Race for smart cities

19 March 2015

The Indian Smart City journey is under way. The government is committed to establish 100 smart cities by the year 2022. In the quest to bring its ambitious plans for smart cities to fruition, the Indian Government has formally partnered with governments of France, Japan and Singapore to develop multiple industrial corridors that will house these smart cities. The early momentum also attracted a visit from Michael Bloomberg, the United Nations’ Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.

As we know from our work with Naya Raipur (in the State of Chhattisgarh) and Delhi, the model for a smart city needs to be built on sound foundations. In our view, these foundations comprise the following key features (see Figure):

  1. Stable Economic, Character – A smart city, as it has the requisite legal and governance arrangements in place, is able to attract funding and investment because of the ease of doing and sustaining business.
  2. High standard and quality of living – A smart city offers better liveability, and is a preferred destination for those who value high standards of living. It has ample green spaces, makes use of sources of renewable energy, has provisions for assisted living for the elderly and those differently-abled, and takes in to account citizen participation for various policy decisions 
  3. Ease of movement – With an available-on-demand high quality multi modal public transport and 24x7 mass rapid transit systems, a smart city offers facilities for seamless transportation to its citizens.
  4. Information highways – A smart city is well connected technologically and utilizes superior and integrated infrastructure, platforms and devices for its information and communications technology (ICT) needs.
  5. Strong Infrastructure – A smart city stands out with future-ready infrastructure like world class airports, automated entry and exit to and from the city e.g. through automatic toll-collection gates, and high quality highways joining commercial and residential hubs.
  6. Operational efficacy – A smart city provides a stable ecosystem with a citizen-friendly government that utilizes e-governance models to enhance operational efficiency. BangaloreOne and Naya Raipur are working towards a one-stop portal or dashboard where citizens log in with a unique ID, and access all municipal services on offer.
  7. Safety – A smart city lays utmost importance on public safety and employs multiple security and surveillance solutions such as a mesh of 24x7 CCTV cameras, panic buttons to raise alarms, advanced police patrolling vehicles equipped with cameras, and a decisive command and control centre.
  8. Utilities – A smart city is well equipped with smart and micro power grids and also has advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) that is an integrated system of smart meters, communications networks and data management systems that enable two-way communication between utilities and customers.

Race for smart cities

If 2015 is going to be the year of smart cities, these foundations need to be laid in order to deliver the full potential which is offered by the daily advance in new technologies.

Neel Ratan  |  Global leader, Digital Government Network
Profile | Email |  + 91 124 4620540



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