1. The SMART CITIES MISSION also referred to as SMART CITY MISSION is a programme aimed at developing cities of the country in a graduated and phased manner to make them dynamic, contemporary and sustainable in a digitalized and eco friendly ambience. Towards this goal 100 cities have been selected through a process of contests to provide a level playing field to all contenders besides catering for the diverse aspirations of our very large and versatile population.
2. The conceptualization of Smart City varies from city to city and state to state, depending on the level of development, willingness to change and reform, resources and aspirations of the city residents. A smart city would have a different connotation in Tamil Nadu than, say, Punjab. There is no one way of defining a smart city.
3. A basic framework is required to guide cities in the Mission. To provide for the aspirations and needs of the citizens of every city, the four pillars of comprehensive development; institutional, physical, social and economic infrastructure needs to be developed for a compatible eco system. This would be a long term goal and cities can then work towards developing such comprehensive infrastructure incrementally, adding on layers of ‘smartness’.
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 integrating technology, for smart solutions. Area-based development will transform existing areas (retrofit and redevelop), including slums, into better planned ones, thereby improving livability of the whole City. New areas (Greenfield) will be developed around cities in order to accommodate the expanding population in urban areas.
The strategy adapted for this area-based development mission focuses on “in city” improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city extension (Greenfield development) plus a Pan-city initiative in which Smart Solutions are applied over larger parts of the city. These are enumerated as under:-
i. Retrofitting :
- Will involve an existing built-up area to make the existing area more efficient and liveable.
- An area consisting of more than 500 acres will be identified by the city in consultation with citizens.
- Strategy to become smart will depending on the existing level of infrastructure services in the identified area.
- Existing structures are largely to remain intact in this model.
- Intensive infrastructure service levels and a large number of smart applications will be packed into the retrofitted smart city.
- Hence completion in a shorter time frame, leading to its replication in another part of the city.
ii. Redevelopment :
- Replacement of the existing built-up environment.
- This will enable co-creation of a new layout with enhanced infrastructure using mixed land use and increased density.
- Envisages an area of more than 50 acres, identified by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in consultation with citizens.
iii. Greenfield Development :
- Will introduce most of the Smart Solutions in a previously vacant area (more than 250 acres).
- Innovative planning, plan financing and plan implementation tools (e.g. land pooling/ land reconstitution)
iv. Pan-City Development :
- Envisages application of selected Smart Solutions to the existing city-wide infrastructure.
- Application of Smart Solutions will involve the use of technology, information and data to make infrastructure and services better. (intelligent traffic management system, waste water recycling) .
6. Essential Features of SMART CITY MISSION:
Some of the essential features of this mission are:-
- Efficient and optimum use of land.
- Inclusive housing for all strata of society.
- Environmental friendly localities with security and facilities for cycling and walking.
- Preserve open spaces and parks and promote eco balance.
- Multiple transport options with last mile connectivity.
- Enabling efficient Governance through greater accountability, transparency and technology integration.
7. A total of 99 cities have been nominated through five rounds of scrutiny of entries received and the project is planned to be executed over five years. Financial aid will be given by the central and state governments between 2017 2022 to the cities, and the mission will start showing results from 2022 on Wards.
8. To keep pace with rapid and growing urbanization, the concept of SMART CITY is imperative and inescapable. The country can then hope to be an Economic destination in the global Arena and will enhance and upgrade the thresholds of living standards.
9. Concurrently the mindset of the populace needs to be changed to imbibe the essential benefits of this mission. The aspects of Civic Responsibilities, Greater Compliance, Transparency and Pride in Our Environment needs to be heightened and practiced with diligence and sincerity to achieve a utopian society in harmony with nature.