With the initial focus being on energy efficiency, public safety, and sustainability, the cities will soon graduate to build solutions around health, education, and system integration spanning all sectors.
The concept of a smart city differs from state to state and country to country but the basic structure of smart cities is to ensure that the city provides core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens. The element of a smart city is to include assured water and electricity supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, robust IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation, safety and security of citizens, efficient energy & green building, smart parking, intelligent traffic management system.
With the initial focus being on energy efficiency, public safety, and sustainability, the cities will soon graduate to build solutions around health, education, and system integration spanning all sectors. The ideal city of the future will combine wireless connectivity with the traditional concepts of community and shared space. IoT solutions are essential to manage everything from sanitation and water to transportation, communications, infrastructure, waste management, and a sustainable environment.
Many cities around the globe are joining the Smart City bandwagon and the Prime Minister has announced the building of 100 smart cities by 2030. The Government of India allocated Rs. 70.6 billion (US$1.2 billion) for Smart Cities in Budget 2014–15. Although, the Smart Cities program seems a great idea but there are still concerns with it.
The first step is to strengthen the basic civic services and infrastructure that is robust and scalable but the present infrastructure and the Government policies are not sufficient enough to sustain the Smart City Program. The framework of policies has been on paper and yet has to show results as there is no set blueprint or framework of development. The Government policies are inefficiently implemented and the public sector lacks the resources that the private sector possesses. The public private partnership is the best way which will make this project possible by 2030, as envisioned by the PM. According to experts, smart city plans would require an investment of Rs. 1300 crores to Rs. 6000 crores in improving basic urban infrastructure.
The influx of migrating population will only increase every coming year. The Government needs to provide basic housing to all before they can turn to any further development. Matters related to intellectual property rights, open standards and technology transfer should be enshrined at the highest level of Government since it is difficult for individual urban local bodies to negotiate with private parties. The current SCM guidelines do not cover these aspects.
States will play a key supportive role in the development of Smart Cities by providing smart leadership and vision in this level and ability to act decisively. Private players will have to participate in required sectors for effective implementation of projects. Citizen participation in deploying smart solutions, implementing reforms, doing more with less and oversight during implementing and designing post-project structures will help in sustainable development. Thus, the mission requires active participation of Govt. bodies, private players and citizens for holistic movement.
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The author has been one of the key driving forces behind the success of ABA Corp. His zeal to make the impossible possible, has been the inspiration for innovation and creativity in all ABA projects. He also represents the national body of real estate developers (CREDAI) as its vice president