■ ADMINISTRATIVE CAPITAL: The city being the administrative capital of Kerala is the political power centre. It attracts very large number of people from state and also from other states on government related business opportunities.
■ WELL-CONNECTED & STRATEGICALLY LOCATED: Direct road (NH-47), rail and air connectivity (International airport with 37% international & 32% domestic arrivals of state's average) with the important cities within the country & abroad. It is shortly to have an operational deep sea water port at Vizhinjam. It is the Southern Air Command headquarters of the IAF. Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching station in city is an Indian spaceport operated by ISRO due to its proximity to earth's magnetic equator.
■ NATURAL LANDSCAPE & CLIMATE: The natural endowments of the city make it the most livable city in South India. It also has a very amiable climate throughout the year without extreme summer & winter.
■ HIGH QUALITY OF LIFE: As per the Annual Survey of India’s City-Systems (ASICS) conducted in 2016, Thiruvananthapuram ranked the highest of the 21 cities surveyed in Quality of Life. The survey ranked 21 Indian cities on 115 parameters & 4 main criteria: urban capacities & resources; urban planning & design; transparency, accountability & participation; & empowered & legitimate political representation. The better a city scores in the survey, the more likely it is able to deliver a better quality of life to citizens over the medium & long-term.
■ RICH BUILT, CULTURAL & NATURAL HERITAGE FABRIC: The city has over 194 heritage buildings & precincts listed & graded to be conserved
► CAPITAL CITY OF THE TRANVANCORE KINGDOM - Rich in built heritage established during its reign. The major heritage buildings include the following:
→ Palaces: Kowdiar palace, Rangavilosam Palace (Museum), Kuthiramalik(Museum), Krishnavilasom palace, Saraswathy Vilasom palace, Valiyakottaram Palace, Sree Padma Palace and Yuva Raja Palace.
→ Temples & Temple tanks: Shri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple complex, Mitranandapuram temple & tank, Attukal temple, Trimurthi temple, Ganapathy temple, Karakandeshwaram temple, St. George church, English church and Bheemapally mosque
→ Historic Assets: Chitthira Thirunal statue, Agaraharams,Martyrs square& Clock tower
→ Educational buildings: Public library, Fine Arts college, University hostel, Govt. Model school, govt. Arts college, old Travancore university, Swathi Thirunal musi college, Government women's college and Sanana Mission school
→ Public Buildings: VJT hall & Connamera market, Old British Residency (KITTS), Old Jail (Regional archives), Post office building, Thycaud women & Children hospital, Legislative museum, Old stamp depot, Commissioner Office and Thycaudu house
► RICH NATURAL HERITAGE - Natural heritage sites include River Killi, River Karamana, Akkulam Lake, Veli Lake & lagoon, Thiruvallam, T.S. Irrigation canal, and Edayar Island
► CULTURAL HERITAGE & EVENTS - Various festivals & cultural events across year
→ Major Religious festivals: Attukal pongal, Onam, Navratri festival, Arattu Utsavam, Chandankudam Mahotasavam, Fest of Christ and Uroos of Dargah Sharif.
→ Major Events: International Film Festival Kerala, Nisha Gandhi, Swathi Thirunal Sangeethotsavam, Agri - Fest, Flower show, Manviyaveedhi street local events etc.
■ THRIVING TOURIST DESTINATION: The city has all forms of tourism offering a ‘total experience’ of heritage, culture, religion, nature, health & education. The sector contributes heavily to the economy of Thiruvananthapuram.
► WORLD TOURIST DESTINATION - The city ranks SECOND in international arrivals in Kerala & THIRD in domestic arrivals. Kovalam was one of the locations selected by GoI in the early seventies to be developed as a tourism destination. Over the years it has emerged as a popular world tourist destination. Other important beaches- Varkala located near Kovalam & Shanghumugham near the city centre.
► AYURVEDA CENTRES -There are more than 100 recognized Ayurveda centers in and around the city, which attract people from world over for recuperation & rejuvenation. Rs 7.15 crore in budget for Global Ayurveda village.
► RELIGIOUS TOURISM - The city falls in the major religious circuit of Sabrimala - Thiruvananthapuram - Aranmula. The city hosts the grand festival of Attukal Pongala drawing millions of women devotees across India and abroad. Other prominent religious festivals which attracts lot of visitors are Padmanabhaswamy Temple Aaraattu, Vettukaad Church Festival and Beemapally Uroos.
► HERITAGE & CULTURAL TOURISM - The heritage & culture of the city is the major attraction for the tourists. The rich history, architecture and landscape blended with the cultural events across the year makes it favorable to visit throughout the year.
