Stakeholders smarting under the 'Smart City' hype

Tue, 2015-08-25 10:20 -- SCC India Staff

Drawing parallels between SEZs and smart cities, Padode says, "Both SEZs and smart cities are planned to be conducive to their inhabitants; SEZs to the industry, and smart cities to its citizens.

Even as the Centre is on its way to finalise a list of 100 cities eligible for the "smart city" tag, stakeholders - urban planners, architects, urban designers and civil society - continue to raise concerns urging wider deliberations for an effective smart city in keeping with ground realities. The nodal urban development ministry (UDM) however, allays any such misgiving.

Smart city objective

Conceding that the foreign models of smart cities cannot be replicated in India, Pratap Padode, founder-director, Smart Cities Council India - a consortium of smart city experts - saying, "What can work best here is refining of existing local workable models," adding, "When tall claims by politicians of turning Mumbai into a Shanghai or Kolkata into a London don't materialise, the task of gaining acceptability for smart cities among the people becomes all the more difficult.

Drawing parallels between special economic zones (SEZs) and smart cities, Padode says, "Both SEZs and smart cities are planned to be conducive to their inhabitants; SEZs to the industry, and smart cities to its citizens." (INSIDE THE BRAIN OF A SMART CITY)

"The objective of the smart city mission is to make a difference to the quality of urban life. There is no one-size-fits-all approach," says a spokesperson for UDM.

According to the scheme, states were asked for names of urban local bodies i.e., cities shortlisted through an intra-state competition. Thereafter, 100 cities making the cut will compete to be among the first 20 in a list for 2015, selected on the basis of proposals for their vision of the smart city.

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Source: Business Standard