What cit­i­zens ex­pect

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - FRONT PAGE - A Shankar ht­es­tates@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The term smart cities has gained more mean­ing now af­ter the se­lec­tion of the 20 smart cities out of 98 through a com­pet­i­tive process of se­lec­tion. It is worth men­tion­ing that the se­lec­tion process for the am­bi­tious 100 Smart Cities Mis­sion is the first-of-it­skind in In­dia. Also, the se­lec­tion time­lines were met with­out any ex­ten­sions. This is quite sig­nif­i­cant, since most gov­ern­men­tre­lated sub­mis­sions usu­ally tend to get ex­tended for var­i­ous and some­times no rea­sons.

This fact clearly ev­i­dences firm in­tent and in­ter­est of the in­volved city man­agers and cit­i­zens to have their cities in­cluded in the smart cities pro­gramme. All cities par­tic­i­pated with pro­pos­als to de­velop bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture in termsof as­sured­wa­terand­power sup­ply, san­i­ta­tion and solid waste man­age­ment, ef­fi­cient ur­ban mo­bil­ity and pub­lic trans­port, IT con­nec­tiv­ity, e-gov­er­nance – and, most im­por­tantly, ci­ti­zen par­tic­i­pa­tion.

In the smart cities se­lec­tion process, Bhubaneswar tops the list, fol­lowed by Pune and Jaipur in the se­cond and third places. JLL In­dia’s strate­gic con­sult­ing team was in­stru­men­tal in pre­par­ing the pro­pos­als for two of the 20 se­lected cities, namely Bhubanesh­war and Chen­nai. Over the next two years, the govern­ment will iden­tify 40 and 38 more cities re­spec­tively through an­other round of com­pet­i­tive se­lec­tion.

In­dia’s Smart City Mis­sion marks the coun­try’s next phase of ur­ban­i­sa­tion, and will con­trib­ute to the growth of the na­tion in a big way. The Smart City pro­pos­als and vi­sion of the top 20 cities clearly fo­cus on what cit­i­zens want, and the var­i­ous is­sues pre­vail­ing in most of the cities.

From the ini­tial stage till im­ple­men­ta­tion, one un­der­ly­ing ques­tion will dom­i­nate – what can cit­i­zens ex­pect from th­ese smart cities? The fol­low­ing de­liv­er­ables are part of most of the smart city pro­pos­als: 1Access to bet­ter pub­lic trans­port: Grow­ing ur­ban­i­sa­tion has in­creased the num­ber of pri­vate ve­hi­cles on pub­lic roads, lead­ing to mas­sive traf­fic con­ges­tion in al­most all In­dian cities. All se­lected smart cities have un­der­taken to de­velop or strengthen their pub­lic trans­porta­tion net­works to en­cour­age their in­creased use and thereby re­duce the use of pri­vate ve­hi­cles. The smart cities pro­pose to pro­vide easy ac­cess to pub­lic trans­port and en­hance mo­bil­ity by use of ICT (In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy) so­lu­tions. Pub­lic trans­port will aid faster, eas­ier and cheaper com­mut­ing, and the modal shift from pri­vate to pub­lic trans­port will be in­stru­men­tal in sig­nif­i­cantly mit­i­gat­ing in­ner city con­ges­tion.

Of the 20 se­lected smart cities, the ones which are fo­cus­ing on ICT so­lu­tions for ur­ban mo­bil­ity are Pune, Jaipur, Su­rat, Da­van­agere, In­dore, Belagavi, Udaipur and Chen­nai. 2Put­ting pedes­tri­ans first: ‘Pedes­tri­an­i­sa­tion’ and non-mo­torised trans­port are in­te­gral fac­tors in the pro­posed ‘smarten­ing up’ pro­gramme of cities like Pune, Belagavi, Udaipur and Chen­nai, the lat­ter also be­ing the first city to im­ple­ment a Non­Mo­torised Trans­port Pol­icy in In­dia. Cit­i­zens will en­joy wide foot­paths with pub­lic seat­ing at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals and easy mo­bil­ity for the dif­fer­entlyabled. Car-free Sun­days will make streets avail­able for cit­i­zens to in­ter­act and en­gage in street ac­tiv­i­ties.

Since pedes­tri­ans are the vic­tims in a large num­ber of ma­jor road ac­ci­dents, on-street park­ing will be man­aged and or­gan­ised to in­crease their safety. Also, cy­cle shar­ing and feeder sys­tems will help cit­i­zens achieve bet­ter last mile con­nec­tiv­ity, which is the ma­jor hur­dle for the suc­cess­ful func­tion­ing of pub­lic trans­port. Cit­i­zens will have the op­tion to use cy­cles to com­mute to their des­ti­na­tions from the pub­lic trans­port mode.

3Avail­abil­ity of ad­e­quate

park­ing: In­tel­li­gent park­ing man­age­ment, a part of many of the win­ning smart city pro­pos­als, will help cit­i­zens find park­ing with ease and even pre-book their park­ing slot along with on­line pay­ment modes. On-street park­ing man­age­ment will be a re­li­able rev­enue source for the cities, and can be used to fur­ther strengthen their pub­lic trans­porta­tion sys­tems. Man­ag­ing on-street park­ing will re­duce traf­fic con­ges­tion, in­crease the ef­fec­tive car­riage­way width avail­able for ve­hi­cles and re­duce fuel con­sump­tion and pol­lu­tion, among other ben­e­fits. The cities which have iden­ti­fied this as a prime win­ning propo­si­tion in the smart city con­test are Bhubanesh­war, Da­van­agere, In­dore, Udaipur, Guwa­hati and Chen­nai. 4Re­duced traf­fic con­ges­tion: In­tel­li­gent traf fic man­age­ment sys­tems to man­age city traf fic via var­i­ous ICT so­lu­tions have been con­sid­ered by Bhubanesh­war, Su­rat, Ahmed­abad, Da­van­agere, In­dore, Udaipur and Chen­nai. Cit­i­zens will en­joy eas­ier trans­port modes and routes, and will also have smart phone ac­cess to es­ti­mated travel time to their desti­na­tion by pas­sen­ger real time in­for­ma­tion on ar­rival of buses, trains and e-rick­shaws. Traf­fic sig­nalling pri­ori­ti­sa­tion of BRTS buses and video sur­veil­lance will fur­ther en­sure safety and pre­vent traf­fic vi­o­la­tions.

