lifestyles is a matter of active, practical involvement, not of passive, theoretical learning.

The PP Education for Sustainable Lifestyles tries to be innovative both in terms of content and form. In two or three schools in Hyderabad, representing di erent corners of the city and social backgrounds, we want to intervene during the next year in order to

  • raise awareness about climate change impacts and related environmental problems in Hyderabad,
  • create a visible link between individual/family lifestyles and climate change, and
  • off er solutions for individual behavior change and institutional reforms.

To meet these objectives, we are joining forces with WP 6 and WP 3.2B and also cooperating with creative and powerful Indian partners: NO2CO2 and ECOSLATE. In addition, we are seeking out local partners from the NGO and business sectors. The PP has two major components:

  • Ecoslate is an ecological lifecycle concept to give students a cradle-to-grave perspective and create environmentally conscious citizens and consumers. Teachers will be trained, and learning opportunities (curricula, projects) will be created, related to the everyday life of students. One component will be to utilize a CO2 calculator to assess lifestyle change in domains such as transport, food consumption, and energy or water use.
  • The Green Jersey Initiative aims to recognize and incentives environmentally conscious behavior in Hyderabad. It is a way to appreciate the pioneering character of such activities and initiatives and change the general attitude towards these so-called change agents. Such a social equation needs to be catalyzed to channel more recognition and attention towards inherently green lifestyles. This will create green aspirations amongst social groups who will re-evaluate their opinions about alternative lifestyle and consumption choices. The school is understood as the nucleus for an eventual city- or nation-wide initiative.

The PP will be embedded in a stream of international and Indian expert and decision maker evaluations, for instance, by two conferences framing the intervention. The results will be discussed from the perspective of upscaling, and they will feed into the Perspective Action Plan.

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Students introduce their activities linked to environmental issues

Discussion group with students

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Answering questions on environmental issues

Investigating pupils` posters

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Group picture kick off workshop
Signing the Memorandum of Understanding

(8) Community Radio: A tool for community development and empowerment

Civil society participation is considered most important for inclusive growth and sustainable city development. In climate change discussions, it has been stressed that the voice of civil society should to be heard and its needs taken into account. However, the formal representation of citizens at the local level of urban areas in India is still quite weak. In this regard, civil society organizations are of great importance, as they represent citizens' views.

As an example, the (Standing Committee of) Tarnaka Residents Welfare Association (TRWA) represents the residents of the Tarnaka Ward of roughly 40,000 inhabitants. All TRWA activities aim at the improvement of the social and physical environment, a better quality of life and empowerment of citizens, making Tarnaka a model colony for self-governance. Nevertheless, bringing together a number of di erent citizens and organizing cooperation with entrepreneurs and government officials requires a lot of time for planning, communication and meetings. As the organization emphasizes the voluntary nature of all of its activities, TRWA has to rely on the willingness of people to participate. Unfortunately, today fewer new volunteers are coming forward and mobilization of people is a big challenge. Consequenlty, TRWA is mainly represented by senior citizens and just a small number of women. A future challenge, therefore, is to activate more young people for the `New TRWA Generation'. Having this situation as background, the idea of setting up a Community Radio (CR) Station came up.

FM Radio has staged a comeback among local households and automobile drivers. The main purpose of setting up a CR is to enable and empower local communities to own and use information and communication media to support social, economic and cultural community developments. This participatory grassroots communication tool empowers local communities to voice their problems and needs, thereby enabling them to participate in decision making processes. The audience can become part of the radio program through their participation in all aspects (e.g. management, fund raising and program production).

Since TRWA and NEXUS have been sharing their knowledge since 2005, both have agreed to undertake this process of organizational innovation for TRWA with the help of the new communication infrastructure embodied in the CR. The main objectives or research questions to be addressed are:

  • What is the capacity of the organizational structure of TRWA?
  • Can the organizational sustainability of a CSO or NGO (like TRWA) be improved by setting up a communication infrastructure like the CR?
  • How can the CR serve the aim of raising awareness about issues of sustainability and climate change (e.g. community-based adaptation)?

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At the radio station "Bol Hyderabad"

Radio antenna at university campus

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding