Morgenstadt Global Smart Cities - Global Approach, Local Solutions: Increasing the climate resilience of the city of Kochi, India

View of Kochi.
© Fraunhofer IBP
View over Kochi.

Due to its geographical location, by the middle of the century, the city of Kochi in India will be affected by potential changes in rainfall patterns, extreme weather events as well as a rise in sea level as a consequence of the climate change. Urbanization also has a severe impact on the water ecosystem and makes the city additionally vulnerable to climate risks.

The “City Lab Kochi” project therefore aims at strengthening the city's resilience to the effects of climate change. The focus is on energy, housing, urban climate and water. The City Lab team is working on the project. The team consists of experts from the Fraunhofer Institutes IGB (management and water), ISE (energy), IBP (housing, green and blue infrastructure), Fraunhofer India as well as the University of Stuttgart and other local participants.

Project goals

Climate change is a global challenge that can only be overcome through international cooperation. The primary objective of the Morgenstadt Global Smart Cities Initiative (MGI) is to mitigate the effects of climate change in the chosen pilot cities, to increase their resilience to climate risks and to better preserve their natural resources. For Kochi in India - one of the three pilot cities under consideration - the team is examining the effectiveness of various adaptation measures and their suitability for concrete implementation. To increase climate resilience, a particular focus is on nature-based solutions and blue-green infrastructures, such as greening buildings or replacing polluted sewers. The project centers around close international cooperation with partners from research, business and administration, the exchange of knowledge and experience between the pilot cities and experience gained by the Morgenstadt network.

Current project status

As part of the Morgenstadt City Lab, the city of Kochi was analyzed and evaluated in detail to determine its ability to withstand the climate change. An individual sustainability profile was elaborated, and a detailed analysis of specific urban sectors carried out and published.

This information enabled concrete project ideas for increasing climate resilience to be derived. Together with local partner companies, these were methodically evaluated, and the following project idea was selected for implementation: Sustainable Neighborhood in Kochi

An end-to-end concept is currently being developed to redesign a selected site in Kochi containing about 100 buildings, which identifies solutions addressing the topics of energy, water and climate comfort. The Fraunhofer IBP researchers will compare various constructional options and calculate their respective impact, for example on occupant comfort or (future) energy requirements for cooling. The most promising measures will then be chosen on this basis.

Project partners

  • University of Stuttgart, Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT 
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, Stuttgart
  • Fraunhofer India
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP
  • Frankfurt School of Finance and Management - UNEP Centre
  • National Institute of Urban Affairs, India
  • Further local partners