Improving Delhi’s air quality through crowdsourced ideas and economically-beneficial techniques.

In a first-of-a-kind partnership, the University of Chicago Trust and the Delhi government launched The Urban Labs Innovation Challenge: Delhi—a unique competition that has crowdsourced the best local ideas to cut pollution in Delhi and meet the city’s future energy needs. Together, the winners received more than Rs. 2 crores. They are now using that money to work with the University of Chicago Urban Labs, EPIC-India, and the Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission to pilot and test their ideas.

“In putting these programs through the rigor of testing with the collaboration of the University of Chicago, we hope to scale them up into programs that can be employed in Delhi, but also in other cities in India and the world.”

– Ashish Khetan, Vice Chairperson, Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi

The projects include:

  • Chakr Innovation Pvt. Ltd. will pilot their device that captures more than 70 percent of particulate pollution from diesel engines and converts it to black ink and paints.
  • Climate Foundation and Tide Technocrats Pvt. Ltd. will employ devices that turn rice straw into biochar to enrich agricultural soil and prevent the heavy air pollution in Delhi from rice straw burning.
  • Mahila Housing SEWA Trust will deploy cool roofing solutions in Delhi slums to bring down indoor temperature and allow dwellers to conserve energy and improve their productivity and quality of life.