One of the most progressive cities in India, Pune has played a significant role in pioneering urban planning. It is known for active citizen participation in the city’s growth. Pune has transformed several times over the years, from an education hub, to an auto industries hub, and now a hub for the IT industry. These transformations have resulted in migration, population growth, and expanded city limits. Pune is expected to expand further with the addition of 23 surrounding villages, and will probably become the largest urban area in the state of Maharashtra.

Like other Indian cities, Pune faces challenges such as uncontrolled growth, continuous migration, pressure on the urban environment, and institutional complexity. The city administration seeks to resolve these issues through technology, capital works, internal resources, and the organization’s internal capabilities. Sustainability and resilience are two key concepts that must be built in to a holistic development strategy.

Pune’s most extreme shocks are high rainfall, flooding, and disease outbreaks in the urban center. Pune also grapples with chronic stresses, including water pollution and challenges in wastewater and solid waste management, lack of affordable housing, and transport challenges.

The city’s Resilience Strategy focuses on three key areas for improvement, in light of Pune’s current pattern of development and its expected growth: urban mobility, urban environment including water body management and conservation of biodiversity, and urban economy, particularly the informal sector.

Meet the Chief Resilience Officer

Mahesh Harhare

Chief Resilience Officer

Mahesh Harhare has over 15 years’ experience working in Indian cities in the fields of urban management and urban governance, including policy and strategy, city infrastructure and investment assessment, institutional assessment, project feasibility and development, and transaction advisory.

Throughout his career, Mahesh has worked on key urban-sector-related assignments supported by external funding agencies such as ADB, IFC, GIZ, USAID, and BMG, various state governments, and over 40 urban local bodies in India. He has demonstrated leadership skills at the national, state, and local levels.

Mahesh’s work on key assignments in the urban water and sanitation sectors includes developing City Sanitation Plans (CSPs) for GIZ, developing PPP projects in the urban water and wastewater recycling sector for ADB, and creating City Development Plans for 25 cities and a feasibility assessment for a waste-to-energy plant for BMGF in India.

Mahesh holds an MTech in Urban Planning, and studied Civil Engineering. He is currently enrolled in an Executive Program in Management at IIM Calcutta.

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