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Conference on “Chennai as a Global City”.
Background Note on the Urban Thinkers Campus- Chennai as a Global City

What is an Urban Thinkers Campus?
The World Urban campaign, a partnership and advocacy platform of the UN-Habitat conceived an open space for exchange of ideas for the urban stakeholders called an Urban Thinkers campus. This Campus is a consensus-building process and a platform for bringing together all city partners and stakeholders to implement the New Urban Agenda (document from the Habitat-3 conference) towards The City We Need. This is the second phase the Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) which will focus on developing actual action plans and implementable road maps in order to implement the New Urban Agenda.

Urban Thinkers Campus- Chennai
The Urban Thinkers Campus-Chennai is proposed to be organised with the focal theme of ''Chennai as a Global City". UTC Chennai will provide a platform for discussion amongst various city-stakeholders and agencies to arrive at responsibilities and implementation roadmaps on their contribution towards Chennai’s Global standing.

The Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) along with the Technical and Knowledge support of National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), New Delhi, a think tank to the Ministry of Urban Development GOI, is working towards hosting this Campus in Chennai. The support and partnership of key stakeholders including Governmental bodies, Municipal Corporations, Institutions like the Indian Institute of Madras (IITM) and Corporates are also being sought.

This campus is planned as a two day intensive workshop on 9th and 10th of November coinciding with MCCI’s 6th Anniversary of the launch of the Sustainable Chennai Forum.

Chennai as a Global City
Chennai a Metropolitan City and the State Capital of Tamil Nadu, has a large number of Central, State and Local government agencies. It is also one of the first 20 Smart Cities of the Government of India. Chennai has a broad industrial base in the automobile, computer, hardware manufacturing and healthcare sectors. Reviewing publicly available information available through 2012, the city is India's second largest exporter of information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) services. A major part of India's automobile industry is located in and around the city.

Higher Education and Professional education in Chennai has been a major supplier to global talent pool especially the IT workforce. Chennai also hosts Consulates/Deputy High Commissions of leading countries such as USA, UK and Italy apart from international organisations such as Goethe Institute, British Council and Alliance Francaise etc. There are large number of interested, invested and operational organizations in Chennai enabling its Global connections and outreach.

Objectives of the Urban Thinkers Campus Chennai

1. Defining Priority Actions
MCCI has set-up the Sustainable Chennai Forum in 2011 for deliberation on various issues pertaining to Chennai's competitiveness and its sustainability. This UTC will also bring out issues and priority areas of concerns raised across previous forums and bring together panellists and experts to discuss the possible outcomes and solutions

2. Building Partnerships and Commitment
Through this Campus, Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) aims to build partnerships required for a Global City. MCCI would also use this opportunity to identify engagement strategies for it to support the City, State and National Government’s plans for the city.

3. Enhancing Existing Roles
MCCI jointly with NIUA initiated the setting up of the Chennai Urban Observatory - to establish a mechanism to collect, collate and analyse data required for regular review of the urban dynamics. UTC Chennai can build on the initial works of the Observatory and its networks. Outcomes of the UTC can provide future directions required for the Observatory as well as all partnering agencies. Chennai Urban Observatory can also offer an institutional set up required to review the progress on the implementation of New Urban Agenda as well as SDGs.

4. Contributing towards the implementation of the New Agenda
The UTC Chennai will aim at addressing all the principles defined for the City We Need. Specific formulation of Action plan for the City to attract more global capital, increase its international visibility and effectively participate in the mobility of talent and goods and thereby harnessing best opportunities for the citizens will be developed.

How will the Urban Thinkers Campus - Chennai work?

The two day programme will cover three themes under the topic of Chennai as a Global City. The themes are
1. Resilience & Smart Cities
2. Inclusion, City's Expansion and Social Infrastructure
3. Global Investment Destination & Governance

Each theme is further divided into specific sub-themes/topics which will engage a high panel discussion with academicians, practitioners, corporate leaders and elected representatives followed with urban labs of case studies and practices which will aim to facilitate discussions to stimulate thoughts and deliberations of key ideas amongst constituent groups. All three themes will run in parallel sessions, each having three sub-themes/topics. The second day will have three roundtables for each theme to consolidate thoughts, priority areas, commitment and action plan for all constituent groups that will feed into the City’s implementation plan of the New Urban Agenda

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