5Safer liv­ing:

Safety of res­i­dents is an­other as­pect that has been as­sured in Coim­bat­ore, Kak­i­nada, Udaipur, Guwa­hati and Chen­nai. Ini­tia­tives such as LED street light­ing will boost pedes­tri­ans’ safety, as will video sur­veil­lance via a com­mon con­trol cen­tre – which will si­mul­ta­ne­ously help re­duce traf­fic vi­o­la­tions and en­sure ef­fi­cient on-street park­ing man­age­ment. 6Hassle- free civic ser­vices: An­other big ini­tia­tive that the iden­ti­fied smart cities are tar­get­ing is e-gov­er­nance, mean­ing a sin­gle plat­form from where cit­i­zens can ac­cess all im­por­tant de­tails re­lated to their cities and gov­er­nance. Cit­i­zens will also have easy ac­cess to all ser­vices. Most im­por­tantly, this will en­able cit­i­zens’ en­gage­ment in all aspects of city func­tion­ing, as the data shar­ing or trans­parency be­tween govern­ment and cit­i­zens will act as a fo­rum for cit­i­zens to un­der­stand ex­actly how their city is func­tion­ing. Some of the smart so­lu­tions such as in­te­grated fare cards, smart uni­fied city gov­er­nance, ‘one city one web­site’, GIS (Geo­graphic In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem) map­ping and Wi-Fi hotspots have been con­sid­ered by Bhubanesh­war, Kochi, Ahmed­abad, Visakha­p­at­nam, D av an a g e r e, Ne w De l h i Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil (NDMC), Belagavi, Ludhiana and Bhopal.

7Safety against nat­u­ral dis

asters: Nat­u­ral dis­as­ters are, al­most by def­i­ni­tion, im­pos­si­ble to pre­vent; how­ever hu­man in­ter­ven­tions in ter ms of pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures can help in min­imis­ing losses to life and prop­erty to a great ex­tent. The coastal ar­eas are of­ten badly af­fected by cy­clones and flood­ing, so cities like Chen­nai and Visakha­p­at­nam will con­cen­trate on ICT-based disas­ter man­age­ment tech­niques like sen­sors, weather fore­casts, zero flood­ing zones, storm wa­ter man­age­ment, etc. to make them safer places to live in. 8Neigh­bour­hood san­i­ta­tion: Solid waste man­age­ment through smart so­lu­tions for clean roads and a healthy en­vi­ron­ment is con­sid­ered as an im­por- tant fac­tor by cities of Jaipur, Ja­balpur, In­dore and Kak­i­nada. Re­cy­cling of waste will pro­duce re­new­able en­ergy, en­sure safe dis­posal of solid waste, pre­vent soil and en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion and re­duce de­ple­tion of re­sources.

9Easy ac­cess to all ba­sic

in­fra­struc­ture: Smart cities aim to main­tain ba­sic in­fra­struc­ture with best qual­ity and 100% ef fi­ciency. The ef fi­ciency of the util­i­ties in our cities has been an elu­sive fac­tor till date, thanks to in­ad­e­quate mon­i­tor­ing and re­spon­sive­ness. Elec­tric­ity, sew­er­age, storm wa­ter drainage and wa­ter sup­ply will be strength­ened in the smart cities with a smart layer of ICT ap­pli­ca­tions. Cit­i­zens in Pune, Kochi, So­la­pur, NDMC, Kak­i­nada and Belagavi will ben­e­fit from ICT-en­abled ini­tia­tives such as zero loss mon­i­tored by smart me­ters, LED street light­ing, 24x7 wa­ter sup­ply by source aug­men­ta­tion, waste wa­ter re­cy­cling and sen­sors to de­tect sewer sys­tem leak­ages. Pune is fo­cus­ing on health­care for low in­come house­holds and pro­vid­ing train­ing in dig­i­tal lit­er­acy, and So­la­pur is in­cen­tivis­ing con­ser­va­tion of wa­ter. Chen­nai aims to cre­ate wa­ter sources us­ing de­sali­na­tion plants and re­cy­cling wa­ter to use for var­i­ous pur­poses.

10City beau­ti­fi­ca­tion:

All iden­ti­fied smart cities are fo­cus­ing on de­vel­op­ing more ‘lung spa­ces’ within the city. Smart com­po­nents like cy­cling, street fur­ni­ture, jog­ging tracks, des­ig­nated spa­ces hawk­ers, etc. will en­hance the aes­thet­ics of the city. Green spa­ces will get a new di­men­sion with­new­sof­tand­hard­land­scapes equipped with Wi-Fi hotspots, pro­vid­ing ideal ar­eas for cit­i­zens to re­lax, ex­er­cise and in­ter­act. All this also plays a ma­jor role in cre­atin­ga­sus­taine­den­vi­ron­ment. The au­thor is na­tional di­rec­tor - strate­gic con­sult­ing and head - ur­ban so­lu­tions, JLL In­dia.


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