IGBC Green Hill Habitat

Hills, as the natural bio-sphere reserves, have special significance in terms of environment and economy of any country and have critical role and importance in their growth and development. Though hill states comprise 10% of the total population of India, but vast majority of nation's population living nearby, directly or indirectly, depends of the resources of hill states. The hill districts (124 districts in 2009) constitute 21.53 percent of geographical area in the country. They cover 40.65 percent of the total forest cover in the country..

The demand for building stock in hilly areas has also increased many folds to meet the requirements of tourist related facilities and infrastructure. Hilly areas, with sensitive eco-system require equally sensitive and scientific approach for ensuring their proper growth and development. One of the solutions to preserve our 400+ hill cities is by introducing the concept of 'Green Hill habitat'. IGBC Green Hill Habitat Rating System is intended for hill cities, considering the fact that several aspects need to be addressed differently as compared to a city in the plain lands. IGBC has set up the Green Hill Habitat Technical Committee to develop the rating programme. This committee comprised of key stakeholders, including government, hill city planners, hill architects, hill area developers, infrastructure experts, researchers and relevant institutions working on Mountain Development.

IGBC Green Hill Habitat rating system is the first-of-its-kind rating in India to address environmental sustainability in hill cities & towns. The rating system shall enable the development authorities and developers to apply green planning principles, so as to reduce environmental impacts that are measurable and improve the overall quality of life in cities.


Hill cities have a sensitive ecosystem consisting of mountains, rivers and valleys and some of them even experience extreme weather conditions. These cities have various factors, which necessitate a thrust on adoption of an integrated planning approach for conservation, preservation and planned development.

There are multi-fold benefits in greening of hill cities in the country, particularly in the context of several cities going smart. Green and smart are mutually inclusive and would offer benefits, both tangible and intangible.

The tangible benefits of greening hill cities are as follows:
  • 25-30% reduction in the energy consumption of the city
  • 15-20% reduction in water consumption
  • Increased segregation in municipal waste leading to better handling
  • Increased use of public transport to the extent of 8-10%
  • Increase in use of treated wastewater for city application
The intangible benefits are as follows:
  • Restoration of Forest Biodiversity
  • Increase in the City landscape cover
  • Conservation of Watershed Areas
  • Increase in Ground water table
  • Preparedness for climate disasters
  • Management of Overburdened Infrastructure
  • Optimization of Alternative Sources of Energy
  • Climate Adaptive Design & Construction
  • Provision for more public conveniences
  • Citizen engagement through the city e-portals
  • Better parking management strategies
  • Reduced resource consumption
  • Enhanced Quality Of Life
  • Attract environment conscious investors to city


Hill towns & cities shall meet the following criteria to qualify for IGBC Green Hill Habitat Rating:
  • As per Census 2011, all statutory towns/ cities which are notified under law by the concerned State/ UT Government and have local bodies like municipal corporations, municipalities, municipal committee, irrespective of their demographic characteristics shall be categorized as Hill cities.
  • Large developments under PPP (Public-Private Partnership) can also come under the ambit of hill cities, which meets the definition of National Building Code for hilly areas - "Any area above 600 m in height from mean sea level, or any area with average slope of 30°, considering the sensitive and fragile eco-system of hills and mountains as per NBC".

Hill cities can define a notional boundary under which it can go for the IGBC Green Hill Habitat Rating. This can be done either phase wise or zone wise and the boundary can be expanded in the subsequent years.

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For more details, please contact:
IGBC Marketing:
Punit Agarwal
Senior Counsellor
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IGBC Technical:
Saurav Choudhury
Counsellor, IGBC
Ar. Asphia Taimur
Associate Counsellor
Ar. Naveen Akkina
Senior Counsellor, IGBC

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