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The study conducted by the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) argues that the larger notions of sustainability and good governance encompass the overarching goals of smart cities across the globe. Technology, especially Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an important enabler in attaining sustainability and good governance. However, technology needs to be supported by an enabling policy environment. This would need a carefully designed framework, which would provide guidance for the realisation of India’s urban agenda. As an important step in India’s urban sector programme trajectory, the Smart Cities Mission needs to be equipped to provide solutions to India’s urban challenges. The interventions for achieving the opportunities mentioned above need to be systemic; they cannot be ‘stand-alone’ in nature. The point of departure (from existing urban development programmes) that would make a difference in an increasingly resource constrained world is how judiciously one plans a city. This has to be supported by the enhanced power of technology, an aware and engaged citizenry and a competent and capacitated set of people working within an accountable framework. This process would determine the ‘smartness’ of a city and herein emerges the need for a Smart City Reference Framework. ENERGETICA INDIA: What has created the new need for Smart Cities in India? SUJAYA RATHI: With the exception of a few cities (like Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar, and now Amravati) and company towns (like Jamshedpur, Asansol) India has not built too many new cities since independence. As a result, the whole rural-urban exodus has been accommodated in the SMART CITIES existing structures of older cities as well as rural settlements which have become smaller urban centres in the process. This has caused existing infrastructure to reach a point where it is bursting at the seams, and the creation of slums in India. Even basic needs such as accommodation, energy, water, and sanitation are in short supply. Urban transportation is grossly overstretched and people, in the midst of traffic jams, measure distances to travel in terms of the time taken. Even with the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) initiatives, the trends do not show a sustainable trajectory, with congestion, pollution, impacting liveability in all cities, large and small. The Smart Cities Mission has re-iterated the importance of urban centres in India, irrespective of political leadership. It can be seen as an opportunity to: • Create an efficient urban management system Globally, the notion of smart cities is not new. There are multiple ideas, definitions and approaches to smart cities. An analysis of international approaches and the underlying semantics related to smart cities reveals that the concept has only evolved partially. This includes non-clarity in definition, indicators and measures, and standardisation of critical aspects. There is no ‘one size fits all’ model for smart cities that can be replicated in India. The current scenario indicates a critical need for defining and contextualising the various aspects of smart city development. CSTEP report argues that the larger notions of sustainability and good govern- Globally, the notion of smart cities is not new. There are multiple ideas, definitions and approaches to smart cities. An analysis of international approaches and the underlying semantics related to smart cities reveals that the concept has only evolved partially 49 energetica INDIA · MAR | APR16


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