The University of Strathclyde has signed an agreement with the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) to collaborate on research. The agreement will see academics from the Institute for Future Cities (IFC) work with officials at the NKDA on the sustainable development of a new satellite city in West Bengal.
New Town is a rapidly-expanding planned residential and information technology hub to the north-east of Kolkata covering 11 square miles with a current population of 30,000. Its leaders have a strong interest in deploying and testing innovative solutions that work in a Kolkata context. The Strathclyde researchers will share expertise, data and identify issues for joint action, with a focus on key issues for Kolkata – including sustainable energy, reducing pollution, increasing resilience and optimising transport systems.
Mr Richard Bellingham, Director of the IFC, said: “India will be the world’s second-largest source of urban growth in the next 30 years with hundreds of millions more Indians moving to cities.
“We need to ensure the cities of the future are sustainable both economically and environmentally and are good places to live. This agreement further enhances our excellent relations with Indian collaborators and we will be able to connect NKDA with our other partners in India and elsewhere for mutual benefit.
New Town Kolkata is a major initiative which is a good match for the skills at the University of Strathclyde which places an emphasis on ‘useful learning’. We want to make a difference; this is the kind of collaboration where our research and expertise can be put into practice in the real world.”
The agreement, signed by Mr Bellingham, was exchanged with Mr Debashi Sen, Additional Chief Secretary, IT, West Bengal by Bruce Bucknell, the British Deputy High Commissioner.
Mr Sen said “New Town is already approved as one of the 100 smart cities of India. It is also an IT and Educational Hub. It aspires to be a future-ready, green and happy city. The collaboration with the Institute of Future Cities will help New Town to move in that direction at an accelerating pace.”
The agreement with NKDA follows two separate collaboration agreements signed between Strathclyde and Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai and The Energy Research Institute, Delhi.
The Institute for Future Cities at the University of Strathclyde brings together governments, businesses, academics and citizens to imagine and engage with the future of our cities, and explore how to make cities more successful, healthier, safer and more sustainable for us all.