5 more Indian cities join the data driven governance movement for creating smarter, sustainable, resilient and inclusive cities

Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Chennai and Vijayawada join the City Data for India Initiative, a collaboration of Tata Trusts and World Council on City Data

Five more Indian cities -- Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chennai and Vijayawada – have joined the City Data for India initiative, a collaboration of Tata Trusts and World Council on City Data, to leverage high calibre data for improving urban planning, infrastructure investment and day-to-day operations management of these cities. 

The City Data for India Initiative was launched by Tata Trusts in association with World Council on City Data (WCCD) and Pricewaterhouse Coopers(PwC), India in 2016 with an objective of creating a culture of data driven decision making in Indian cities. This partnership is geared towards bolstering Government of India’s mandate on engaging with effective benchmarking standards towards better accountability, transparency and governance. Pune, Jamshedpur and Surat have since been recognized as the first ever in India to achieve WCCD ISO 37120 certification. 

The certification is an assurance that they have sufficient city level data to enhance service deliveries to their inhabitants, as desired under the Smart City Initiative of the Government of India. The certification has led to a peer to peer benchmarking exercise, nationally and globally, and cross learning, especially in citizen engagement platforms, solid liquid waste management systems, and establishment of command and control systems for Urban Local Body services. 

“We are pleased to welcome Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chennai and Vijayawada to the WCCD global network of cities,” stated WCCD President and CEO, Dr. Patricia McCarney. “In joining the already existing WCCD ISO 37120 certified Indian cities within the City Data for India Initiative, these new cities will continue to demonstrate the importance of high-calibre, independently-verified and globally comparable data for Indian cities. As the WCCD network continues to grow throughout India, our partnership with Tata Trusts will continue to showcase the critical role of data in driving infrastructure investment as well as planning and decision making. 

The fact that these leading Indian cities are part of a global network of cities sharing open, standardized data across Europe and North America, Latin America and Africa as well as other Asian cities, ensures lessons travel city to city, driving innovation and informed progress. The unique collaboration between WCCD, Tata Trusts and Indian cities will also continue to lay the groundwork towards building smarter, more sustainable, resilient, prosperous and inclusive cities across the country.”

Dr. Poornima Dore, Head, Data Driven Governance, Tata Trusts said, “Tata Trusts have worked with the twin goals of poverty alleviation and institutional strengthening over the last 125 years. As part of its efforts to foster data driven governance, the Trusts have taken up projects centered on data and technology enablement in rural and urban Government systems. It gives us great privilege to welcome on board the cities of Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Vijayawada & Bhopal under the City Data for India initiative – a one of its kind intervention which enables cities to build a culture of data driven decision making, with an aim to improve governance and the quality of life for urban citizens. 

The initiative and its objectives aligns with marquee programs of the Government of India, such as the Digital India Initiative and the Smart Cities Mission. The Trusts are pleased to partner with the 5 cities which have demonstrated their commitment upfront to the data revolution in urban India.”  

The value of high-quality city data is particularly important in India, where the urban population is projected to grow from 410 million in 2014 to 800 million by 2050, placing enormous demands on city leaders, planners and decision-makers in all tiers of Government. The initiative aims to contribute to improved infrastructure services, inclusive prosperity and quality of life for citizens. It will empower city leaders, decision-makers and citizens from these cities to make data-informed decisions to improve planning, infrastructure investment and operational management using ISO standardized, comparable city data. 

The initiative recognizes the importance of increasing capacities within Indian Urban Local Bodies, and aims to do so through the placement of dedicated City Data Officers in the next phase, to drive the data engagement and management strategies of the corporations.