Smart City Examples

Cisco to develop 'Golden Mile' in Vijayawada

MG Road, Vijayawada

The Andhra Pradesh government, has taken a significant step, by letting Cisco implement 'Proof of Concept' of its smart city model on the MG Road at Vijayawada.

For the records, Vijayawada is not part of the three cities shortlisted from the state. Vishakappatnam, Tirupati and Kakinada are the three cities shortlisted in the list 98 smart cities.

However, the Municipal Administration & the Urban Development (MA&UD) Department has incorporated this project named 'Golden Mile Project Vijayawada.'

According to a news report in The Hindu, the tie-up is the culmination of a series of discussions that the Information Technology & Communications and MA&UD Departments has had with a Cisco team from Bangalore.

Cisco, who is our lead partner, will also be the lead partner in this project and will be supported by e-Centric Solutions, a group company of Paradigm IT.

The total cost of the project is pegged around Rs 7.91 crore, out of which Cisco will contribute Rs 3.81 crore in the form of materials and expertise. The balance amount will be chipped in by the government and the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC).

Cisco had, in line with its commitment to collaborate with the Government of India in realising its vision of a Digital India, announced the 'Cisco Smart City' as a blueprint for future smart and connected communities, in Bangalore late last year.

Using the Internet of Things, Cisco had showcased how connected education, healthcare, smart buildings, connected transport and smart parking can transform the way cities and communities are designed, built and renewed to ensure economic, social and environmental sustainability.

The Golden Mile Project is likely to set the tone for similar projects in the state.

Also read:

Cisco shaping Indian 'Smart Cities' the smarter way

Cisco to act as advisor for Nagpur Smart City

Partner Spotlight: Qualcomm, Microsoft, Cisco

Surat may prepare area specific smart city proposal

Surat Municipal Corporation
Surat, the commercial hub of Gujarat famous for its textile and diamond polishing industries, also known globally for been ranked as the fourth fastest developing city of the world in the year 2011, is brimming with hope of making the cut to the top 20 in the '100 Smart Cities' challenge.

The city has done exceedingly well on certain parameters set for the Smart City tag, but still lag behind on some of the most kep parameters. The need to correct this seems to be a top priority for the civic body now.

The Good and The Bad

Talking about getting thing right – at present out of 21 parameters that would make city - a smart city - Surat has done well in terms of e-governance and citizen services, water and energy efficiency.

Milind Torwane, Municipal Commissioner of Surat, was quoted by Times of India news report as saying that they cover up to 91 per cent in terms of population in providing sewerage system, and almost 94 per cent of the city population is covered under its water supply system.

However, the commissioner admits that they still need to do many things when it comes to quality.

Further, segments like urban transportation, tele-medicine, skill development centers and even waste management are some of the key areas were the city lags.

On an average a person takes an hour to enter the fourth fasted developed city in the world, this is primarily due to lack of mass transport services and high population – its the eight most populated city in India.

The report stated that there are merely 100 buses available for mass transportation to cater to the need of nearly 5 million people.

Future Roadmap

The Surat Municipal Corporation has decided to adopt different strategies for different city areas in order to prepare effective a smart city plan and get a place among top 20 cities in the '100 Smart Cities' challenge.

The Centre has set four different methods for developing a smart city - Retrofitting, re-development, green field development and Pan City initiative. As per the mission guidelines, a Smart city proposal should include at least one of the above mentioned method.

Surat plans to include all the above methods with area specific approach.

We could adopt the re-development strategy for high density old urban area like Old city area of Sonifaliya, Raj Marg, Bhagal and Chowk – similar to the Mumbai's Bhendi bazaar plan. And Green field development approach to new Dream city like projects could be adopted, in lines with what is done in Lake City project of Kolkata, SMC engineer Jatin Shah, was quoted as saying to the Times of India newspaper.

To solve the entry-exit problem in the Surat city, the city's mayor Niranjanbhai Zanzmera says, “We need an express highway that will give direct access to people from NH8 to the Surat city and take them directly to airport, railway station and other important destinations."

Also read:

Venkaiah Naidu’s advice for Smart City planners

Bhendi Bazar cluster redevelopment among best smart city plans

The Surat Experience

Lucknow takes inspiration from Gujarat's GIFT City

While civic bodies, experts in the field of town planning, corporates, technology hubs and citizens alike are busy working over-time to prepare a detailed outlined plan for their respective cities, some in line with foreign cities like Singapore, Masdar etc., Lucknow civic body took a study trip to our own Prime Minister's town to get inspired.

According a news report in Economic Times, officials from the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) went on a study trip to Gujarat's GIFT-City (Gujarat International Finance Tech-City) and got ideas and hands-on training on various features to develop their own 'Smart City'.

