Training on "Climate Resilient Cities: Adaptive and Mitigative Approaches for a Warming Habitat"

The sustainable habitat team conducted an onsite training on “Climate Resilient Cities: Adaptive and Mitigative Approaches for a Warming Habitat”. The training was conducted at IHC and Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute (AAETI) from November21 to 24, 2023, and was attended by 22 participants comprising government officials, industry experts, civil societies and academicians.

The training program commenced at the India Habitat Centre, with Ms. Anumita Roychowdhury taking the lead. She provided a comprehensive overview of the challenges in urban areas, emphasizing various climate-related vulnerabilities such as heat, floods, mobility issues, and more across cities. Additionally, she outlined the general concepts of adaptation and mitigation. Next, Ms. Mitashi Singh discussed India's strategies for addressing climate change through both mitigative and adaptive measures. She offered detailed insights into multiple sectors, including energy, urban development, mobility, air quality, water management, and waste management. Ms. Mitashi also talked about the national missions and associated strategies currently in place. In the subsequent presentation, Mr. Rahul Jain provided an overview of the potential of bio-CNG as an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. He delved into the scientific aspects, capacity in India, carbon credits, and the existing policies and financial considerations related to its implementation. The final lecture of the day, delivered by Ms. Avantika Goswami, centred on climate finance and carbon trading. This session offered a glimpse into the origins of climate finance, discussed challenges within the sector, and provided details about the various sectors utilizing carbon markets. The participants were then taken to Anil Agarwal Training Institute for further sessions.

The second day of the training began with Mr. Rajneesh Sareen starting the session by giving participants a comprehensive view of climate change, encouraging them to grasp the current and future adverse impacts on cities. The session also shed light on various initiatives and policy tools aligned with India's Long-Term Low-Carbon Development Strategy.Following this, Mr. Sugeet Grover and Dr. Nimish Gupta Singh jointly covered the drivers influencing heat dynamics, exploring both increases and reductions, as well as sources and sinks in urban areas. The session also detailed about the tools and datasets for assessing the intensity of each factor. Dr. Nimish Gupta then introduced the participants to the Potential of Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) in studying urban climates, offering both an introduction and hands-on session for identifying urban heat centres and explaining the method for capturing various heat drivers. Wrapping up the day, a field visit was organized to observe how the drivers influencing heat are recorded on the ground and their impact on temperatures.

On day three,Mr. Rajneesh Sareen elaborated on water-energy nexus, emphasizing the need to integrate strategies for water and energy management in campuses. He illustrated this concept using various examples and case studies to help participants understand the connection. Following this, Mr. Binit Das provided insights into the role of solar rooftops in decarbonization, covering topics such as their operation and maintenance, as well as the associated policies, subsidies, and incentives. Mr. Sugeet Grover then discussed the India Cooling Action Plan, offering detailed information on cooling in buildings through low-carbon technologies. Afterward, Mr. Sugeet Grover conducted a tour of the AAETI campus, highlighting meticulous planning that considered the natural topography, construction materials, and technologies to mitigate heat gains, ultimately minimizing the environmental impact of development. The day concluded with Dr. Nimish Gupta outlining the action plan for heat mitigation, with a specific focus on cool roofs. He also presented a case study on Telangana's cool roof policy, offering practical examples to reinforce the concept.

The final day commenced with Dr. Nimish Gupta engaging the participants in a quiz to test their knowledge acquired throughout the three-day sessions. Thereafter, he presented a lecture on vulnerability assessment, showcasing a live case study and facilitating a hands-on session for estimating vulnerability. The training concluded with a session where participants engaged in interactive discussions about the knowledge acquired throughout the entire course. This led to a healthy debate and conversations about how adaptive and mitigative approaches could contribute to improving the microclimatic conditions of cities.