Urban Development Through Smart Cities in India

Urban Development Through Smart Cities in India

Neeta Baporikar (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia and University of Pune, India)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJCESC.2016070103
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Abstract

India is on the path of developing its smart cities at a faster pace in near future. But what constitutes a smart city and what is purpose of this focus remains to be explored. Through in depth literature review and grounded approach this paper, appraises the genesis of smart city to develop a better understanding of urban problems. It explores how smart cities intend to relate the infrastructure, operational functioning, planning through management, control and optimization to ensure equity, fairness for realizing better quality of city life. The paper also attempts to review how informed participation creates shared knowledge for democratic governance. Anticipated paradigm shifts that will occur in this area of research and the expected impacts in developing and planning smart cities in general and in particular the steps being taken in India in development of smart cities is delved into.
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Introduction

For much of the 20th century, the idea that a city could be smart was a science fiction that was pictured in the popular media. But suddenly with the massive proliferation of computable devices across many scales and with a modicum of intelligence being embedded into such devices, the prospect that a city might become smart, sentient even is fast becoming the new reality. The convergence of information and communication technologies is producing urban environments that are quite different from anything that we have experienced hitherto. Cities are becoming smart not only in terms of the way we can automate routine functions serving individual persons, buildings, traffic systems but in ways that enable us to monitor, understand, analyze and plan the city to improve the efficiency, equity and quality of life for its citizens in real time. This is changing the way we are able to plan across multiple time scales, raising the prospect that cities can be made smarter in the long term by continuous reflection in the short term.

Cities however, can only be smart if there are intelligence functions that are able to integrate and synthesize this data to some purpose, ways of improving the efficiency, equity, sustainability and quality of life in cities. The concept of the smart city emerged during the last decade as a fusion of ideas about how information and communications technologies might improve the functioning of cities, enhancing their efficiency, improving their competitiveness, and providing new ways in which problems of poverty, social deprivation, and poor environment might be addressed (Harrison, Eckman, Hamilton, Hartswick, Kalagnanam, Paraszczak, & Williams, 2010). The essence of the idea revolves around the need to coordinate and integrate technologies that have hitherto been developed separately from one another but have clear synergies in their operation and need to be coupled so that many new opportunities which will improve the quality of life can be realized. The term smart city in fact has many faces (Sassen, 2011). Intelligent cities, virtual cities, digital cities, information cities are all perspectives on the idea that ICT is central to the operation of the future city (Aurigi, 2005). Cities are complex systems par excellence, more than the sum of their parts and developed through a multitude of individual and collective decisions from the bottom up to the top down. The complexity sciences are integral to their understanding which is a moving target in that cities themselves are becoming more complex, especially through the very technologies that are used.

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