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UK university signs urban growth pact with Kolkata

Press Trust of India  |  London 

The UK's prestigious has signed new agreements with the government to tackle challenges of urban growth and development in

The Scottish university's Institute of Future Cities, based in Glasgow, said its work focuses on cities as home to an ever-growing proportion of the world's population, which puts pressure on transport infrastructure, the and quality of life.

The institute announced that it has signed agreements at the Global Business Summit with the University of Calcutta; the Department of Environment, government; and and Industry (BCC&I) to look at the opportunities and challenges created by urban living.

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with key government departments, influential businesses and leading academics to develop innovative solutions for the key issues for cities in India," said Richard Bellingham, of the

Bellingham explained: "Rapid urbanisation, and the opportunities and challenges that come with that are affecting cities around the world, not just in

"Each city has its own particular set of circumstances, opportunities, challenges so tailored solutions for each city need to be developed through a deep understanding of the city in question and those solutions need to be capable of delivery at a city-wide scale".

The said its Bengal partnership sets out to understand the specific challenges and opportunities for and develop solutions that will be relevant to many cities across the world.

"That is why we are tackling air pollution an issue that has huge impacts on millions of lives across the world. Delivering effective solutions needs partnership so we are interested in hearing from potential partner organisations with interest in city issues across India," Bellingham said.

The new partnership is aimed at identifying barriers and solutions to sustainable economic growth; resilience of critical and infrastructure; environmental sustainability; and health, wellbeing and quality of life for the citizens of and The Department has a key role in coordinating action on sustainable development, environmental management and climate change for the whole of the state of West Bengal.

The five-year agreements will see the exchange of ideas, data and expertise and the creation of joint funding bids for research and consultancy, scholarships, a joint Masters programme, joint workshops and conferences and reciprocal visits.

In the first year of the agreement, the partners will work together to create projects on the development of for Kolkata, strategies for future city development, optimisation of such as transport and health, and pollution and noise reduction. Improving air quality has been identified as a key priority.

The said it has also created new scholarships to assist Indian students to join its MSc in Global Sustainable Cities, with support from the

Bruce Bucknell, the UK's Deputy High in Kolkata said: "Great to see the beginning. Look forward to some fantastic work between the UK and West Bengal on cleaner air and better environment".

Kolkata, with more than 14 million citizens, is the third-most populous urban area in after and and is among the largest and most populous cities on earth.

"The and Industry in partnership with the at Strathclyde hopes to add value by addressing the urban challenges that beset a densely populous city like Kolkata and help deliver on our promises for a Sustainable 2030 Kolkata," said Deb Mukherjee, Senior of

University of Strathclyde's work in Kolkata is financed jointly by the and the UK government's The at the university brings together governments, businesses, academics and citizens to imagine and engage with the future of cities, and explore how to make cities more successful, healthier, safer and more sustainable for all.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 20:56 IST