Pune Releases Urban Resilience Strategy to Become a Model of Livability and Sustainability in India

Resilient Pune maps out long-term actions to equip the city to tackle challenges of urban growth, environment and economy

PUNE, INDIA – Today, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) unveiled Resilient Pune, a comprehensive roadmap to promote resilience in one of India’s most progressive cities.  . A result of one and half years of joint effort and extensive consultations between the Steering Committee, Pune Resilience Office, and an extensive list of community,  public and private sector stakeholders, Resilient Pune lays a set of tangible initiatives to address challenges included uncontrolled growth, inadequate access to mobility, un- and under-employment among youth, inward migration and stressed urban environment.  The strategy details actions across three pillars – Urban Growth, Urban Environment and Urban Economy – in order to prepare the city for an uncertain future.

Mr. Saurabh Rao, Municipal Commissioner, PMC said: “Pune has witnessed rapid growth over the past decades and the character of the city has transformed.  And while we have maintained our progressive and innovative nature, we must continue to work to ensure the livability and prosperity of our city.  Therefore, with the publication of Resilient Pune, we are seeking to streamline resilience building into city initiatives and services.  This strategy clearly reflects our challenges and maps a path to thrive in the face of them while building Pune into the global city it is determined to be.”

Mr. Mahesh Harhare, Chief Resilience Officer, Pune said: “The Resilience Strategy for Pune has been prepared through an extensive consultation process with key experts, citizens, and stakeholders of various organizations. Through this process we took an integrated approach to strengthen existing systems and identify scope for partnerships with global peers.  And while it has been a long journey to publish this strategy, we have already begun to implement pilot projects that will serve to bring the strategy to life and provide proof of concept that this is the way forward for Pune.  We have already reached out to Pune’s most active businesses and institutions who showed interest in supporting key projects.  Through this strategy, we hope to address Pune’s most pressing issues such as poor mobility, deteriorating environment ecosystems and the need for a comprehensive approach towards skill building so that our Resilience Strategy can ultimately deliver the most promising future for our citizens. ”

Mr. Saurabh Gaidhani, Associate Director, Asia Pacific, 100 Resilient Cities said: “As Pune undergoes rapid population and economic growth, it must ensure structures are in place to tackle its most pervasive shocks and stresses brought about by urbanization, globalization and climate change. With the release of this strategy, Pune city has an opportunity to demonstrate a best practice approach to urbanization in the region and can be a benchmark to follow for all cities in India and South Asia. But the hard work begins now.  In order to ensure these actions are implemented, city leaders, decision makers and the wider civic community must collaborate to integrate these multifaceted challenges into planning and investment in order to realise this vision and help Pune survive, adapt, and grow.”

Private sector participation will be critical in implementing the actions laid out in the Resilient Pune strategy.  Led by the Chief Resilience Officer, PMC convened representatives from 15 of Pune’s top corporations (CSRs) and philanthropic organizations to present partnership opportunities to support pilot projects around four key themes: Environment and climate action; skills development; mobility and integrated growth; and governance and citizen engagement.  Private sector support has already advanced a number of pilot projects and created further opportunities for partnership to support projects including: ‘zero waste’ wards; advancing skills mapping and establishing a digital platform for upskilling; last mile connectivity; and an urban data observatory to support data-based decision-making in partnership with National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA). Resilient Pune outlines three pillars, 10 inter-related goals and 40 actions that can be implemented through over 50 projects to build a stable and balanced future for the city. Some of the key goals and actions include:

  • Urban Growth: Guide integrated and equitable urban development in Pune
    • Promote integrated development planning – this goal will initiate pilot projects to protect the natural environment through instruments such as Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) and conservation of easements. This makes sustainable natural resource use economically viable for communities dependent upon ecosystems for their livelihoods, ensuring the continuity of critical ecosystem services and creating cohesiveness among different communities in the region.
    • Strengthen low carbon and shared mobility services – this goal will address the gap in transportation planning and public service provision by establishing a Unified Metropolitan Transportation Authority (UMTA) for the Pune Urban Agglomeration (UA) and service levels for bus-based public transit. The city will also initiate a Bicycle Partnership with PMC to promote cycling and enable effective outreach to public and various stakeholders, such as the Pune Cycle Plan.
    • Ensure access to safe, secure, adequate & affordable housing for all – this goal aims to reduce housing vacancies by levying a vacancy tax on units that are empty a certain minimum number of months per year, and nurture local developers to construct low-income housing by increasing access to finance and professional management tools.
    • Strengthen pathways for democratic decision-making & civic participation in local area planning – this goal entails developing and refining methods of inclusive and effective public engagement in the urban context. An example would be to constitute pilots of area sabhas in selected wards to develop robust, implementable policies, and creating permanent online kiosks to facilitate wider voter registration.
  • Urban Environment: Mainstream climate action, environmental planning and resource management in Pune
    • Enhance environmental governance and community stewardship – An action carried out to achieve this goal includes the Pune Resilience Accelerator programme. The programme is designed to protect, conserve and ecologically enhance the river and lake ecosystems in the region through an integrated eco-restoration approach. Pune will also develop a Natural History Museum to promote public understanding of the local biogeography and strengthen technical support for community conservation efforts.
    • Study, monitor and proactively plan for ecosystem benefits – this goal will institute a Participatory Groundwater Monitoring & Management Programme to enhance monitoring of groundwater quality and quantity, as well as develop a Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan that would prepare climate risk proofing strategies for Pune.

Promote circular economy through waste management – this goal includes creating a scrap map for Pune that documents the movement of scrap materials and quanta, and instituting a participatory governance mechanism for promoting the circular economy.

  • Urban Economy: Strengthen the diverse economy and workforce capabilities in Pune
    • Boost Pune’s economy through skilling & support for business – this goal includes creating a Pune Skills World Platform that would extend accredited skill development programmes in Pune through digital platforms, connect to apprenticeships, and provide pathways for vocational education to employment. Pune will also conduct pilots with “Global Alliance with Mass Entrepreneurship”, which aims to create 10 million new entrepreneurs and 50 million new jobs by 2030.
    • Ensure every individual in Pune has the opportunity to work in dignity – this goal includes expanding ‘Hakdarshak’s’ reach, connecting citizens with their eligible welfare schemes using a tech platform and a door-step scheme application support. This will grant more citizens access to social protection so they can lead fuller, more productive lives.
    • Promote Pune as a centre for innovation by focusing on creativity, research & development – this goal includes an Innovation Vouchers Programme, which will provide SMEs non-repayable grants to avail innovation support services by universities and research institutions in Pune, further strengthening collaborative relationships between smaller firms and public knowledge providers.

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For further information, please contact:
100 Resilient Cities: Ashley Knapp, aknapp@100rc.org / +65 8168 9481
Golin Singapore: Abigail Lim, alim@golin.com / +65 9183 1721

About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation 

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a Resilience Strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.