Thursday, 29 October 2015

Smart City Project ;everything you need to know

What is Smart City ?

The first question is what is meant by a ‘smart city’. The answer is, there is no universally accepted definition of a smart city. It means different things to different people. The conceptualisation of Smart City, therefore, varies from city to city and country to country, depending on the level of development, willingness to change and reform, resources and aspirations of the city residents. A smart city would have a different connotation in India than, say, Europe. Even in India, there is no one way of defining a smart city. Some definitional boundaries are required to guide cities in the Mission. In the imagination of any city dweller in India, the picture of a smart city contains a wish list of infrastructure and services that describes his or her level of aspiration. To provide for the aspirations and needs of the citizens, urban planners ideally aim at developing the entire urban eco-system, which is represented by the four pillars of comprehensive development-institutional, physical, social and economic infrastructure. This can be a long term goal and cities can work towards developing such comprehensive infrastructure incrementally, adding on layers of ‘smartness’. In the approach of the Smart Cities Mission, the objective is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions. The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development and the idea is to look at compact areas, create a replicable model which will act like a light house to other aspiring cities. The Smart Cities Mission of the Government is a bold, new initiative. It is meant to set examples that can be replicated both within and outside the Smart City, catalysing the creation of similar Smart Cities in various regions and parts of the country.

The core infrastructure elements in a smart city would include:
i. adequate water supply,
 ii. assured electricity supply,
iii. sanitation, including solid waste management,
 iv. efficient urban mobility and public transport,
v. affordable housing, especially for the poor,
vi. robust IT connectivity and digitalization,
vii. good governance, especially e-Governance and citizen participation,
viii. sustainable environment,
ix. safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly, and
 x. health and education.

 As far as Smart Solutions are concerned, an illustrative list is given below. This is not, however, an exhaustive list, and cities are free to add more applications
typical features of comprehensive development in Smart Cities
*Promoting mixed land use in area based developments
*Housing and inclusiveness
*Creating walkable localities
*Preserving and developing open spaces 
*Promoting a variety of transport options 
*Making governance citizen-friendly and cost effective
*Giving an identity to the city

The strategic components of area-based development in the Smart Cities
Mission are city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city
extension (greenfield development) plus a Pan-city initiative in which Smart Solutions
are applied covering larger parts of the city

a MoUD programme is using the ‘Challenge’ or competition
method to select cities for funding and using a strategy of area-based development.
This captures the spirit of ‘competitive and cooperative federalism


Challenges This is the first time, a MoUD programme is using the ‘Challenge’ or competition method to select cities for funding and using a strategy of area-based development. This captures the spirit of ‘competitive and cooperative federalism’. States and ULBs will play a key supportive role in the development of Smart Cities. Smart leadership and vision at this level and ability to act decisively will be important factors determining the success of the Mission. Understanding the concepts of retrofitting, redevelopment and greenfield development by the policy makers, implementers and other stakeholders at different levels will require capacity assistance. Major investments in time and resources will have to be made during the planning phase prior to participation in the Challenge. This is different from the conventional DPR-driven approach. The Smart Cities Mission requires smart people who actively participate in governance and reforms. Citizen involvement is much more than a ceremonial participation in governance. Smart people involve themselves in the definition of the Smart City, decisions on deploying Smart Solutions, implementing reforms, doing more with less and oversight during implementing and designing post-project structures in order to make the Smart City developments sustainable. The participation of smart people will be enabled by the SPV through increasing use of ICT, especially mobilebased tools.

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