20 January, 2017

Tata Trusts announces ‘The City Data for India Initiative’ in partnership with the World Council on City Data

Pune, Surat and Jamshedpur recognized as the first three cities in India to receive World Council on City Data ISO 37120 Certification

Mumbai: The City Data for India initiative, a major new program of Tata Mumbai: The City Data for India initiative, a major new program of Tata Trusts in partnership with the World Council on City Data (WCCD), was announced in Mumbai today in a bid to build high calibre data in Indian cities.  Towards this, a national round-table was held that marked an important milestone with the first three cities, Pune, Surat, and Jamshedpur, being recognized as the first ever in India to achieve WCCD ISO 37120 certification and will contribute immensely to the Smart City Initiative of the Government of India. City data has been a widely used currency globally and is now helping Indian cities break a new ground and emulate global standards.

Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar, Cabinet Minister of Finance, Planning, and Forest Departments, Government of Maharashtra gave a keynote address on the challenges and opportunities of India’s urban transformation and the value of Data.

Speaking at the event Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts said, “Through the City Data for India Initiative, we are showcasing the true strength and importance of data for cities. Through our partnership, we are going beyond age of looking at colored data, selected data to non-discretionary collection and capture of data, setting goals, evaluating ourselves against global peers. It gives me great pleasure to know that we are making the start with Surat, Jamshedpur and Pune as cities who are willing to share their city data. It will enable people in both public and private sector to set civic goals, to evaluate outreach and impact of policy and initiatives. This is an exceedingly important move in the long term. Tata Trusts is proud to participate in this and congratulate the three cities for being willing to be a partner in what could be a tremendously important movement towards a truly Digital India.”

The round-table threw interesting insights on how conforming to certain data standards by providing open, certified data will also make an important contribution to making cities more attractive to private investment by reducing perceptions of risk while simultaneously enabling effective interventions and plugging of gaps within the city by the administration. Keynote presentations were delivered by the three Municipal Commissioners of the City Data for India Initiative pilot cities – Pune, Surat & Jamshedpur; to showcase their existing city data related programs and to highlight the opportunities to further enhance planning, decision-making and infrastructure investment through internationally-comparable certified city data. Another panel revealed insights on the importance of a ‘culture of data’ for innovation & learning for building smart, sustainable, resilient, prosperous & inclusive cities in India and why high-quality data is critical for enabling all aspects of the city infrastructure investment life cycle.

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. This is why Tata Trusts and WCCD have established a partnership to implement the City Data for India Initiative.

“Our first, three WCCD ISO 37120 certified cities in India have applied the lessons learned throughout the WCCD network in an exemplary fashion. With the assistance of our partners at Tata Trusts this initiative has unequivocally proven that cities have the potential to drive a culture of data that will inform decisions, investments and transparent governance. Further, this data has the power to serve as a catalyst to create truly smart, sustainable, resilient, inclusive and prosperous cities of tomorrow dedicated to the principles that unite the cities throughout the WCCD network”, stated WCCD President and CEO Dr. Patricia McCarney.

Present at the national round-table were Dr. Patricia McCarney, President & CEO, World Council on City Data (WCCD); Shri Kunal Kumar, IAS, Municipal Commissioner of Pune, Shri M. Thennarasan, IAS, Municipal Commissioner of Surat, , Mr. Ashish Mathur, Managing Director, Jamshedpur Utility and Services Company (JUSCO), Jamshedpur; and representatives of central and state government, Indian research institutes and universities, private sector organizations and major bilateral/multilateral donors.

The round-table also saw the unveiling of key data highlights for Pune, Surat and Jamshedpur based on fundamental indicators and guidelines such as economic development, water and sanitation, environment and energy, public safety, governance, and, education and health in comparison to other WCCD certified cities globally.

As the next step, these cities will be showcased at the WCCD Global Cities Summit in Dubai in March 2017. This will give them an opportunity to showcase the outcomes of the ‘Proof of Concept’ Phase and the work of the Tata Trusts for the City Data for India Initiative. The partner cities will have their ISO 37120 city certification certificates presented in front of the assembled audience of city leaders from around the world.

Tata Trusts has also engaged PWC as a Knowledge Partner to work closely with the city administration to enable proper and timely data collection and reporting under the initiative.

Big Data Revolution for Development Planning

Being part of the ISO 37120 Sustainable Development of Communities: Indicators for City Services and Quality of Life imply that these three cities have committed to be innovative cities, to improving services and quality of life with open city data and to providing a consistent and comprehensive platform for standardized urban metrics. This will allow for city data to be available on a common platform so that it is globally-comparable and will offer decision makers real-time information to measure a city’s social, economic, and environmental performance in relation to other cities. The ISO 37120 is applicable to any city, municipality or local government that undertakes to measure its performance in a comparable and verifiable manner, irrespective of size and location and has been extensively tested by more than 250 cities worldwide.

The United Nations (UN) reports that 54 per cent of the world’s population currently live in cities, and by 2050, this proportion will increase to 66 per cent. In this rapidly urbanizing world, this kind of city data will help policy makers and city planners steer and measure the performance of city services and quality of life. ISO 37120 indicators are highly valuable for city infrastructure investment decision making because they provides standardized assessment of infrastructure service levels across the main asset classes: transportation, energy, water and sanitation, wastewater, waste management, telecommunications, emergency response, and health services. The ISO 37120 standard also includes a broad range of indicators that can track the impact of investments on the local economy, society and environment as well as the positive outcomes for municipal finances and governance – all important considerations in building the business case and mobilizing investment.

It is estimated that by 2030, 77 cities in India will have a population more than 1 million (40 percent increase); 23 per cent of global middle class will be from India; and India's Urban GDP will be about 7.5 trillion and will contribute 75 per cent of India's total GDP. To accommodate such as vast population base and ensure they have improved human development indices, governments should ensure that the large development programs such as Smart Cities, 500 AMRUT cities, HRIDAY, Housing for all by 2022, etc. are implemented effectively, invest in data systems and be part of the ISO 37120 registry.

About Tata Trusts
Realizing the value of data, Tata Trusts has actively taken up the agenda of striving towards ‘Data-Driven Governance’, to inform, impact and improve policy making, with a view to facilitate holistic development of the nation. Tata Trusts is amongst India's oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organizations that work in several areas of community development. Since its inception, Tata Trusts has played a pioneering role in transforming traditional ideas of philanthropy to make impactful sustainable change in the lives of the communities served. Through direct implementation, co-partnership strategies and grant making, the Trusts support and drive innovation in the areas of education; healthcare and nutrition; rural livelihoods; natural resources management; enhancing civil society and governance and media, arts, crafts and culture. Tata Trusts continue to be guided by the principles of its Founder, Jamsetji Tata and through his vision of proactive philanthropy, the Trusts catalyse societal development while ensuring that initiatives and interventions have a contemporary relevance to the nation.

For more information please visit http://tatatrusts.org/

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About World Council on City Data (WCCD)
The WCCD hosts a network of innovative cities committed to improving services and quality of life with open city data and provides a consistent and comprehensive platform for standardized urban metrics. The WCCD is a global hub for creative learning partnerships across cities, international organizations, corporate partners, and academia to further innovation, envision alternative futures, and build better and more liveable cities. As a global leader on standardized metrics, the WCCD is implementing ISO 37120 Sustainable Development of Communities: Indicators for City Services and Quality of Life, the new international standard; created by cities, for cities. The WCCD has developed the first ISO 37120 certification system and the Global Cities Registry™.

Nikita Crasta
Rediffusion / Edelman, Mumbai
Email: Nikita.Crasta@edelman.com
Mobile: +91 9821071527