Smart cities: Learnings for India
Barcelona has developed existing areas first before expanding to the periphery
For a s mar t ci t y, t he minimum services are a given, use of technology is important for planning, service delivery and governance. Before anything else, however, the definition of a smart city should be made clear.
In April this year, Spain proposed to cooperate with India in developing smart and sustainable cities in the country and presented a draft of a memorandum of understanding. The draft MoU relating to urban development was presented during the meeting of a high-level Spanish delegation led by its minister of foreign affairs and cooperation Jose Garcia-Margalloy Marfil with the urban development minister, M Venkaiah Naidu in Parliament House.
Spain has proposed to assist in developing Delhi as the first global and smart city in India under the framework of this draft MoU. Naidu had visited Barcelona to attend the Smart City Expo World Congress in November last year.
Barcelona has preserved its heritage under its planning framework and that is what Delhi needs to learn. The city has smartly used its existing urban form and carried out development around existing areas first and expanded gradually to the periphery. The strategy has been to first develop the city core and then gradually expand the boundaries of the city. They have focussed on both greenfield and brownfield development and that is what Delhi should emulate, adds Bhatt.