What Is Needed For Smart Cities To Be Sustainable

One of the key highlights of the Modi government was to create smart cities across the country. The objective was to make cities smart by using technology that would help a city self sustainable, remain future proof and offer the best services to its dwellers. Creating enough smart cities across the country would also help stop the mass migration from rural areas to some prominent metros in search for employment, better living and other facilities like education, healthcare etc.

However, just deployment of some technologies on to the exusting cities would not help the mission.

“For sustainable urbanization, cities need to adopt a framework that is socially equitable, economically viable and environmentally sustainable,” feels Cisco, the US based technology major which has been playing a critical role in developing smart cities in India, in association with other partners.

The company, in this regard, released a report that outlines a framework that focuses on sustainable and inclusive (social, economic, and digital) development to measure the impact of intelligent solutions in building a smart city. The report also came out with a Smart City scorecard to assess the impact of technology on such cities.

It says mere investments in enhancing infrastructure are not the solution. The report notes that while urbanization has resulted in economic growth it has also posed socio-economic and environmental challenges.

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Cisco, IDC and FICCI officials launching the report – “Smartest Cities of Future” in Bengaluru

For cities to become more competitive, they need to become smarter and more efficient, cites the report emphasizing that technology can act as the key enabler to help achieve these goals.

“Investments in coordination with technology, value capture funding and strategic private-public partnerships will be the essential engines of growth for cities to achieve sustainable living,” reads the report.

“India is urbanizing rapidly and it is critical that our cities become ‘Smarter’ to offer better lives for citizens, foster innovation as well as drive economic growth. The findings of this report focuses on digital inclusion, citizen convenience and engagement, impact on public safety, revenue and environment, which are critical pillars to make cities competitive and sustainable,” says Sameer Garde, President, Cisco India and SAARC.

Also Read : Cisco Unveils ‘Smart City’ Blueprint

The report takes the example of Cisco Golden Mile project at Vijayawada to prove its point.

IDC along with the state government of Andhra Pradesh monitored and analyzed the efficiency and efficacy of the smart solutions deployed in the city against the Smart City Score Card comprising five critical parameters – digital inclusion, citizen convenience and engagement, public safety, revenue impact and environmental impact. IDC observed that 46% of citizens (respondents) have used the smart services and have recognized that technology has positively impacted their lives. In addition to that, 79% of respondents felt more secure after the Vijayawada city administration deployed smart surveillance solutions.

“The impact of Vijayawada Golden Mile on the state economy, citizens and environment emphasize the role technology can play as an enabler of growth and sustainability. This report is a great example of how states can leverage technology in tackling infrastructure challenges, improve social, economic and environmental sustainability and provide next generation of services to its citizens,” Garde adds.

The report titled ‘Smartest Cities of Future’ was jointly prepared by Cisco India, consulting firm IDC and industry association FICCI.

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