■ EDUCATIONAL & RESEARCH CENTRE: Acts as regional educational centre for primary, secondary, higher secondary, graduation and specialized educational facilities [Engineering:15, Medical: 3,Ayurveda:3, Homeopathy:2,Medicine related:6, Law: 2, Agriculture:1, Management: 2]. Nationally renowned research institutions - A.P.J Abdul Kalam Technological University, Indian Institute of science Education&Research, Indian Institute of Space Science &Technology,National Centre for Earth Science and others.
■ STRONG IT & RELATED SECTOR PRESENCE: Thiruvananthapuram was first city in the country to set up a planned IT Park in 1990. It is spread over 760 acres of land with over 350 companies operational & employing more than 50,000 IT professionals.
■ EXECUTING PIONEERING PROJECTS: The city has executed projects like Operation Anantha, a flagship flood-mitigation drive & Green Protocol where they made the National Games 2015 a zero waste event.
■ DETERIORATING CONDITION OF WATER BODIES: Karamana, Killi Rivers & 5 canals (including the historic waterway – TS Canal) are all polluted due to dumping of solid waste from slaughter houses, markets, hotels, etc., & discharge of untreated sewage directly into them. This not only leads to contamination of water but also makes otherwise potential public spaces, defunct. Unscientific & indiscriminate methods of sand mining have also resulted in erosion of river banks.
■ LACKS BASIC SEWERAGE INFRASTRUCTURE: Though a major percentage of the area of the core city (74.93 sq km) is covered under the sewerage scheme, with the extension of the city to cover an area of 141.74 sq km, the coverage is limited to only 30% of the city area. Land acquisition for laying of pipes in the residential areas is the biggest hurdle faced by the administration. No strict regulatory & monitoring measures for regular maintenance of septic tanks/soak pits highly prevalent in the city.
■ SHUTTING DOWN OF THE VILAPPILSALA GARBAGE TREATMENT PLANT: The processing plant set up in the year 2000 was shut down 5 years back due to exceeding its planned capacity & thereby accumulating waste.
■ LACK OF PARKS & OPEN SPACES: The city has only 0.25% of land demarcated as organized parks & open spaces. It lacks community/ neighborhood level parks & the ones that exist are no universally accessible.
■ INCREASING HEALTH RISK: Due to the prevalence of open dumping of waste & open sewers, the city has become a focal point for mosquito-borne diseases. Moreover the prevalence of diabetes is 17%, which is double the National Average of 8%.
■ INCREASING SHARE OF PRIVATE VEHICLES: The city's vehicular population has increased 3 times in last the 10 years. An average of 35,800 vehicles is being added every year. This has resulted in traffic congestion, transportation related environmental pollution and parking issues in the city. The share of NMT is limited to only 7%.
■ INCREASING CRIME RATES: Almost 53% increase in no of crimes in 2013-15 alone.
■ FREQUENT STRIKES & AGITATIONS: Being a state capital, the city happens to be at the receiving end, when disruption of traffic, disruption of city infrastructure, destruction of public properties etc. occur due to political upheavals, agitations, hartals etc.
■ DEVELOPMENT OF ICTT (International Container Transshipment Terminal) AT VIZHINJAM: With the realization of this Port, Thiruvananthapuram City Region in particular & the state in general stand to make substantial economic gains in addition to gaining from the job market generated by the ICTT.
■ GROWING IT SECTOR: KELRON is major electronic hub which has set up several production centers engaging more than 5,000 people directly/ indirectly in electronic goods manufacturing. The country's first "Techno Park" developed as IT Park is established on the city's Northern side which has created 90,000 direct & 35,000 indirect jobs. Additionally, TECHNO CITY (500 acres) at Pallippuram developed by State long with another LIFE SCIENCE PARK will be future growth area of the city.
■ HIGH SPEED RAIL CORRIDOR (570 km): This is proposed from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasargod by the Nodal Agency Kerala High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd.
■ Light Metro Rail Project has been proposed for 21.82 kms with 19 stations, connecting Technocity to Karamana which will boost TOD along its stretch.
■ Proposed Outer Ring Road (ORR) for a stretch of 55 kms interconnecting NH 66, state highways & MC road starting from Mangalapuram in the North to Vizhinjam by-pass.
■ FLOODING & WATER-LOGGING: Due to reduced cross sectional area of rivers, flash floods have become common during downpour. Recurrent floods as a result of insufficient drainage are the perpetual problems faced by city during the past several years. Thampanoor & East Fort areas are the worst affected with extensive water-logging during rainy season.
■ COASTAL EROSION: Thiruvananthapuram being a coastal city is frequently affected by coastal erosion, which often necessitates rehabilitation of fisher folk.
■ DEGRADATION OF URBAN ENVIRONMENT: Lack of basic facilities like sewerage & solid waste management will result in the deterioration of urban environment which will have a severe health impact on the population in future.