Cities offer a comfortable life and an abundance of opportunities, and that makes them extremely attractive. It’s not surprising to note that over 35% of Indians live in cities, which only increases yearly.
In cities, healthcare, education, and major offices and retail hubs are located, and the cities contribute significantly to both economy and environmental damage.
Fortunately, all’s not lost, and we have begun to realise climate change is real and globally the number of eco-friendly cities is on a rise, and the same trend can be seen in India too!
Here we at Matter5 have curated a list of 5 eco-friendly cities in India and the wonderful initiatives these cities have taken to make our planet a better place.
Eco-friendly cities in India:
- About Mysuru
- What makes Mysuru an eco-friendly city?
- About Jamshedpur
- What makes Jamshedpur an eco-friendly city?
- About Indore
- What makes Indore an eco-friendly city?
- About Gandhinagar
- What makes Gandhinagar an eco-friendly city?
- Karnataka state in India
Known for its fragrant sandalwood, intricately designed silk sarees, and grand palaces that give an insight into the glorious past, Mysuru, also called as Mysore, is a perfect example of a city where tradition meets modernity.
The city's history dates back to the 14th century when the Wodeyar royal family founded it. Today, the city is a major tourist hub with a thriving tech industry.
Known for its wide roads with trees on both sides and majestic parks like the Brindavan Gardens, Mysure is an excellent example of an eco-friendly city, and it is not without reasons.
What makes Mysuru an eco-friendly city?
- Green is good - Mysore is Karnataka's 3rd most populated region. But despite a growing population, it has maintained its greenery and taken several initiatives to further increase green cover. In recent past, the city's administration planted over 40,000 saplings on Chamundi Hills, which oversees the city. Also, free saplings were distributed to the residents.
- An excellent way to generate cash from trash - Mysore has a good waste management system. It generates over 400 tonnes of waste daily. Of this, over 70% is either recycled or converted into compost. The city earns cash by selling recyclable items like metals, plastic, bottles, etc. and from the compost sold to farmers.
- Every drop counts - Mysore is one of the first cities to incentivise rainwater harvesting. City's administration offers a 10% rebate on water bills for the buildings that harvest rainwater. Indeed a model for all to follow and ensure no raindrop goes to waste.
- Jharkhand state in India
Jamshedpur is a cosmopolitan and major industrial city located in India's eastern part. Also referred to as 'Steel City of India', the city is home to Tata Steel factories and houses major industries like Tata Motors, Tata Pigments, Usha Martin, and Linde.
The history of this city is recent, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata founded it in 1907, and there has been no looking back since then.
Jamshedpur is a well-planned city whose founder envisioned wide roads with trees on both sides, playgrounds for children, and parks with fountains for the citizens. These features are present in the city to this date!
What makes Jamshedpur an eco-friendly city?
- Plastic for the path - For every city dealing with plastic waste is a big problem. Jamshedpur dealt with it innovatively. It started using plastic to build roads, and inspired by the success, other neighbouring cities adopted this technique too.
- Digital dustbins - Sounds surprising right? We were surprised as well. Jamshedpur became the first city in the nation to launch digital dustbins. Over 300 dustbins were fitted with sensors which alert a central command room when they are 75% full. An excellent initiative to deal with trash and make the city more eco-friendly.
- Park for the people - Jamshedpur, already known for housing numerous parks, continues to plant more trees and add more parks for its people:
- As part of its sustainability initiatives, Tata Steel recently converted a 5 acre landfill area into a park with green lawns and a picnic area.
- The city also got a new biodiversity park spread over 13 acres that have 5000+ trees in it. Indeed a much needed lung space for the industrial city.
- Madhya Pradesh state in India
Indore is a city located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, and it is a hub of economic activities in the region. The city is famous for its street food, and Indore's major tourist attractions include:
- The Rajwada Palace
- The Lal Bagh Palace
- Kanch Mandir
The city has implemented several initiatives to promote sustainable practices and maintain a clean and green environment. Encouraging usage of electric vehicles, solar energy, and a robust waste management system makes it one of the most eco-friendly cities globally.
With its rich history, cultural heritage, and vibrant food scene, Indore is a city that offers a unique blend of traditional and modern experiences.
What makes Indore an eco-friendly city?
- Indore has implemented a comprehensive waste management system, including door-to-door collection, waste segregation at source, and recycling.
- The city has set up plants that convert waste into biofuel, and it has helped the city council earn over ₹8 Cr/annum (~$1 mn/annually).
- Indore has made efforts to improve public transportation and reduce traffic congestion. Its public bus network called Indore BRTS (Bus Rapid Transit System) has helped reduce traffic and enhance air quality.
- Several green initiatives have been implemented in the city, such as tree plantation programs, creation of parks and gardens to promote sustainability. The city has also introduced a unique concept of 'tree ambulance'; these are vehicles equipped with all necessary facilities and will tend to sick and worm-infested plants and trees.
- Indore is a role model for cities globally. It has been recognised for its efforts to become more sustainable and eco-friendly. It was declared the cleanest city in India for 6 years in a row!
- Gujarat state in India
Gandhinagar was founded in 1960s as the new capital of Gujarat. The city houses official buildings like the Gujarat High Court, Gujarat Legislative Assembly, and the Secretariat of the Government of Gujarat. The famous Akshardham Temple is located in Gandhinagar, which also happens to be the city's iconic landmark.
Overall, Gandhinagar is a well-planned city with all modern amenities and, at the same time, continues to embrace nature and sustainability at its core.
What makes Gandhinagar an eco-friendly city?
- Gandhinagar has a very high green cover. A little over 50% of the city's geographical area is estimated to have tree or forest cover. This is higher than most big cities globally!
- State government's forest department plans to plant additional 21 lakh trees within Gandhinagar limits, further making the city more eco-friendly and helping conserve its green cover.
- A solid waste management system is the backbone of any city. Gandhinagar has followed this, and today it has a facility to collect waste door to door, which are segregated at source. Further, they are processed scientifically and depending on the waste type, either they are converted into compost or sent for recycling.
- A city in ‘Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Union Territory’ in India
Diu is an island city located in the southern part of Gujarat. It is part of the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman Union Territory and holds great cultural and historical significance.
The Portuguese briefly ruled this island, and its influence can be seen to this date in city's cuisine, buildings, and culture. The city of Diu is blessed with a tropical climate, pristine beaches and clear waters. These continue to attract tourists around the year. The city is also home to several ancient temples like Gangeshwar Temple.
What makes Diu an eco-friendly city?
- Coveted 'Blue Flag' beach - A Blue Flag qualification is among the highest any beach can get globally. As of December 2022, India is home to 12 Blue Flag beaches, one of which is 'Ghoghla Beach', which is in Diu. It is initiatives like these that encourage eco-tourism in India and make our planet better.
- Sun, Solar, Self-sufficiency - Not very long ago, Diu imported 73% of its power requirement from Gujarat. However, now they harness the power of sun. It has become the first city in India to fulfil 100% of its power requirement during the daytime from renewable sources. It has set up a solar power park on barren land and also installed solar panels on government buildings.
- This ban is good - Diu which falls under Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman Union Territory, has completely banned single-use plastic items like plastic carry bags, straws, cups, etc.