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Thank you for making the
Happy Cities Summit: Amaravati 2018
a phenomenal success

Success of Happy Cities Summit 2018

Read the Happy Cities Summit 2018 Summary

Happy Cities Summit 2018 Summary

Summit at a glance




Delegates from
15+ countries


Speakers and city leaders


Start-ups from 7 countries

The Summit was a phenomenal success with 1,500 attendees, including 120 delegates from 15+ countries (incl. Finland, Singapore, UK, Costa Rica, Colombia, Tanzania, US, Bhutan, UAE, Israel, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Japan, etc.), 40+ speakers and city leaders, and 12 start-ups from 7 countries!

Over the course of three days, we witnessed the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, converse with Sadhguru on ‘happiness’; 7 enriching panel discussions on ‘city happiness’, liveability, citizen-centric governance, environment, economy, and measurement of happiness; pitches by cutting-edge urban innovators from around the world; and workshops on ‘happiness measurement’ and ‘solving critical city challenges using design thinking’.

We also conducted a ‘happy city hackathon’ in the run-up to the summit, a unique initiative where students got the opportunity to envision and bring to life a public space in their capital city. In addition, there was an exhibition that run through all the days of the summit, where leading industry players and start-ups showcased products and services across various facets of urban life, including mobility, governance, housing, waste management, clean energy, etc.

Videos from the summit

Voices of Happiness at the Happy Cities Summit
Experts speak on what can make Amaravati a 'happy city'
Happy Cities Summit Pitch Competition on Urban Innovation
Happy City Hackathon

Images from the Summit

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Outputs from the summit

Launch of the
‘Happy Cities Innovation Lab’
by the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh

A Think-Do-Enable Lab to make Amaravati one of the happiest cities in the world, and spread the ‘happy cities’ movement globally, especially in the developing world

Happy Cities Declaration: Amaravati 2018

Six mayors and thought leaders from around the world pledged their commitment to building ‘happy cities’. Find attached a brief deck on the declaration.


Shuttl, a tech and GPS enabled seat based bus mobility solution for urban India

1st Runner Up

SEaB energy, a UK based inventor and developer of small scale waste-to-energy appliances

2nd Runner Up

Easy Gov, a mobile app which allows citizens to explore the different government schemes available, determine eligibility and receive the associated benefits

Special Mention

ValetEZ, a smart parking and mobility solution firm that is focused on solving the growing challenge of parking and congestion through mobile and cloud based software platform

Asia initiatives, a US based non-profit which has developed Social Capital Credits – a community currency for social good that incentivizes and encourages citizen engagement

Metaverse Systems, a Singapore based company that has developed a transformational master planning tool that uses ethnographic data, augmented reality, cloud computing, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence

Green Cities Platinum rating for Amaravati

Amaravati became the first greenfield city in the world to receive the Indian Green Building Council’s platinum rating.

Release of Amaravati Happy City Masterplan

Experts studied the world’s most forward-thinking and best-planned cities along with Andhra Pradesh’s unique needs and developed a socio-economic masterplan, laying out key elements of Amaravati’s evolution and implications for building the new capital city.

Launch of Land Pooling Scheme (LPS) book

The Government of Andhra Pradesh implemented one of the largest and most successful land pooling schemes in the world, wherein 27,500 farmers voluntarily gave 33,500 acres to the government for building the capital city. This process has been documented in the book.


Our planet is going through the most rapid phase of urbanization in its history, and we are soon to become a predominantly urban global civilization. Today, already more than half of humanity lives in urban areas. By 2050, that number will be closer to two-thirds. 90 percent of this increase is expected to come from regions in Asia and Africa.

To accommodate this growth, several new cites are coming up in tens of countries, and many are expanding rapidly, especially in the developing world. While many of these cities aspire to become world-class, smart, sustainable, and resilient, the cities of the developing world face unique constraints, such as competing pressures on land, resource constraints, socio-economic diversity, and limited budgets.

Given this canvas, it is imperative to be bold and disruptive in our thinking for cities -- identify new, unique and innovative solutions that can help meet the rising aspirations of our people, engendering socio-economic transformation, by leveraging new approaches while being cognizant of the constraints.

“Our endeavor is to make Amaravati a “happy city” where its human resources are taken care of first. Amaravati would be one of the top on happiness index of its people.” N. Chandrababu Naidu
Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh

Objectives of the summit

The "Happy Cities Summit: Amaravati 2018” was the first of an annual global event on urban innovation and best practices, focused on cities of the twenty-first century.

The primary objectives of the summit were as follows:

  • To become the defining forum for discussing and sharing urban solutions and innovations particularly relevant for new and emerging cities in the developing world, centered around the principles of ‘Happiness’.
  • To become the platform for showcasing cutting-edge urban innovations that can be embedded in 21st Century cities in India and globally.
  • To provide opportunities for stakeholders to takeaway tangible and practical learnings and toolkits for implementation in their respective cities.
  • To actively engage citizens in planning and designing their cities.

The Summit brought together a diverse range of stakeholders

  • Leading thinkers and urban experts.
  • Policymakers, mayors and city administrators.
  • Urban planners, architects and designers.
  • City-preneurs and innovators.
  • Leading industry players.
  • Foundations and civil society organizations.
  • Funders.
  • Citizens.


