Project at a glance

With a population of over 12 million, Bengaluru is grappling with energy and environmental issues. Its garbage generation rate has reportedly surged more than all other major cities in the country. The city also needs to save on electricity bills, reduce its carbon footprint, and increase energy efficiency. Answers to the problems that Bengaluru faces today are often hidden among those with on-the-ground knowledge. Hence, there is a need to tap into grassroots expertise to identify innovative ideas for addressing environmental challenges.

The Urban Innovation Challenge: Design Bengaluru is an initiative of the Tata Centre for Development (TCD) at UChicago and the Urban Development Department of the Government of Karnataka, in partnership with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago’s India team (EPIC-India), and UChicago Energy and Environment Lab.


After the success of the first edition of Urban Innovation Challenge in Delhi, the second edition has been launched in Bengaluru to address city’s environmental challenges by crowdsourcing inventive ideas from citizens, civic leaders, academics, corporations, and other institutions across India.


Challenge is no longer the rate of innovation, but the rate of implementation. Design Bengaluru gives the opportunity to move from innovation to implementation by encouraging pilot projects that could become a model for other cities to emulate.

The winners of the challenge—Hasiru Dala Innovations and TIDE and WRI India—will receive funding support of up to Rs. 1.5 crore over two years to implement and test their ideas in the field, with guidance and input from the Government of Karnataka and leading faculty at the University of Chicago.

If successful, these ideas could become policy solutions the government could implement at a large scale, and may provide an important model for other cities to follow.

While Hasiru Dala will address waste management needs of bulk waste generators in Bengaluru by providing destination assured waste management services for all streams of segregated-at-source municipal solid waste, TIDE and WRI India will work towards promoting long-term behavior change for reducing electricity consumption and facilitating a culture of energy conservation and energy efficiency through awareness, knowledge and consumer reports.

Leveraging the results of the projects as evidence will guide policymaking and help improve public interventions and urban governance.