What is a Smart City?
Global population is increasing at a rapid pace and so more and more people are moving to the cities to find better jobs and housing facilities. Urbanisation is on an increase and with the increase in urban population our cities also need to get smarter. It is believed that the migration from rural to urban areas is so fast that by 2050 almost 70 percent of the rural population will be living in urban areas. Thus there is a need to make smart cities.
What are Smart Cities exactly?
A smart city is an urban area which is highly advanced in terms of infrastructure, real estate or housing facility, markets, communication and commuting facilities. It is a city where information technology is high and all essential services are easily available for the residents. A smart city has systematic plan, good citizens, business opportunities, sustainable environment, efficient traffic management and good government. It provides assured water and electrical supply, sanitisation and waste management, safety and security of citizens.
Smart Cities in the World
It all started in 2008 when there was a global economic crisis. By 2009 the concept of ‘smart city’ had interested many nations. Countries like South Korea, UAE and China began investing heavily in smart city development. Some of the smart cities in the world are Vienna, Aarhus, Amsterdam, Cairo, Lyon, Malaga, Malta, the Songdo International Business district near Seoul, Verona, Toronto, London, Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Barcelona etc.
Smart Cities in India
In India, there is an ongoing proposed smart city project. It includes cities like Kochi, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Manesar, Khushkhera, Krishnapatnam, Ponneri and Tumkur. Many of these cities need special tax structures and special economic zones to make it attractive for foreign investors. Much of the funding for smart city projects have come from private developers based abroad.
Some of the smart cities in India are Lucknow, Warangal, Shimla, Chandigarh, Bhagalpur, Panaji, Port Blair, Imphal, Ranchi, Agartala, Faridabad, Raipur and New Town Kolkata.
Smart Cities Mission
India’s smart city project aims at making Indian smart cities the most sought after and populated cities by 2030. They will be the most sought after cities by global manufacturers and service providers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has an ambitious plan to make 100 smart cities in India.
How do Smart Cities succeed?
The success of such cities depends on its residents, government, investors who become actively involved in the progress and implementation of new technologies. Such cities can take around 20 to 30 years in the making.