LMC is now planning to revive the heritage part of Old City on the lines of Old Ahmedabad. They said the old buildings and not so popular heritage monuments of Ahmadabad were revived under the 'Smart City' process, the report added.

The second most populous city of North-and-Central India, aims at providing quality urban services such as 24X7 water supply, sanitation, drainage, solid waste management, sewage treatment in a phased manner.

The ubran body will look to combine all government schemes like Swachh Bharat Mission, AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) Yojna and 100 Smart Cities Mission in order to put in coordinated efforts from respective local agencies.

Also read:

About Lucknow

'For Barcelona we focussed on developing new kinds of architecture'

Vicente Guallart, Chief Architect, Barcelona City Council

On his experience on retrofitting and rebuilding Barcelona, Vicente Guallart, Chief Architect, Barcelona City Council was addressing an audience at Construction World Architect & Builder Awards 2015 shares his views and ideas on how the focus from infrastructure to build a city has now shifted towards the use of technology.

Taking Barcelona as an example, Guallart said that “What we have looked at while developing Barcelona is how can we develop new kinds of architecture”.

In 1990s the focus was on developing infrastructure and attracting companies to Barcelona, we built highways so that companies could come in and create universities, hotels, towers etc., and the result was successful development.

However, in the recent three to four years, we developed a concept, which is at the centre of Barcelona, something like a park. For this, we demolished a highway.

We are transforming the city into a humanity scale city, one that has an approach, which is more people-oriented. From that point of view, we have been developing projects like these - we reintroduce nature, extend the side walls, etc.

The Barcelona City Council is said to be working with European companies like Cisco; and are also developing the Smart City campus.

According to Guallart, Smart Cities does not means putting gadgets but changing the model of a city.

Throwing some light on the change of resources, he said how around 100 years ago - when steel, glass, etc, were new technologies, generating electricity and using it was a challenge, while today the new challenges, that is, to use new materials, new technologies, new architecture, to make better cities.

Guallart believes that the Barcelona model can be incorporated for the Indian city, Mumbai, And expressed the willingness of the Council to work along-with Mumbai.

Click Here to read Vicente Guallart original speech


Creating Smart Cities in India is no 'rocket science', says IBM India chief


Though the Indian government is actively pushing the smart cities initiative and has allocated Rs 98,000 crore for '100 Smart Cities Mission' in India. Clearly it is not enough, agrees Pratap Padode, founder and director of Smart Cities Council India. It is imperative to collaborative, building Public-Private Partnerships, and a lot is dependent on the private players, if they are willing to take risk – to invest and collaborate.

India's Infrastructure and issues in Implementing Globally Accepted Smart Cities Models.

India is one of the high-potential markets for smart cities, with lot of urban areas already showing rapidly increasing technology deployment.

Through efforts like Digital India campaign, government is trying to create a seamless communication system between the government and citizens, all the way to gram panchayats and the citizens of the remotest areas.

Prashant Pradhan, Director, Smarter Planet Business, IBM India and South Asia, in an interview to Business Insider India said that the biggest challenge and the first step towards creating smart cities in India is digitization.

Process discipline is essential in disaster management for a company as well as city, but memorisation of all those protocols by the user is the hardest part. This can be achieved through visualisation through video analytics.

Lastly, building institutional capacity is paramount, which would need time and resources to train and develop functional experts. 

IBM's Perception and Contribution in India's Smart Cities Mission 

As Pratap Padode inferred the allocated government funds are not enough, and private sector leaders have to invest and get involved in this process.

IBM has done over 2,500 Smart Cities projects around the world and they are bringing this experience to India programme. IBM is working closely with the Indian government on institutional capacity building. IBM believes that most of the 'Smart Cities' projects are self-sustaining.

Efficiency of the existing infrastructure can be increased with much trivial investment, such as sensors and apps. He gave an example of one of the cities in the US, where using sensor analytics identified main blocking area and opened up 10 million additional capacity of water in the existing sewerage system saving $ 100 million investment cost.

He gave another example of citizen participation, the city of Sao Paolo in Brazil understood civic issues by developing a mobile app for citizens to click a photo of waste, sewage, traffic, potholes, street lights issues, etc and send it to the city. Within 3 hours, 4 sq kilometres area of the city was mapped using geo coding for each and every civic issue of that area without spending a penny.

Challenges in scalability of IBM's solutions

There is no universal solution for 'Smart Cities'. Each city has own characteristics and problems, and it should focus on local contextual solutions, building on the best the city has to offer.

IBM studied Vishakhpatnam post Hudhud. When Hudhud came there wasn't that much loss of lives but there was lot of loss of livelihoods. The city has a vibrant MSME sector.

