Bengaluru signs up to be part of global city network

Bengaluru’s clueless search for solutions to its massive garbage and traffic problems might just have found an answer: Learning from the vast knowledge pool of 70 biggest cities worldwide!

The State government has formally signed an application to be part of the C40 Cities network, a global collective of cities sharing their best practises in diverse areas of urban concern.

The mega cities of Mumbai and the Delhi National Capital Territory are already part of the network. Bengaluru is the third new Indian city to sign up, after Chennai and Jaipur. The City will be formally inducted into the network once the letter of intent is received and put up for approval, C40 Cities Regional Director (South and West Asia), Sanjay Sridhar told Deccan Herald.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah signed the application last week. Once Bengaluru becomes a member, C40 will work with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the State government to find solutions to critical urban issues. “Essentially, the city will have to identify five needs, based on which C40 Cities will bring in the resources targeted for those needs,” explained Sridhar.

Knowledge sharing is the essence of the C40 Cities network. For instance, Bengaluru could learn from what Ho Chi Minh City did to completely revamp its sewage network. Lessons could also be learnt from what cities with population, history and infrastructure comparable to Bengaluru, do to manage congestion, pollution and myriad other problems.

But the learning is a two-way process. Bengaluru could also share its own knowledge to cities such as Dhaka and Colombo in areas where this city has an edge. This is in tune with the C40 network approach: To capitalise on the vast wealth of experience and knowledge within the global network. The idea is to build a community to identify solutions, share lessons learnt and provide assistance to policy-makers to adapt approaches to local conditions.  

C40 had started off as a global network of engaged megacity mayors committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and climate risk. This was to be achieved through the implementation of meaningful, measurable, replicable and sustainable climate, related policies and programmes.

Set up in 2005, C40 was expanded through a partnership in 2006 with former US President Bill Clinton’s Climate Initiative (CCI). Currently, the C40 General Assembly is comprised of 66 Mayors of three categories of city: megacities, innovator cities and observer cities. The addition of Bengaluru, Chennai, Jaipur and later Kolkata will take that number to 70.

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