Funding,financing models for smart cities examined
Work on the smart cities mission seems to have started in right earnest. An India-UK workshop looks at financing, delivery models
Ajoint one- day workshop was organised by FICCI with t he UK India Business Council on India- UK Workshop on Smart Cities in India, the focus of which was on funding and financing models, t echnical standards and integrated implementation of planning and delivery across sectors for smart cities’ development in India. The urban challenges being f a c e d i n I n d i a g ave a n overview of the opportunities available in the urban infrastructure sector in the country, said Pradeep Puri, co-chair, India-UK, joint working group on Smart Cities, chair man, FICCI, urban infrastructure and smart cities committee.
He stressed on sharing of technical expertise to help identify solutions to various urban challenges being faced in India and suggested that there are significant opportunities for collaboration around the governance and re gulatory structures and financing mechanisms.
In his introductory remarks, St John Gould, director, UK Trade, Investment and Prosperity - India mentioned the UK government’s agenda on smart cities and said that the United Kingdom was a leader in providing advanced technologies, designers and engineers in the urban development space. He further said that the smart cities agenda was a great opportunity for businesses, both in India and UK.
He also mentioned that UK was amongst the leading countries exporting smart solutions and was developing various programmes on urban development both naturally and in relation to specific cities.
The joint working group from the UK and India com- prised fantastic and highly expert private sector players across the full range of sectors - construction, infrastructure financing, urban transport, housing, planning, academia and ICT, said Patricia Hewitt, chair, UK India Business Council. These companies, global leaders in their fields and can play a significant role in not just the Indian government’s smart cities initiative, but also the UK’s urban development plans, she added.
David Whittleton, co-chair, India-UK joint working group on smart cities and deputy chairman, Arup, chaired a session on “Integrated implementation of planning and delivery across sectors” at the workshop and highlighted the importance of planning and sectors integration for sustainable urban development.
Dr A Didar Singh, secretary general, FICCI welcoming the participants at t h e wo rk s h o p, s a i d “Government of India’s 100 smart cities initiative will provide an impetus to the development of urban infrastructure and upgrade of urban services which is much required i n Indian cities.” I ndia of f ered huge opportunities for collaborations with foreign companies in the urban development arena. Working with foreign companies offering urban solutions customised to Indian requirements for smart cities area was an effective way to achieve the government’s vision of developing smart cities, he said.