Climate Smart Cities

Coimbatore

 

Coimbatore is a major city in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is located on the banks of the Noyyal River and surrounded by the Western Ghats. Coimbatore is the second largest city in Tamil Nadu after Chennai.

While in the year 2000 about 1.6 Million inhabitants have been living in Coimbatore’s urban agglomeration, the city gave home to about 2.6 Million people in 2018[1]. The spatial expression of this increase in population has been a still ongoing growth of the city into its hinterland.

The city has a hot semi-arid climate with a wet season lasting from September to November due to the northeast monsoon. The mean maximum temperature ranges from 35.9 °C to 29.2 °C and the mean minimum temperature ranges from 24.5 °C to 19.8 °C.

Project Intervention (Basic information and CSC Work)

Under the Climate Smart Cities project, technical support is being provided  in the following sectors: 

  • C&D Waste Management
  • Urban Green Planning
  • Development of Urban Green Training

From a local climate perspective, the city’s geographical location offers several advantages. Located east of the Nilgiri Mountains and surrounded by green agricultural land, the west wind brings fresh and cool air into the dense city. The Nilgiris are blocking rains coming from west, so that historically water had been transported from the mountains through a network of channels and then stored in artificial ponds next to the inner-city. Today, those ponds are called the eight lakes, and even if they have lost their function as fresh-water reservoirs, they are still contributing to cooling the air in summer. But the water channels and bodies have been neglected to some extend for decades and were not properly maintained. Building activities along and even into the lakes, the inlet of sewage, solid waste and other deposals have harmed those inner-city resources. During the last ten years, the eight lakes witnessed an increase in attention. In 2015, the Coimbatore Municipal Corporation (CCMC) incorporated the restoration of the lakes into its Smart City Proposal[2]. Even before that, private entities started to actively contribute their help in restauration.

In addition to this, green spaces in and around Coimbatore are disappearing. Urban growth has led to an increasing concretisation of both former agricultural land of the surroundings and inner-city’s green spaces. The city is not just expanding as also the internal build-up area of neighbourhoods is currently increasing. Today, also many private spaces are often sealed to one hundred percent. Furthermore, a high number of public spaces have been sealed and roads got widened so that they have literally growing into trees that are now standing in concrete and retention spaces along pavements disappeared. This has not just a negative impact on local climate conditions but is also affecting daily life in a negative manner. Also, undeveloped green open spaces with a wild vegetal character in neighbourhoods are vanishing with every new building on a former undeveloped plot. These developments are visible as small private building activities in growing neighbourhoods but also in large-scale developments especially along the major and arterial roads

 

[1] United Nations (2018): The World’s Cities in 2018 – Data Booklet; https://www.un.org/en/events/citiesday/assets/pdf/the_worlds_cities_in_2018_data_booklet.pdf

[2] Coimbatore Municipal Corporation: Smart City Proposal, 2015