IBM proposed that the first focus should be making Vizag resilient with integrated command and control systems. IBM identified lack of adherence to building codes is another major reason of such massive damage, and proposed to have strong norms and implementation strategies to protect the city from these climate related disasters, like other coastal cities for e.g.  New York.

Also read:

16 cities win IBM brainpower; three are in India

IBM: A Smarter Planet One City at a Time - Q&A with Rich Michos

CISCO shaping Indian 'Smart Cities' the smarter way

Though the 'Smart Cities' initiatives around the globe are great case studies, each city has unique characteristics and problems and should focus on finding contextual local solutions.

A Business Insider report quoted Managing Director of CISCO Systems India, Aamer Azeemi saying that "to improve the quality of life in India, we have to make people happy, and cited various practices which they have already implemented in the Indian cities".

One such example is the successful six month-old project pilot project by Cisco – a local information kiosk in Mantri mall, Bangalore, Azeemi explained.

The kiosk has a two-way conversation system to address public grievances and complaints with the police officer from the call centre. This provides advantage to both parties, where citizens can save time while lodging FIR, instead of going through rather tiring process, and police can monitor large area with their limited resources.

Other cities and states are in the process of implementing this pilot project, including Jaipur and Karnataka.

An ideal example of - services reaching to where the citizens are instead of other way round – which is essential for smart cities operation.

The report further added that Cisco is in discussion with the government of Karnataka to expand the service of the kiosk to other citizen services too. Also Cisco did lot of studies and found that even the perception of safety increases the taxes of a place, raising more money for the 'Smart Cities' goal.

The IT major has also successfully implemented other initiatives like - smart parking, smart street lighting, use of Wi-Fi in Electronic City, Bangalore, to demonstrate scalability of such smart solutions.

Promising Cities Seminar - Thane

The Smart Cities Council India, in the month of February 2015, named India’s 20 Most Promising Cities and Thane was among them. Taking this recognition to the next level, the Council started working towards catalysing the smart journey of the promising cities and planned to organise seminars at these cities. This was the second seminar which was organised in Thane on 4 August, 2015. The first seminar was held on 10 July, 2015 in Ahmedabad.

After independence, Thane grew slowly to attain industrial town status in the 1960s. With trade, transport and construction activities picking up in the 1980s, the 1990s saw the city rapidly growing in construction and housing. Since then, Thane has been on an urbanisation spree. So much so that today, the city is considered among the prime suburbs of Mumbai.

The half-day seminar was opened by Pratap Padode, Founder & Director, Smart Cities Council India, where he highlighted the major infrastructure-related challenges in Thane, thus setting the perfect tone for the seminar.

Further, there was a dedicated interactive session, ‘Rethinking Urban Landscape’, which focused on specific areas Thane needs to work on. While Dilip Madhav Shotriya, Principal Advisor-Solid Waste Management, MMRDA, spoke on solid waste management, Sandeep Adhyapak, Chairman Managing Director, WaterField Technologies, emphasised upon water management, and Sree Kumar, Managing Associate, EMBARQ, focused on transportation needs.

Also, Ashutosh Puranik, Marketing Manager, Saint-Gobain Gyproc Shoaib Shaikh, Regional Manager, Saint-Gobain India - Glass Business made a presentation on understanding technology. This was followed by an insightful presentation on urban mobility solutions by Rohit Parulekar, Vice President, Western Region-Operations, Schindler India.

With an impressive line-up of attendees including developers, builders, architects, EPC contractors, civic authorities and more, the success of the seminar was a clear reflection of Thane’s commitment to progress and becoming future-smart.

About Smart Cities Council India

As India gears up to build 100 smart cities and take a giant stride in the infrastructure development of the country. Smart Cities Council India aims to participate in this development process by providing all stakeholders the relevant information about the Smart Cities development in India. The aim of the India Chapter is to provide latest update about what is happening on the smart cities development front, gather and disseminate resources, collate industry data and showcase achievements in this segment.

For Business tie-up as Lead Partners or Associate Partners contact Deepti Khanna, AVP - Corporate Relations at

For Press Releases and other Communications contact Rex Cano, Online Head at

India's most promising smart cities (and companies poised to build them)

India’s efforts to create 100 new smart cities are still in the early stages, though one major milestone is approaching fast. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who made the pledge, says the government will unveil its smart cities policy on March 31.

One of the first details to emerge so far is that the 100 cities will be picked through a competition. One of the deciding factors will be how much the cities have done to support his initiatives, including Make In India, which is designed to turn India into a major manufacturing hub, and Swacch Bharat, which encourages cities to clean up. Other factors could include the quality of their infrastructure, the level of city services that are citizen-focused, and overall quality of life.

