The most asked or the most thought of question could probably be, “what is a Smart City?”. Well, most of you would not be aware, but the fact is that there is no universally accepted definition of a smart city. Development of one smart city can’t be compared with the other as it depends on the level of development, willingness of the people to change and reform and resources and aspirations of the city’s residents.
Typically a smart city is an urban area that uses different types of electronic sensors to collect data. Insights gained from that data are used to manage assets, resources and services efficiently. In return, that data is used to improve the operations across the city. This includes data collected from citizens, devices, buildings and assets that is then processed and analyzed to monitor and manage traffic and transportation systems, power plants, utilities, water supply networks, waste, crime detection, information systems, schools, libraries, hospitals, and other community services
In the Indian context, The National Smart Cities Mission is an urban renewal and retrofitting program by the government of India with the mission to develop smart cities across the country, making them citizen friendly and sustainable.
Pune secured its place in the list of 100 cities which were included initially across India, with a deadline of completion of projects between 2019 to 2023. Aundh-Baner-Balewadi or ABB as it is commonly known is the pilot project of the PSCDCL (Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd) a SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) formed for developmental work. The works have already begun with Aundh’s “Bremen Chowk” being the first model. Similar developments can be seen across Baner and Balewadi at a pretty good pace.
Things you need to know about the core infrastructure elements that a smart city includes are:
- Adequate water supply
- Assured electricity supply
- Sanitation, including solid waste management
- Efficient urban mobility and public transport
- Affordable housing for the poor
- Robust IT connectivity and digitalisation
- Good governance especially e-governance and citizen participation
- Sustainable environment
- Safety and security of citizens
- Health and education
We saw the list of core infrastructure elements that a smart city would include above. Now lets see the smart solutions to these below:
Accordingly, the purpose of the Smart Cities Mission is to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local area development and harnessing technology, especially technology that leads to Smart outcomes. Area Based development will transform existing areas (retrofit and redevelop), including slums, into better planned ones, thereby improving liveability of the whole City.
New areas (greenfield) will be developed around cities in order to accommodate the expanding population in urban areas. Application of Smart Solutions will enable cities to use technology, information and data to improve infrastructure and services. Comprehensive development in this way will improve quality of life, create employment and enhance incomes for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged, leading to inclusive Cities.