Smart Cities: The future of urban development
The concept of smart cities in India focuses on the use of technology which allows the governance setups to achieve more with less, thereby, reducing the resource deficits.
With the world around us becoming increasingly interconnected via technology, the concept of Smart Cities has been touted as the future of urbanism. Simply put, these cities are designed to leverage an amalgamation of infrastructure and technology to accord a better quality of life to their residents.
In India, Smart Cities Mission was launched in 2015 as a flagship government project to offer a facelift to 100 cities across the country. The goal was to build next-gen cities with accessible and affordable infrastructure and a thriving citizen-government engagement.
To achieve this, technological advancements are being used as a ‘smart’ solution to infrastructural challenges. This ranges from the use of RFID tags to streamlining garbage collection to deploying integrated traffic management systems to ease congestion on roads.
Here are some of the noticeable features that this Rs 2,05,000 cr project seeks to implement:
Water Treatment and Conservation
Water ATMs, mini sewage treatment plants and Phytorid STPs - a modern water recycling technology - will be installed across these smart cities.
Efficient Land Use
This will be achieved by promoting mixed land use so that a range of diverse and compatible activities can be carried out in close proximity to one another. The state governments are facilitating this area-based development by amending their bye-laws on land use and construction.
Better Housing Opportunities
Smart cities also aim for inclusiveness in housing by expanding opportunities for people from all socio-economic backgrounds.
Creating walkable localities is a key focus area for Smart cities in India, as it helps in reducing traffic congestion, alleviating pollution and checking resource depletion. To this end, the road networks in these cities are being refurbished to accommodate pedestrian and cyclist tracks. In addition to this, streetlights will be fitted with LED lamps, pelican crossing and 3D zebra crossings constructed, and CCTV cameras, Wi-Fi networks and environment sensors installed.
The Mission also seeks to preserve and develop open spaces such as playgrounds, parks, and recreational centres with a view to improve the quality of life and reduce the effect of urban heat and promote a holistic eco-balance.
Transit-Oriented Development focuses on promoting an array of public transport options and the last mile para-transport connectivity. To ease the road congestion, a mobile app for pre-booking parking space will also be rolled out in a phased manner.
The cities will rely heavily on internet services to make governance more citizen-friendly, cost-effective, accountable, and transparent. Use of mobile phones to access and avail different government facilities will be promoted. Besides, the initiative will encourage the creation of e-groups to obtain feedback and online monitoring of government programs.
Smart solutions will be applied to make infrastructure and services safer and less vulnerable to disaster using fewer resources. This will also include setting up of digital libraries, smart toilets and geo-tagging-enabled waste management system.
Smart Cities – Doing More with Less
To sum it up, the concept of smart cities in India focuses on the use of technology which allows the governance setups to achieve more with less, thereby, reducing the resource deficits.
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