While some smart cities are being developed now, other details on the initiative have been scarce so far. It’s anticipated that some of the 100 smart cities will be existing cities that get infrastructure upgrades, while others will be built from scratch.

The smart cities project is meant to create sustainable, livable cities in a country where the population is swelling rapidly. India’s population is forecast to reach 843 million by 2050 – more than double what it is today.

India’s next emerging smart cities
Even in advance of the release of the official smart cities policy, some work is underway, especially in the already highly-developed corridor between Dehli and Mumbai. But to fulfill the smart cities vision, the effort is going to have to progress to smaller cities. Those opportunities are captured in a new report -- India's Top 20 Promising Cities -- by FIRST Sm@rt Cities Council.

The report finds that several of the cities on the promising list could eventually graduate to become major metropolitan areas. It examines why each city is poised to emerge and discusses what the cities need to do to take advantage of the opportunity. Officials of all 20 cities on list participated in the Sm@rt Cities Summit this week in Delhi.

Cisco selects its first smart city
Council Associate Partner Cisco has already selected its first smart city. The company says Visakhapatnam is the first that it will work to transform.

Visakhapatnam, which did make the list of promising cities, is a port city of 1.7 million. In addition to trade, the city's top industries are agriculture and fishing, and related businesses.

Cisco plans to make the city much more high-tech. It plans to set up a skill development center and a business incubator. It will also improve education and healthcare through technology.

Another area of focus for Cisco is to help the city improve its ability to recover from disasters. The city is typically hit by two cyclones each year.

An article on points to several European firms that are reinforcing their operations in India, including Council Lead Partners Alstom GridSchneider Electric and ABB and Siemens, both Associate Partners. It quotes Laurent Schmitt, VP of automation and smart grids for Alstom, on the significant opportunites for smart grids and smart cities in India. 

“Alstom already has a critical size and presence in India along with significant R&D investments. We have fully transferred our intellectual property to India and grown our team here. We want to capitalize our talent in India,” Schmitt said.

Charbel Aoun, president for smart cities at Schneider, noted in the article that the company has solutions for energy, traffic, water and building operations, all of which can create significant savings for cities in India and their citizens.

A major banking investment
Asian Development Bank also says it’s committed to supporting India’s vision. It calls 2015 a milestone year for international development and says it’s firmly behind the country’s smart cities efforts.

One of its priorities protecting resources and energy efficiency. It is calling on Indian city leaders to emphasize low carbon development and make smarter use of land and water. Transportation and improving services for the poor are also areas of focus.

Asian Development Bank says new technology will help, but cities also need to do more integrated planning, make more timely investments in their infrastructure and make much better use of their land.

IBM partners to build India’s smart city benchmark

SCC Global Partner IBM is partnering with the Indian city of Palava to help it become a showcase of that country’s smart cities vision.

India announced ambitious plans to have 100 new smart cities in the coming years, and IBM says Palava will serve as a benchmark for others. Palava will span more than 4,000 acres and will become the largest private, completely planned development in urban India. IBM and developer Lodha Group plan to make the city one of the top 50 places to live in the world by 2020.

"Palava was born out of a vision to create a city of opportunity, one that would not just offer an unparalleled quality of life to its citizens but also become an ecosystem – nurturing business, creating jobs and delivering growth,” Shaishav Dharia, Development Director, Palava, Lodha Group, said in a statement. “To achieve this, we are planning decades ahead, and embedding smart elements in the city's design and infrastructure.”

IBM will build a technology foundation that lets all city departments work together and share information with citizens. The goals are to make citizens more involved with the government and for the government to use technology to more efficiently meet their needs.

The goals are challenging, yet critical, given forecasts that India’s population will nearly double in 20 years and the number of cars on the roads will quadruple in 10 years. The need to be smart about managing resources to handle that tremendous growth is at the heart of the “100 smart cities” pledge.

The technology foundation will touch several areas:

  • Public safety. A central hub will provide real-time incident monitoring, enabling city agencies to coordinate their response.
  • Intelligent operations. Different city services -- energy, water, transportation, public safety and smart cards -- will all be linked with a central command and control center.
  • Participative governance. Citizens can access services and provide feedback easily via mobile devices and social media.

Only about one-third of India’s residents live in urban areas now. That figure is expected to grow to one-half by 2050, which is why the country is making urban redevelopment a priority.

Lavasa a 'Smart City'

A 'Smart City' is one that has processes in place to make service delivery better, faster and cheaper. Many times, the application of a new technology will provide this edge, but sometimes it is a low-tech solution that best meets the 'better, faster, cheaper' test. As Lavasa's technology partner, MyCity Technologies helps the city make these decisions; but technologies alone does not make Lavasa (or any city) smart. Proceed to read the Master Plan for Lavasa.