In this Issue

Dear Readers,

As the ‘Promoting Low-carbon Transport in India’ project enters its third year, the focus of this 4th edition of the newsletter is on transport related impacts in cities. In our , the focus was on micro level aspects, primarily looking at plans and methodologies for small cities. For this current issue, the newsletter focuses on climate change, pollution and health impacts in cities, and examines the importance of developing Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs); highlights detailed analysis and approaches to a low-carbon pathway by examining long life infrastructure assets and Non Motorised Transport (NMT) systems; and presents the SIM-air program, highlighting/demonstrating its value added contribution to the project on modeling urban air quality and health impacts; among other updates.

The ‘highlights’ section of the newsletter provides information on a key stakeholder workshop in which preliminary results on developing Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs) from the three cities involved in the project will be presented.

Articles in this newsletter include:

  • A look at the importance of low carbon mobility planning in cities;

  • Introduction to a ‘step by step’ guidance document on low carbon city planning;

  • A case study of the Konkan Railway, and the challenges that the system is facing due to changing climate, and possible adaptation strategies;

  • A look at experiences with regard to non motorised transport including investment, policy and design aspects;

  • Strategies for determining urban air pollution and health impacts via SIM-air model projections; and

  • A report from the Urban Mobility India 2012 conference in which a roundtable event on sustainable mobility with lower emissions was organised by project partners.

Additionally, information on an upcoming event and latest project publications can be found at the end of this newsletter.

Launched in November 2010, Promoting Low Carbon Transport in India is a collaboration between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the UNEP Risoe Centre (URC), the Government of India, and the International Climate Initiative of Germany (ICI).

We invite you to visit for more information and up to date progress on the project.

With Kind Regards,

Rob Jong,
Head, UNEP Transport Unit


Sharing experiences on the Development of Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs) for Indian Cities
22-23 August 2013, Udaipur, India

The development of Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs) for Visakhapatnam, Rajkot and Udaipur is nearing completion. A stakeholder’s to share experiences and disseminate results is being organized with the following key objectives:

  • To present the results from the three cities involved in the preparation of LCMPs and obtain feedback;
  • To share experiences on applying the methodology for preparation of LCMPs and present a revised methodology (toolkit);
  • To invite the donor community (domestic financial institutions & multilateral financial institutions) to discuss the financing opportunities for actions in the LCMP;
  • To link the outcomes from the cities work to national targets for reducing emissions from the transport sector, a commitment to sustainable mobility and climate change mitigation in India; and
  • To launch a 'Guidebook for Low Carbon City Planning'.

Importance of Low Carbon Transport Planning for Cities
Feature Article by M.V. Satyanarayana, IAS, Commissioner, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation

Sri M.V. Satyanarayana, IAS, Commissioner, GVMC

Visakhapatnam, also known as Vizag, is located on the Eastern coast of India’s Bay of Bengal, mid-way between Kolkata and Chennai. With a population of 1.73 million, it is the second largest city in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. From 1858 when its ‘Municipal Association’ was formed to present day, the city has developed into a significant economic, educational, health and tourism hub for the people of North-Eastern Andhra Pradesh and Southern Orissa. The city is currently governed by the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), constituted in 2005 with a jurisdictional area of 533

In keeping with the vision of the City; “An eco-friendly city ensuring a comfortable, lively and vibrant character and visually pleasing cityscape equipped with state of the art physical, social and economic infrastructure”; GVMC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UNEP to develop a Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plan (LCMP) for the city. The ultimate objective of the LCMP is, “To provide a long term strategy which is aligned with climate goals of India and which ensures desirable mobility, safe accessibility to people irrespective of their socio-economic background and gender, and does not compromise with the local environment”. The last year has seen extensive GVMC collaboration with the lead contracted partner Innovative Transport Solutions (iTrans) Pvt. Ltd., as well as a range of local stakeholders, resulting in the formulation of an LCMP which meets the above mentioned objectives.

