Kota Smart City hires consulting firms for transformation

27 July 2017 Consultancy.uk

The city of Kota in India is one among almost 100 slated to see a smart city transformation. The city will see Royal HaskoningDHV and venture partner STUP Consultants develop various solutions to develop and upgrade the city's infrastructure to meet the well-being needs of its 1.1 million people.

Kota is a city in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan. The city has a population of more than a million people, and is one of the world’s top ten most densely populated. India plans to contend with a growing population and ageing and inadequate infrastructure by renovating its key population centres, including Kota, into “smart cities”.

These cities are intended to leverage various technologies and strategic focuses that tackle various key issues. Basic infrastructure remains the core of the smart city development plans, however, also included are the development of recycling of waste, renewable energy sources, energy efficient & green buildings and smart parking and intelligent traffic management systems.

The country’s Urban Development Ministry has confirmed the bid to transform 98 Indian cities to smart cities – which has included the hire of 37 consulting and engineering firms to support local authorities and other parities with the development of individual smart cities.

Kota Smart City hires consulting firms for transformation

The first trench of 20 city transformations was released last year – and included Ramboll’s work for the walled-river city of Udaipur. Kota Smart City, an organisation formed to develop the smart city, has also turned to the consulting industry to help plan for the overhaul, drafting in Royal HaskoningDHV and venture partner STUP Consultants, to deliver project management consultancy for the wider transformation. The project will see the consultants covering a range of services – including infrastructure design, construction supervision and project management – for projects that range across lake development, 24/7 water supply, rainwater harvesting, sanitation improvements, integrated urban road development, electric lighting, energy security and the improvement of gardens, parks and open spaces.

Commenting on the commissioned work, Dr Vikram Jindal IAS, Additional CEO of the Kota Smart City franchise commented, “We are delighted that Kota City is leading the way in the smart cities mission in India. We look forward to the Project Management Consultant - Royal HaskoningDHV and STUP Joint Venture to work closely with the Kota Smart City Ltd in achieving the objectives and goals to make Kota Smart City one of the best in Rajasthan and in the country.”

JVL Narayana, Managing Director of Royal HaskoningDHV’s Indian Water business meanwhile said, “The team is delighted to have been selected for this prestigious project. We are looking forward to providing innovative solutions which will improve the city’s resilience and ensure that Kota City is ready for any challenges that lie ahead.”


WEF finds no progress made on greening economy

01 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

The reports of two influential bodies, in the space of a day, have warned that no progress is being made to prevent major climate change. The World Economic Forum has warned that greening of the global energy transition has stagnated over last five years, while the International Energy Agency has confirmed coal use rose again last year.

The position of the Academies of Science from 80 countries, plus a majority of scientific organisations that study climate science, is that humans are causing rapid climate change – often referred to as global warming. Roughly 95% of active climate researchers publishing climate papers endorse the consensus position that since the industrial revolution, the boom in carbon emissions from fossil fuel powered human activity has heavily impacted the planet, with rising levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases trapping heat from the sun causing global temperatures to rise – something which will have catastrophic results in the near future.

Despite the steadfast consensus among the scientific community on the matter, however, there has been little to no meaningful action to avert disaster. In fact, while the signing of the Paris Accord was met with great excitement, since it came into force, global carbon dioxide emissions have continued to rise. Today, they sit at their highest levels yet, after a strong economy and extreme weather stoked a surge in energy demand last year.WEF finds no progress made on greening economyAccording to the world’s energy watchdog, the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), energy spiked by 2.3% in 2018 – the biggest leap since 2010 – with that demand largely being met with fossil fuels. As a result, global emissions of carbon dioxide hit the record high of 33 billion tonnes in 2018, a rise of 1.7% on 2017’s figures. Commenting on the findings, IEA chief Fatih Birol said the rise in energy demand was “exceptional” and a “surprise for many.”

Birol added, “We have seen an extraordinary increase in global energy demand in 2018, growing at its fastest pace this decade. Looking at the global economy in 2019, it will be rather a surprise to see the same level of growth as 2018.”

The suggestion from Birol that 2018 is likely to be an anomaly which will not be seen again is strange, considering the added strain which the boom in emissions will place on the environment. To suggest that heightened energy demand was driven by extreme weather – which is increasingly difficult to claim is unrelated to man-made climate change – and then to suggest that such a thing is unlikely to occur any time soon in spite of emissions having increased seems contradictory.

Regardless of this, the bad news was further compounded within hours of the IEA’s release. A report from the World Economic Forum released on the same day concluded that the world's energy systems have not become any greener in the last five years. Despite the agreement of global climate targets, falling green power costs, and mounting public and business concern over the catastrophic impacts runaway climate change could wreak, the WEF’s damning assessment warned that little to no progress has been made on making energy systems more environmentally sustainable since 2014.

Coal is the largest hindrance of change on this front, according to the report. Recent years have seen improvements in energy access and security, but far too many nations remain dependent on coal power for the new energy systems to have made any environmental gains. At the same time, major economies have failed to decrease or even slow the amount of energy they use per unit of GDP, leaving smaller actors who have made changes micturating into a gale. Change on the part of the world’s largest economies is therefore crucial to driving the development of a greener, more efficient global economy, the WEF concluded.

Commenting on the findings, Roberto Bocca, leader of the WEF's future of energy and materials division, said urgent action is now needed to move toward decarbonisation. He added, "We need a future where energy is affordable, sustainable and accessible to all. Solid progress in bringing energy within the reach of more and more people is not enough to mask wider failures, which are already having an impact on our climate and on our societies."

The news comes even as sustainability continues to be talked about as a ‘top agenda item’ at the majority of the world’s largest corporations. While 85% say that it will be more important still in another five years, it is clear that the majority of the world’s most powerful businesses are failing to walk the talk on the matter, regardless of what governments do.