The Happy Cities Summit: Amaravati 2018 was centered on the foundational principles of happy cities: ‘Citizen-centric governance’, ‘Liveable Communities’, ‘Clean & Healthy Environment’, and ‘Vibrant Economies’. As part of the Summit, we covered important topics within each of these themes.

Citizen-centric governance

Making governance data-driven and participative across socio-economic classes

A. Smart governance

Harnessing data through technologies to improve decision making and service delivery

B. Citizen engagement

Engaging and incentivizing citizens to participate in city design & planning, financing, and governance

Liveable communities

Creating safe, equitable, and accessible neighborhoods

A. People-friendly mobility

Offering integrated transport & mobility solutions that are accessible and environment friendly, and promote good health

B. Inclusive housing & public spaces

Housing & public spaces that are climate sensitive, inclusive, adaptive, and promote citizen interaction

Clean & healthy environment

Building an ecologically diverse and resilient urban ecosystem

A. Blue-green spaces

Integrating nature-inspired water and green bodies in city design to improve biodiversity and environmental resilience

B. Waste and pollution-free ecosystem

Advancing healthy living through waste management and pollution mitigation solutions

Vibrant economies

Creating economic opportunities that enable citizens to enjoy a good quality of life.

A. Diverse & diginified jobs

Setting up an urban economy that provides a wide spectrum of good jobs for all skill levels

B. Lifelong learning

Embedding learning and skill development opportunities in the institutional layout of a city for all citizens



Leading urban innovators, thinkers, and administrators shared best practices, trends, and principles on urban innovation and design through keynotes and panel discussions.


Interactive and focused sessions were conducted with city leaders, experts, entrepreneurs and citizens to ideate, commit to, and design happy cities


Leading industry players and start-ups from around the world showcased products, services, technologies, and solutions in urban development

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Networking events

A cross-section of stakeholders from across the global urban landscape engaged with each other and forged partnerships

Detailed agenda

Agenda for the Summit


The venue for the Summit

CK Convention,
Near Police Head Quarters Office,
Mangalagiri, Andhra Pradesh,
India, 522503

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Andhra Pradesh, the eight largest state in India, is endowed with rich natural resources & mineral wealth and boasts of the second longest coastline in the country. With visionary political leadership, strong government mandate and proactive administration, the State is poised to capitalize on its business friendly policies and robust physical, social and industrial infrastructure. Andhra Pradesh is poised to be among India’s three best states by 2022 and a developed state by 2029.

The Government of Andhra Pradesh has accorded top priority to industrial and infrastructure growth and intends to position the State as the most preferred destination for investors by providing favourable business climate, excellent infrastructure, good law and order and cordial industrial relations. Andhra Pradesh has already made an impact through its investor-friendly initiatives by being ranked as the 2nd best state in the country on Ease of Doing Business as per a report by World Bank. The State has put in place a Single Desk Portal to provide all clearances/approvals within 21 working days to set up an industry in the state.

The Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority is an urban planning agency of the capital of Andhra Pradesh, Amaravati. Amaravati is envisioned to be 'India’s happiest city’ - an inclusive people’s capital which is economically vibrant and sustaining, equipped with world class social and physical infrastructure to create unparalleled opportunities. It will meet the world class standards of livability, inclusive growth, economic opportunities and environmental sustainability. It would be the first purpose built city in the World with Urban Design derived from the ‘Happy City Principles’.

Amaravati would be the most green-and-blue city in the country with over 30% area dedicated for water and landscape features designed to give the utmost livable ambience to its residents. It is also aspired to be the first city with Navigable canals for intra-city commute (light public and tourist transit). With a design population of about 3.5Mn by year 2050 and a projected resident family population of about 0.9Mn through creation of 1.5Mn jobs. APCRDA has adopted some of the world’s best urban planning practices for Amaravati and fused them with local needs.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in India's development process. Founded in 1895, India's premier business association has over 8,500 members, from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs, and an indirect membership of over 200,000 enterprises from around 250 national and regional sectoral industry bodies.

CII charts change by working closely with Government on policy issues, interfacing with thought leaders, and enhancing efficiency, competitiveness and business opportunities for industry through a range of specialized services and strategic global linkages. It also provides a platform for consensus-building and networking on key issues.

Extending its agenda beyond business, CII assists industry to identify and execute corporate citizenship programmes. Partnerships with civil society organizations carry forward corporate initiatives for integrated and inclusive development across diverse domains including affirmative action, healthcare, education, livelihood, diversity management, skill development, empowerment of women, and water, to name a few.

Dalberg Advisors is an advisory firm dedicated to social and economic development of the global poor, with the mission of bringing the best of private sector strategy to address the most pressing global development challenges. Dalberg has 17 offices across the globe and the clients span the public, private and philanthropic sectors.

Through a dedicated ‘Cities’ practice area, Dalberg works with diverse urban actors to help cities define purposeful goals and plans, identify challenges, collaborate through global networks and partnerships, experiment with potential solutions, and adapt to change continuously. In the past, we have supported inclusive and resilient urban growth through strategy, design, big data analysis and evaluation, and partnership-building.

Set up in 2008 by the Ministry of National Development and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC) has as its mission “to distil, create and share knowledge on liveable and sustainable cities”. CLC’s work spans four main areas – Research, Capability Development, Knowledge Platforms, and Advisory. Through these activities, CLC hopes to provide urban leaders and practitioners with the knowledge and support needed to make our cities better. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook.

Amaravati Partership Office