The area of jurisdiction of the GVMC has increased almost fivefold, and there are plans to incorporate two more Municipalities, Anakapalli and Bheemili, in the next one year. This will result in a large developmental imbalance in various areas within the city as experienced in the past, where the erstwhile areas within the municipality have had a much higher intensity of development than most of the newly added areas, which are sparsely populated. If planned properly, the enhanced availability of undeveloped land provides the city with ample scope to absorb the growth demands of the city. Visakhapatnam has highly educated and active citizen groups, civil society organisations and media, who are aware of the air pollution effects on the city; consequently they have shown willingness to support the low carbon growth of the city.


The city has 686 slums that constitute44% of total households (Census, 2011). The LCMP needs to include such existing and proposed land use developments, and ensure that data is related to transport demands, resulting in a portfolio of low carbon options. The core-city area of GVMC has a high population density, with some wards having over 60, 000 persons per Further growth in these areas will exert high pressure on civic agencies to provide required services. Consequently, the LCMP needs to provide a city growth strategy that encourages future population growth to settle within the outskirts of the city.

Transport infrastructure that is required to cater for future travel needs of the city should be identified in terms of modality, i.e. the specific initiatives required for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users and private transport users should be clearly outlined, and also the exact locations where they need to be incorporated identified in consultation with stakeholders. Land acquisition is currently a major deterring factor in implementing large scale projects in cities, and therefore care should be taken to ensure that the recommendations are conscious of this fact. An extensive range of policy and project recommendations for the city and their likely investment projects should be identified through the LCMP. The funding and implementing agency for these projects shall then be determined based on stakeholder consultation at both the city and state government levels.

Considerable support has been built-up during the preparation process of the LCMP, through stakeholder consultations and the sharing of intermediate results produced by the study. The city is now looking towards implementation of its final recommendations.

Low Carbon City Planning

LCT Guidebook

The principle aim of the guidebook is to provide basic guidance to city-level policymakers, urban planners, transport planners and consultants developing LCMPs for cities on: how to incorporate globally agreed climate change objectives, targets and policies in long-term city level development plans; how to align national development and climate change agenda with city-level development plans; and how to delineate ‘win-win’ options that deliver multiple co-benefits, besides climate change benefits, such as air quality improvement, improved energy access, reduced congestion in the transport system and national energy security.


Impact Assessment and Management Framework for Infrastructure Assets: A Case of Konkan Railways

Konkan Railways Case Study

The case study presents the uncertainty and risks that a prominent railway system in India is facing due to changing climate, and suggests possible adaptation strategies. A framework for assessing the likely climate change impacts on long-life assets using a methodology of reverse matrix for climate change impact analysis is suggested. The framework links climate change variables — temperature, rainfall, sea level rise, extreme events, and other secondary variables — with sustainable development variables — technology, institutions, economic, and other policies.


NMT Infrastructure in India: Investment, Policy and Design

NMT Case Study

The purpose of the study is to identify gaps in existing infrastructure, policies; and to design interventions and discuss appropriate measures required to encourage use of non motorised transport (NMT) in Indian cities. The study presents the role played by NMT in providing mode choice in Indian cities and trends in changing patronage for NMT modes. It highlights gaps in data and issues related to infrastructure quality. Impacts of improving NMT infrastructure in other countries have also been studied. The study presents detailed impacts of NMT infrastructure provision along Delhi BRT corridor based on three essential indicators – travel time, accessibility and safety. Furthermore, the study aims to understand the impact on CO2 emissions and fuel consumption resulting from the improvement of NMT and public transport infrastructure.

Modeling Air Pollution and Health Impacts in LCMP Cities                                    

By Subash Dhar, UNEP Risoe Centre and Dr. Sarath Guttikunda,

In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO), presented air quality data for particulate pollution in 1100 cities, and listed 27 cities from India as amongst the top 100 cities with the worst air quality. For most cities in India (and in Asia), the transport sector is identified as one of the leading causes of premature mortality and increasing number of morbidity cases.

