Friday 27 January 2017

WCCD & Tata Trusts celebrate first cities certified under ISO 37120 – announce City Data for India Initiative

Tata Trusts Chairman, Ratan Tata, and Patricia McCarney, President and CEO, World Council on City Data, at the launch in Mumbai on January 20th. Credit: Indian Express
The City Data for India Initiative, a major joint initiative from the new partnership between the World Council on City Data (WCCD) and the Tata Trusts was announced in Mumbai on January 20th, in a bid to build high caliber data in Indian cities. At a national roundtable held in Mumbai, and opened by WCCD President & CEO Dr. Patricia McCarney and Chairman of Tata Trusts Mr. Ratan Tata, the assembled delegates also celebrated the WCCD ISO 37120 certification of the first, three cities in India - Pune, Surat and Jamshedpur.

WCCD President & CEO Dr. Patricia McCarney shared her impressions of the exciting new partnership and the WCCD ISO 37120 certification of the first three cities in India:

“The WCCD is committed to supporting cities across the globe to develop a culture of data, which drives a culture of innovation for a more inclusive and sustainable prosperity, which is the essence of smart cities and smart countries. Our first, three WCCD ISO 37120 certified cities in India have quickly become outstanding exemplars of the lessons learned throughout the WCCD network. With the assistance of our partners at The Tata Trusts – supported by PwC – 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."

Speaking at the event Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts, congratulated Dr. McCarney, referring to the City Data for India initiative as a new movement:

"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 the 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 a 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.”

As reported to The Economic Times, Mr. Tata also shared additional views on the importance of the City Data for India Initiative. "It has become clear that we are now giving the cities true strength by working on data and recognizing the importance of data...The impact of this profound usage is huge. It will enable both the government and private sectors to set civic codes, evaluate outreach and finally assess the impact of policy and initiatives."

The goal of the City Data for India Initiative is to contribute to improved infrastructure services and smart decision making in Indian cities as well as driving inclusive prosperity and quality of life for millions of Indian urban citizens. It will empower city leaders, decision-makers and citizens from cities across India to make data-informed decisions to improve city planning, infrastructure investment and operational performance management using ISO standardized, comparable city data.

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.

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. Additionally, the three Municipal Commissioners of the City Data for India Initiative pilot cities – Pune, Surat & Jamshedpur – delivered presentations showcasing their existing city data related programs and to highlight the opportunities to enhance planning, decision-making, and infrastructure investment through internationally-comparable certified city data.

"The WCCD is now welcoming all Indian cities to become ISO 37120 certified and to join us for the 2017 Global Cities Summit in Dubai to exchange lessons with cities globally,” stated WCCD President and CEO Dr. Patricia McCarney. “We congratulate Pune, Surat, and Jamshedpur on receiving their WCCD ISO 27120 certification and celebrating their excellence within India while showcasing their achievements in relation to other peer cities across the globe. They have now joined the WCCD global network of cities where comparable ISO standardized data is driving innovation and city to city exchange.” 

The roundtable 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.

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