Smart City Mission, a program introduced by the Government of India, is an initiative for the renewal of the urban ecosystem with a focus on the usage of technology. Smart City technology and services initiative aims to bring benefits in areas such as safety, health, education, transport, wealth distribution, and employment. It has been researched at a global level and concluded that if the concept of Smart City is implemented at a universal level, it holds promises for its residents by effectively gifting them 3 working weeks’ worth of time every year. Is not Smart Cities worth batting for? Well, keeping pace with the digital technology trend, Indian Government has chalked out a plan to urbanize 100 cities and make them citizen friendly under Smart City Mission.
The “Global Smart City Performance Index – 2017” by Juniper Research, released its analysis on 12th March 2018. For India, it was a moment of pride to find Bhubaneshwar, a city from the least talked about state on the list. Out of 100 smart cities of India, Bhubaneswar, capital of Orissa, was the only city that secured a place in the list of “Top 20 Global Smart Cities”. Bhubaneshwar also made India proud when it secured rank 13 under safety vector. Safety was measured by Law enforcement, Mortality and Crime Levels. Also, it was ranked at 20th place in terms of Mobility, Productivity, and Health.
Singapore topped the index list of 20 Global Smart Cities. It was ranked at 1st place in all the four areas i.e. Mobility, Productivity, Health, and Safety. Some of the other observations of the “Global Smart City Performance Index – 2017” are:
- San Francisco was ranked at the second position and London at the third position in “Mobility”
- In the area of Health, Seoul and London were placed at the second and the third position, respectively
- New York and London were ranked at the second position in the area of Safety and Productivity, respectively
- Besides this, Chicago was at the third rank in the areas of Safety and Productivity
The study of “Global Smart City Performance Index – 2017” was conducted from July to September in the year proceeding to the year of study. It was a way to measure the level of technology and how it helped people save their time.
Smart City Mission is huge and massive. It is just the beginning where we can see the growth in the number of smart cities. Looking at the advantages, the number of smart cities grew from 15 to 100+ within a few years, and it is expected to grow exponentially. The Government of India has invested approximately $7.3 billion (which is equal to Rs. 730 crores) in the Smart City Project. But let us try to understand why the government is going all guns for Smart City project. There are few pressing reasons which if not addressed now will lead to imbalances in providing key facilities to its citizens and future generations. Few attributes of megacities aka Delhi are being overpopulated, pressure on limited resources, infrastructure, and services, affecting the quality of life, causing pollution-related problems, overcrowded healthcare facilities and compromised personal safety. Government is fully acquainted with these challenges and has started formulating worldwide tested policy to ensure that the benefits of wealth are distributed evenly, keeping technology as an enabler
Strategies involved in Smart City Mission are as follows:
- Renew urban areas
- Good Infrastructure
- Smart solutions for the city
Some of the core factors or elements of the Smart City Mission are:
- Good water supply throughout the city
- People should get access to better living standards with reasonable housing facility
- Treatment of wastewater and sanitation facility all over the city
- Supply of Electricity to each household
- Green Area and better environmental conditions
- Safety and security of people living or visiting the city
- Widespread public transport facility
- Everyone should have access to efficient Health care and education facilities
Many of us never believed that Bhubaneswar has developed so much to score that place. Besides this, Smart City Mission was considered unsuccessful, unless “Global Smart City Performance Index – 2017” was released. It proved that Smart City Mission proved to be a successful mission taken up by the Government of India and Bhubaneswar is one of the “Top 20 Smart Cities of the World”. The results have encouraged Indian cities to excel their efforts towards Smart Cities Mission.
Way to go Smart Cities.!!