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19th century England and became commonplace. Introduction of water-based sanitation systems eliminated diseases from spreading. Efficient transportation of goods provided relief to islands of deprivation. Now, the internet is spreading a communications revolution that promises to change the way we work and play. Optical fibre has become as ubiquitous as electricity became in the last century and promises to minimise travel. A smart city must take all these innovations into account. Innovative ways of doing things will open up opportunities, new products that will cater to economic growth. Most importantly, a contextualised implementation of the smart cities concept in India can propel growth by creating faster, easier and transparent ways of doing business. This includes day to day activities of citizens and city governments, and finding responses to the challenge of balancing growth viz. quality of life. Potential solutions lie in considering technology choices and processes that ensure efficient service delivery and clean air and liveable cities. Solutions like adoption of sustainable energy systems, recycling, and efficient and clean public hygiene systems are some options. Ensuring basic services like sanitation, access to clean water and electricity will reduce drudgery and illnesses, releasing the potential of the Indian workforce. However, the success and failure of the initiatives and solutions lie in ensuring that these solutions reflect the needs and priorities of citizens. They should the best possible solutions that serve the principles of sustainability for a city, not limited to being feasible solutions. I want to emphasise that the twin processes of identifying the problem and the solution are the most important, sometimes more important than the solution/output of the project. SMART CITIES ENERGETICA INDIA: Will Smart Cities be able to address India’s urban aspirations? SUJAYA RATHI: The key paradigm shift lies in ensuring convergence of policies, streamlining processes like removing operational bureaucracy and inefficiencies, integrating data and information in xxx, clearing obstacles that hinder participatory processes for citizens and dovetailing of projects to ensure that the desired outcome (sustainability agenda) is achieved. Urban aspirations will be met, if and only if citizens’ involvement is ensured on a regular basis, and the city is empowered to deliver their needs. This calls for a huge need for capacity building at the Urban Local Body (ULB) level. The key requirements for India’s urban development agenda to achieve its desired agenda are: • Smart City Reference Framework, that is guided by sustainability principles • Enhancement and thus empowerment of ULBs through capacity building and identifies a set of reference guides to support the agencies responsible for carrying out the action stages. The processes of city selection and indicator designing for base lining have been explained within the Framework. The Framework aims to crystallise future pathways for smart cities development in India, by laying emphasis on the process of city development that leads to sustainable outcomes 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 51 energetica INDIA · MAR | APR16


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