Cool roofs for climate resilience and women’s economic empowerment in urban centers of India

Organization: Mahila Housing SEWA Trust

Country: India

Representative: Bijal Brahmbhatt

Website: https://www.mahilahousingtrust.org/

Solution awarded as: Honoree


Description of the project: For urban poor, home is also a workplace, especially for women in Indian cities. Rising temperatures and heatwaves interfere with productivity, subsistence and home comfort. Through this project, Mahila Housing Trust provided cool roofing solutions to lower indoor temperature and enhance well-being. Pro-poor solutions in roofing, walling and housing-ventilation were devised, demonstrated and validated, with support to test prototypes. Women from community-based organisations were consulted and designs were revised according to their feedback. The lack of financial mechanisms and gender sensitive technical solutions was tackled through a women-led, community-wide approach, so that today credit cooperatives bring financial support to ensure a gender just acces to cool roofs.

Climate impact
Simple and cost-effective solution to urban heat challenges in dwelling units
Reduced indoor temperature and savings in electricity bill due to lower energy consumption
Gender impact
Cool roofs enhance income earning capacity of urban home-based workers in India where 40% are women
Cool homes aid good health and alleviate women’s domestic workload
Scalability / replicability
Successfully implemented in several cities in South Asia; it can easily be replicated in other cities
The technology is simple, cost-effective and easy to implement

Financially supported by: Grant funds, charitable donations, and interest income