Among the transport indicators evaluated for the development of Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs), and following a stakeholder consultation process, it was determined that urban air quality should be included as one of the in the project. These indicators will be studied within the current year, based on the data collected from the surveys, and also used to account for future business as usual projections and low carbon scenarios (with projections up to 2050).

Passenger travel patterns; city infrastructure; and transport planning models were all important aspects of producing geo-referenced information on travel demand across the city. This is a rich information dataset, which can be very useful as input for transport emissions modeling and urban air quality analysis. The urban transport information database also included results and information on technology transitions related to vehicle efficiencies and the carbon intensity of electricity, adapted from scenario studies conducted at the national level.

The SIM-air family of tools was utilised within the project, resulting in estimates of key parameters, such as total emissions (other than the road transport emissions calculated under the LCMP project), and consequently allow for the simulation of the interactions between emissions, pollution dispersion, impacts, and management options in an environmental and economic context.

Participants during the LCMP Training on Modeling Air Pollution and Health Impacts

The tools under the SIM-air family are integrated, free, plug & play in nature; they also benefit from being modular, where the user can breakdown the tools to individual components (by sectors) to evaluate the emissions and the pollution control interventions.

These tools were previously applied for studying air quality management in various cities in Asia. Within the scope of the project, the SIM-air model will be used in three cities – Rajkot (State: Gujarat), Vishakhapatnam (State: Andhra Pradesh) and Udaipur (State: Rajasthan); and on its use was also provided to consultants from the three cities in March 2013, in New Delhi, India.


Smart Mobility
By Annemarie Kinyanjui, UNEP Transport Unit

The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), India, recognizes the need to build capacity at the state and city level to tackle challenges associated with urban transport; this is in line with India’s National Urban Transport Policy. In this regard, the ministry has been facilitating annual conferences and exhibitions to promote dissemination of information and exchange of ideas. The 5th in a series of such events dubbed, ‘’ , took place on 5-8 December 2012 in New Delhi, and was organized by the Institute of Urban Transport. The event drew wide participation from 1,100 delegates comprising of government officials from 21 countries; transport practitioners; non-governmental organizations; academia; and the private sector.

Event Flyer

As part of the conference, UNEP Risoe Centre organized a, ‘Roundtable on Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans: Sustainable Mobility with lower Emissions’, on 7 December 2012. The roundtable brought together policy makers, experts on Low Carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs), consultants, and transport planners to discuss approaches and strategies for achieving sustainable mobility with lower emissions. Discussions centered around, and drew recommendations on integrated land use and transport planning; strengthening of data quality and transport indicators at city level; and the need for an LCMP approach.

These recommendations were part and parcel of overall recommendations agreed upon by delegates during the four day workshop, and will subsequently contribute to MoUD’s vision. The MoUD Minister officiated the wrap-up session of UMI 2012, and highlighted the need for urban renewal and development as a priority for the Indian government; reduction of pollution and climate change in urban areas; and the need for innovative fiscal policies that support sustainable transport solutions among other interventions.

Upcoming Event in 2013

The Role of Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Improvements in achieving Low-carbon Mobility in India
November 2013

Improving vehicle fuel efficiency is critical in reducing CO2 emissions but also other pollutants including black carbon. The Promoting Low-carbon Transport in India project has studied the implication of instituting fuel efficiency in India and its subsequent results. A forum is being planned in November 2013 to showcase this experience and other outputs from the project. The venue is still to be confirmed but is likely to be at The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Clean Fuels and Vehicles Forum in Singapore, or at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Transport Minister’s Meeting in Bangkok.


  1. Subash Dhar, Minal Pathak and P.R. Shukla

  2. Amit Garg, Prakriti Naswa and P.R. Shukla

  3. Deepty Jain and Geetam Tiwari

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