Two Indian Cities Shortlisted In the $9 Million Global Sustainable Cities Challenge by Toyota Mobility Foundation

 The Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) today announced that Bengaluru and Varanasi have been shortlisted amongst the top 10 cities in the $9-million Sustainable Cities Challenge.The Toyota Mobility Foundation, with support from Challenge Works and World Resources Institute, launched the Challenge in June 2023, aimed at helping cities prepare for the future by supporting mobility focused innovation with the potential to transform the lives of millions of people around the world.

Over 200 entries were received during this entry period, from over 150 cities in 46 countries globally. They were assessed on four key criteria of 1) Challenge focus 2) Innovation 3) Impact 4) Partner capacity. The shortlist includes cities in Brazil, Colombia, India, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States.

With over 50 entries from India, the two shortlisted cities – Bengaluru and Varanasi will be invited to capacity-building academy, where they will receive support to develop their solutions. They will also become part of a larger network of innovative city teams. Three cities from the ten shortlists will be selected to launch their own City Challenges and in mid-2024, the call will be launched for global innovators to work with the three winning cities. Innovators could be from anywhere around the world – residing both locally or anywhere else in the world, but the solutions must be applicable and tailored to the winning cities.

Innovators for each city will be selected in late 2024, and they will be supported over a 2-year period with up to $9 million for testing and pilot running of solutions between 2024-2026. In 2026, winning innovators will be selected for further implementation at that time.

Speaking on the development Mr. Vikram Gulati, Executive Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said “We at TKM, are thrilled that Bengaluru and Varanasi from India, have made it to the shortlisted global cities in the Sustainable Cities Challenge. As “Mobility” is becoming a priority aspect in India, innovative approaches and solutions to the challenges are required and must be encouraged. The primary elements of Mobility Challenge being inclusivity, safety, and sustainability that go hand-in-hand with the themes underlying Bengaluru and Varanasi’s urban development strategy.

As a mobility company, Toyota is committed to human centric mobility, beyond the realm of just automobile manufacturing. We at Toyota, envision a world where mobility isn’t just about moving from one point to another; it’s about cultivating sustainable, inclusive, and secure urban environments. The Toyota Mobility Foundation’s Sustainable Cities Challenge exemplifies our unwavering dedication to this vision as it serves a platform that unites cities and innovators with their residents to facilitate development of customized solutions for the real-world challenges through open innovation.

I am confident that this initiative will contribute in the creation of ever better cities across the globe in becoming a more beautiful & sustainable world”

Pras Ganesh, Executive Program Director of Toyota Mobility Foundation in Asia said, “The Sustainable Cities Challenge extends far beyond mere innovation; it’s a pivotal endeavour in shaping the future of urban mobility, safety, and sustainability. We firmly believe that Indian cities like Bengaluru and Varanasi, each possessing unique strengths and potential, can serve as prime examples of sustainable and resilient urban development. Working with Challenge Works, World Resources Institute and even other like-minded partners like the UN Habitat and Deloitte Future of Mobility Solution Center, we are excited to support these visionary projects in the shortlisted cities that are already making efforts to improve their mobility systems, and we are very excited to begin and make a tangible difference to the residents of the cities.”

Other shortlisted cities include – Detroit and New Orleans (United States), Fortaleza (Brazil), Medellín (Colombia), Mexico City (Mexico), Seberang Perai (Malaysia), Venice, Italy and York (UK)

The Sustainable Cities Challenge, funded by the Toyota Mobility Foundation, is a collaboration with Challenge Works and World Resources Institute. It aims to encourage innovative thinking and creative solutions to address urban challenges. With cities at the forefront of transformation, the Challenge embodies inclusivity, safety, and sustainability, aligning with the goals of urban development.

Entries were invited from across the world, including Indian cities, from June-September 2023 with entries to the first stage of the Challenge being opened to city leaders and municipal corporations, governments, transport departments and other related local and regional agencies.

Cities were invited to enter the Challenge by identifying areas in which innovation would help them expand access to safe, affordable, and inclusive modes of mobility; harness the power of data to create connected and resilient mobility ecosystems; and reduce environmental impact through low-carbon and renewable solutions.

For more information about the Sustainable Cities Challenge and the Toyota Mobility Foundation, please visit the official website at Sustainable Cities Challenge website.About Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF):

Established in August 2014, the Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) is dedicated to fostering a more mobile society in which everyone can move freely. By leveraging Toyota’s expertise and technologies, TMF partners with various stakeholders to address mobility issues worldwide, aligning its initiatives with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).About Challenge Works:

Challenge Works is a global leader in designing and delivering open innovation challenges to solve pressing problems and drive change. They incentivize innovative thinkers to solve complex issues and reward the most promising solutions.

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