The summit was organised by FIRST Sm@rt Cities Council aimed to bring all stakeholders under one roof for an impressive exchange of ideas with the theme, Smart Cities: From Concept to Reality. The summit was supported by the Ministry of Urban Development and National Institute of Urban Affairs, the summit featured policymakers, civic chiefs, industry leaders and smart cities captains from across the world.
In his welcome address, Pratap Padode, Chairman, FIRST Sm@rt Cities Council, set the tone for the day. He emphasised upon the need for smart cities, affirming: “We don’t want the demographic dividend to be lost.” The inaugural session also witnessed the unveiling of the Smart Cities Summit Handbook by FSCC and Ernst and Young. This was followed by the keynote address by Philip Bane, Executive Director, Smart Cities Council, US. “We have to accept cities as they are,” he said, underlining that “cities are similar, but not the same.” He further added, “Urban India will contribute 75 per cent of GDP in the next 15 years and we have to look beyond the conventional use of resources.”
India’s Most Promising Cities Award
The municipal commissioners of 12 cities were felicitated with India’s Most Promising Cities Award for promoting smart and innovative development in India. These cities included Surat, Nagpur, Vadodara, Thane, Kanpur, Kalyan-Dombivli, Nashik, Bhopal, Indore, Visakhapatnam, Chandigarh and Ludhiana.
The Beyond Concept... Towards Reality session focused on the Government’s plan to develop smart cities with focus on upgrading and updating current cities and addressing challenges in executing the smart vision. Moderator Jaijit Bhattacharya, Partner, KPMG, said on an opening note: “The government and private developers have to come together, else smart cities will be a daunting task.”
The Smart Cities Start-Up Innovation Showcase session offered a hitherto-unseen platform for start-up companies to present their unique services to fulfil the vision for futuristic cities. Zenatix presented its smart energy solutions, followed by NER Group (Singapore) on smart technology, Vulog (Paris, Europe) on smart mobility, Studio POD on smart urban planning, Cityntel (Estonia, Europe) on smart streetlight control, and Allgreen Ecotech Solutions on energy efficiency.
The session on highlighted the need for 24/7 uninterrupted supply of electricity and water along with effective waste management for citizens and industries operating within the city. The session also focused on smart power grids and streetlights, smart utilities for innovative cities, and public emergency and city services for emergencies and security.
The last session of the last day, Smart Governance, focused on the government challenges for smart cities. T Chatterjee, Director, Indian Institute of Public Administration, stated, “We must reduce the city-village divide geographically.” On a concluding note, conference chair Dr Sudhir Krishna, Former Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, delivered the valedictory address.
FIRST Sm@rt Cities Council is now 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.
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