Even as India prepares its road-map to develop 100 smart cities in the course of next 20 years or so, a Frost & Sullivan study has stated that globally there would be 26 smart cities in the next ten years, with 50 per cent of them located in North America and Europe.
According to a report in Forbes, citing a Frost & Sullivan study which scanned through numerous Smart City projects and initiatives currently undertaken globally and found some key parallels among them. They identified the eight key aspects that define a 'Smart City' as follows :-
The agency further drew a conclusion, that 'Smart Cities' are those that have least five out of the eight 'Smart' parameters listed above. Those cities that are only implementing a couple of these are what they define as eco-friendly cities, like Nice in France and Masdar in the UAE.
It is expected that around 60 per cent of the world population will be living in urban areas by 2025, while in case of the developed regions as much as 80 per cent of the population will be urbanised.
Global agencies like Frost & Sullivan has reported that the market size for 'Smart Cities' will be close to $ 1.56 trillion by 2020, while privately circulated report by ReportsnReports pegs the market size to be around $ 1.13 trillion by 2019.
Back home, the Urban development ministry of India, has estimated a cost of Rs. 7 lakh crore (approx $ 105 billion) to develop '100 Smart Cities' over the next 20 years.
The cost of building a Smart City is quite high, and can be done only through public-private models. Given the huge cost, the opportunities too will be galore for corporates to encash.
The Indian urban development ministry expects leading IT companies like Infosys, TCS, Microsoft, IBM and Cisco to be actively involved in the process of designing smart city projects and hand holding the city and state governments in coming up with visionary plans.
The ministry has also incorporated views of global consulting companies like Mackenzie, KPMG and PWC on a wide range of features that are the hallmark of a smart city.
The ministry has now released Rs 2 crore for each of the selected city, to prepare and submit a detailed plan by the end of the end in collaboration with city planners, consultants or whomsoever the civic bodies deem fit.