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 (Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images).

THE Institute of Future Cities at UK’s University of Strathclyde signed agreements with the University of Calcutta; the department of environment, Government of West Bengal; and Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCC&I) at the Bengal Global Business Summit last week to look at the opportunities and challenges created by urban living.

Together the partners will identify barriers and solutions to sustainable economic growth; resilience of critical urban systems and infrastructure; environmental sustainability; and health, wellbeing and quality of life for the citizens of Kolkata and West Bengal, University of Strathclyde said in a release.

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 low-carbon energy for Kolkata, strategies for future city development, optimisation of urban systems such as transport and health, and pollution and noise reduction. Improving air quality has been identified by the partners as a key priority.

Strathclyde’s work in Kolkata is financed jointly by the Scottish government and the UK government’s global challenges research fund.

Cities are home to an ever-growing proportion of the world’s population, putting pressure on transport infrastructure, the environment and quality of life.

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