Shimla - indian municipality acting on sustainable development
Shimla is one of the oldest municipalities in India and an erstwhile British summer capital. It is a popular tourist city situated in the Himalayan mountains at an elevation is of 2100 m above sealevel. It has a population of over 0.2 million inhabitants and a floating population of about 75 000 people.
Shimla is also a partner city under Mistra Urban Futures’ ‘Implementing the New Urban Agenda and The Sustainable Development Goals: Comparative Urban Perspectives’ project. Recently, it has taken a step towards ensuring sustainable urban development in the city. The urban local body, Municipal Corporation of Shimla (MCS), recently passed a unanimous resolution to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and work towards aligning its actions to meet the targets under the global goals. MCS committed towards the sustainable development agenda, especially SDG 11 to ‘Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’.
By adopting this resolution, Shimla has become the early movers amongst Indian cities to make an explicit commitment at the level of a city government and to voluntarily align its monitoring efforts with SDGs.
This achievement was facilitated by the unique Knowledge Partnership of MCS with Mistra's knowledge partner in India-Nagrika, a social enterprise working on urban issues of small and mid-sized cities. Under the partnership, we are co-producing knowledge on MCS's engagement with Agenda 2030 and assessing the relevance of SDG goals and indicators for MCS.
The move is significant in multiple ways. It is a reflection of municipal government's willingness and initiative to engage on global issues such as sustainable urban development. By committing to developing an integrated strategy to achieve relevant SDGs, the resolution also provides an opportunity to MCS, (and other cities) to converge its multiple efforts and develop synergies among them under a globally recognised monitoring framework. Importantly, the resolution is also an acknowledgement by MCS, of their frontline role in impacting sustainable urban development.
Short facts of Shimla:
Shimla, is a hill city in North India in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas approximately 7467 feet above sea level with a population of approximately 200,000 people. Shimla has a floating (seasonal) population of over 75,000 people, especially during the summer tourist season. While 79 percent of the resident population has access to piped water, the water supply flows for only a few hours per day. The piped water system in some places is more than 100 years old. Given the terrain, the water needs to be pumped up over 1400 metres, increasing the cost of service.