Surat Unveils India’s First Comprehensive Urban Resilience Strategy

Created in conjunction with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, the Surat Resilience Strategy will aid the city in fostering a robust and thriving community that is healthy, equitable, economically viable and environmentally sound

SURAT, INDIA – Surat today unveiled the Surat Resilience Strategy, a comprehensive strategic roadmap to promote urban resilience in the economic capital of the Indian state of Gujarat. As the first city in India to release an official Resilience Strategy, Surat is poised to take the lead in becoming a true Resilience Champion for neighboring cities to follow.

Hon. Mayor Asmitaben P. Shiroya, Hon. Commissioner Shri M. Thennarasan, Kamlesh Yagnik, Surat’s Chief Resilience Officer, and Vikram Singh, Regional Director for 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), C. R. Paatil, Member of Parliament Darshana Jardosh, Member of Parliament, Rajesh Desai, Chairman, Standing Committee, SMC, Deputy Mayor Shankar Chevli, and Jatin Shah, Managing Trustee, SCCT led an event to discuss the comprehensive strategy and its implementation with members of government, community groups and businesses. The strategy proposes concrete actions to build citywide resilience, including plans for improved mobility, increased access to affordable housing, improved water supply and quality and, balanced economic growth.

Hon. Mayor Ashmitaben Shiroya said, “Our community’s resilience rests on our people and our ability to live well in good times and bounce back stronger than ever from the inevitable hard times. The Resilience Strategy articulates solutions that make our city more resilient not only to physical challenges, such as floods and aging infrastructure, but also to social challenges, such as cohesion and urban health. I am grateful to the Surat community for contributing to the Resilience Strategy and for what you do every day to make Surat the active, dynamic, and highly engaged city that it is.”

Hon. Commissioner Shri M. Thennarasan said, “I am confident that Surat will become India’s champion for resilience, extending and integrating our already ground-breaking work in fields such as climate change adaptation, sustainable service provision, and integrated planning, and provide an example for other cities in 100RC to learn from. Surat Municipal Corporation provides wholehearted support to this strategy.”

Kamlesh Yagnik, Chief Resilience Officer for Surat said, “Surat has proven its ability to bounce back stronger when faced with unexpected shocks.  This strategy embeds the tenacity and spirit that has led guided Surat’s growth and ensures that resilience is embedded in the way we think and plan so that we can be prepared for any challenge the future may hold.  Importantly, the Surat Resilience Strategy calls on all who call Surat home to work together to make this a city we can all be proud of now and in the future.”

Vikram Singh, Regional Director, Asia Pacific, 100 Resilient Cities said, “This Resilience Strategy takes an honest look at what can be done today to make Surat more livable and envisions a future where living in Surat means having access to myriad opportunities, being healthy and protected from climate change and, taking pride in the city.  Through its diverse and thoughtful initiatives, the Strategy is reflective of the innovative and comprehensive community engagement process Surat underwent ensuring every resident – including the most vulnerable and underserved – has a voice in these pages.”

The Surat Resilience Strategy was developed through consultations with key policy and decision makers at the city/municipal administration, as well as state-level government departments and institutions and subject matter specialists. Led by the Chief Resilience Officer, the city also conducted a wide range of consultative meetings, engaging various stakeholders and organizations through one-on-one interviews and citizen participation in workshops and focus groups. The Surat Resilience Strategy is organized around seven key pillars and contains 20 goals and 63 actionable initiatives to build resilience in the city:

  • Connectivity and mobility services and regulation: seeks to make it safe and easy to get around the city
  • Affordable housing: assess the city’s housing needs and better align housing supply to match the needs of the city
  • Water availability and quality: improving the city’s water supply using innovative technology as well as green and blue infrastructure
  • Dominant sectors of employment and economic development: eases over-reliance on dominant industries and encourages balanced growth and entrepreneurialism
  • Ecosystem and environmental regulation: lays the framework for a clean and green Surat prepared to face the challenges of climate change
  • Social cohesion: encourages social integration, civic engagement and city pride
  • Upscaling of health: explores ways to improve the health of the city and its citizens

As a member of the 100RC Network, Surat has access to services, tools, and expertise from the 100RC Platform of Partners, comprised of leading private, public, academic, government, and NGO sector leaders.  The Surat Resilience Strategy includes partnerships with Save the Children, Veolia, Deltares and the World Resources Institute.

The full Surat Resilience Strategy is available for download here: www.100resilientcities.org/Surat

###

For further information, please contact:

Ashley Knapp
aknapp@100RC.org / +65 8168 9481

About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation 

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each member city who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges.  For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.