smart cities

Everything You Need To Know About Smart Cities

What is it?

  •  A ‘smart city’ is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. 
  • It is a city where information technology is the principal infrastructure and the basis for providing essential services to residents.
  • There are many technological platforms involved, including but not limited to automated sensor networks and data centres.

Why do we need smart cities?

  1. Closer to 40% of our population will live in urban region by 2030. Already our cities are bustling with people, cars, slums which are unsustainable and less efficient in nature.
  2. To accommodate in future we need more cities.
  3. Our regional planning is mostly skewed  at state level. Some states have only Primary cities like Chennai, Hyderabad where accumulation of all resources results in regional imbalance. In certain states, cities are of similar standards, where there is few incentives for economic changeover,eg- kerela. 
  4. With new smart cities new economic wave will strike these states.
Proposed benefits:

  1.  Cities are engines of growth. About 60% of GDP being generated from cities, it is proposed to rise by 70% in 10years.
  2. Special investment regions, special economic zone within smart cities will provide state-of-art technological and logistical service to Industries. These will remove lacunae in previous economic zone policies and result in industrial growth, upon which future employment generation depends.
  3. Urban livability is dismissal in Indian cities. Infrequency in supply of essentials, inefficiency in government services, Traffic congestions has resulted in infelicitous living condition. Smart cities with smart institutional, physical and social infrastructure are said to provide better livability.
  4.  Major challenge to future generation is conserving greenness. Smart cities is said to reduce energy consumption, efficient use of resources and shift towards renewable energy sources.

Challenges to Building Smart cities:

  •  Time to built: Normally to build a city will require 5-10 years. Smart cities with its intense capital needs, to which Indian government very much depends on uncertain private Investment, over cost in latter stage will slow down the project.
  • PPP model in India is subject to many criticisms. Its  inefficiency is evident in slowdown in private Investments.  So before embarking on project India needs sound PPP model.
  • Success of smart cities are based on residents of it. How much end user is willing to be energy efficient determines the working of cities.
  • These Cities require new municipal mechanisms. It requires more freedom, working of cities require many technologist at administrative level.
  • Existing cities in India are inflexible in nature. Any Brown field project may not have high skyscrapers, green fields around existing business districts or wide space to have multi modal transport structures. Refitting these cities is tedious; even if anything is achieved there is a chance of intra-city disparity.
  • Internet penetration in major cities still inaccessible. Where it is available, mostly of poor quality or unaffordable to masses.
  • Smart cities policy envisages development exclusive of local needs. History of region, local culture has to be incorporated in each city planning process.
  • Land allocation for project is major roadblock to success. 

 Brainstorm Yourself:

  1. Who will be occupant of cities? How housing and land will be allocated? Whether person who can afford has to buy, if so how will it result in equitable and inclusive development.
  2. How people from poor background will adopt to changes?


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