The Kochi Municipal Corporation and the Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED) in partnership with CEPT Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), CEPT University, Ahmedabad with the support of the GIZ India organized an online training programme on ‘Sustainable Urban Planning’ on two consecutive days for government officials and professionals engaged with the urban development sector in Kochi and Kerala. 

In India, as far as urban planning is concerned, the regulatory, governance framework, institutional arrangements and planning process varies significantly across its states. Since there are challenges pertaining to effective co-ordination between departments and limited inter-sectoral integration in urban plans, it has become imperative to devise a ‘sustainable’ approach to planning cities that ensures effective and timely implementation of plans. Addressing urban planning at various scales, will contribute to the progress towards the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities’. Further, the Kochi Municipal Corporation proposes to prepare a Master Plan for the Greater Kochi Area. It is in this context that the training programme attains importance. It also constitutes a preparatory step to equipping the Kochi Municipal Corporation and associated agencies with knowledge and skills to drive the preparation of the Master Plan and Detailed Town Planning schemes.

The workshop was inaugurated by the Hon Mayor Adv M. Anil Kumar. Ms. Sarada Muraleedharan, Additional Chief Secretary LSGD, Govt of Kerala was the Chief Guest. “It is the Urban Local Body which must take the prime responsibility for the preparation of a state-of-the-art Master Plan / Town Planning schemes.  I am happy that all agencies involved in the development of KMC are participating in this programme on Sustainable Urban Planning’. We are grateful for the invaluable support provided by CEPT and the GIZ India” -Adv M. Anil Kumar, Hon’ble Mayor, Kochi Municipal Corporation. “I congratulate the Kochi Municipal Corporation for organizing this important programme on Sustainable Urban Planning. Kochi may emerge as the first local body that will potentially plan for a metropolitan area, and it is important that we develop the capacity to address various challenges and plan for a sustainable and resilient Kochi and demonstrate better quality of life, aesthetics and equity for citizens “. – Ms. Sarada Muraleedharan IAS, ACS LSGD, Government of Kerala and Chief Guest . Ms. Aparna Das of GIZ India provided an overview of the Smart Urban Development and Smart City initiative and wished the workshop all success. 

The training covered contemporary and emerging practices, models and approaches in sustainable urban planning nationally and globally. Policy Issues in Urban Planning, Urban Planning in the Post Pandemic Context, Institutional Aspects of Sustainable Urban Planning, State of the Art Tools for Urban Planning including Data and Surveys, Development Planning, Local Area Planning and Inclusionary Zoning and concepts and practice of Livable Urbanism and Nature Based Solutions were also covered. 120 participants representing the Kochi Municipal Corporation, CSML, Kochi Water Metro, GCDA, Kerala State Town and Country Planning Dept, KILA, KSDMA, NIT, academicians, urban sector professionals and researchers attended the training programme.