Kochi is one among the Indian cities selected for ‘The Morgenstadt Global Smart City Innovation Lab’. The project is being coordinated and implemented in the city by the C-HED with the technical support of the University of Stuttgart and Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), Stuttgart. The other prominent institutions that have partnered in this project are Frankfurt School of Finance and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), Government of India.

The Kochi Municipal Corporation, with view to address the accelerating climate change issues in Kochi city, has included this project (The Morgenstadt Global Smart Cities Initiative (MGI) – Sustainable Neighbourhood project) in its annual budget for the year 2021-22. The MGI project aims at a transformational change of the urban systems through the analysis, identification, and development of sustainable cross‐sectoral solutions to optimize urban infrastructures, processes or services. The project focuses on developing a sustainable neighbourhood, in which all buildings are energetically renovated and restored to their history, all buildings receive a photovoltaic system and in which all buildings are served by a sustainable water and sewage system. The project also aims to integrate more green spaces into the city to make it more resilient to heavy weather events and to improve the urban climate.

After conducting initial surveys and discussions, the project team developed 15 project ideas in the water, energy, inclusive housing and sustainable buildings sectors. As part of the project the first stakeholder consultation workshop was held on April 21, 2020 where Fraunhofer experts presented the city’s profile on the water, energy and housing sector and discussed the project ideas to develop a pilot in Elamakkara North (ward no: 33), the sectors being water, energy and housing. The consultation workshop was held in the presence of Hon’ble Mayor of Kochi and attended by the Director, NIUA, former councillor of the ward, representatives from Kerala Water Authority, Cochin Smart Mission Limited, Agency for New and Renewable Energy Research and Technology (ANERT) and Society of Energy Engineers and Managers (SEEM) and residence associations of above said ward.