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Gaurav Srivastava | 25 Mar 2022

What is a Smart City? Its Features and Process of Selection

What is a Smart City? Its Features and Process of Selection

In 2015, the Government of India launched a mission known as Smart City Mission. The main motive of this mission was to improve the infrastructure and drive the economic growth in 100 cities of India. In addition to this, the Smart City Mission by the Indian Government also focuses on creating replicable models of these cities that can motivate and inspire other cities of India to become “Smart.” Furthermore, the Smart City Mission helps societies deal with environmental and socio-economic challenges in the urban areas. 

In 2016, the initial list of 20 cities was announced, and the main plan was to complete the overall development of these 20 cities by 2022. The name of 20 cities involves Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Pune, Jaipur, Jabalpur, Surat, Guwahati, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Indore, Udaipur, Bhopal, Belgaum, Ludhiana, Solapur, Bhuvanagir, and Kakinada, as well as the region under the NDMC in New Delhi. In the following rounds, more cities were added. 

And, you will be surprised to know that as of date, the list has been updated by the Government of India to 110 cities. 

As you have got to know the brief of Smart City Mission, let’s now move ahead and understand the features of Smart cities!

Key Features of Smart Cities

When it comes to the features of Smart Cities, the smart cities have multiple features involved in them, including transportation system, smart healthcare system, governance, smart infrastructure, better surveillance for safety and security, better job opportunities, and every other amenities and facility that offer a comfortable living environment to the residents. 

If you are interested in knowing what all features must be present in a city to be called as Smart City, have a look at the pointers below:

1. Better and affordable housing

2. Excellently developed health care, housing, education, and infrastructure needs of the society

3. Deliver top-notch key services to the community cost-effectively and reliably

4. Improve economic growth of the society

5. Create more job opportunities for the society

6. Effective management of the resources to reduce depletion

7. The streamlined transportation system

8. Use of smart technology for community needs and requirements

9. Boosting the local economy

10. A well-developed smart plan for involvement of the community and data analysis

11. Well-handled urbanisation and coping strategies for climate change and population growth

All these features together make a city a Smart City. And it’s important to note that these features differentiate Smart cities from normal cities. Smart cities are typically developed in order to inspire other cities of the country to improve the infrastructure for the economic growth of the cities. 

What do Smart Cities Do?

Smart cities leverage high-end technologies to offer services to the citizens. Many sensors and electronic methods are used to collect the data. In turn, the insights of the data received to assist in the operational improvement of utility supply, garbage collection, environmental management, traffic movement, managing social services, and more. Moreover, the use of information and communication technology allows the authorities of the city to track and monitor the city in real-time and interact evenly with the community. 

Pillars of Smart Cities

When it comes to the pillars of Smart cities, the Internet of Things, i.e., IoT, smart mobility, public safety, social infrastructure, increased tourism, and physical infrastructure, allow the smooth and flawless transformation of a city into a Smart City. 

The insights gathered from the roadmap of leading Smart cities around the world are briefly summarised into the 4 pillars. These pillars involve:

Pillar 1: An IoT-enabled infrastructure that has a strong network of applications and devices.

Pillar 2: Intelligent transport systems, shared mobility services, and more helps in achieving effective mobility for Smart cities.

Pillar 3: Involving the community in Smart cities initiatives.

Pillar 4: Cyber resilience maintains a perfect balance between data privacy and efficiency. 

Now, let’s move to the next section of this article and understand the process of selecting a Smart City!

Process of Selecting a Smart City

Are you wondering about how a Smart City is selected? Well, there’s a process behind it! The task of converting a city into a Smart City is a significant task that involves multiple challenges and difficulties. Thus, in order to simplify the process, a procedure was set up by the Indian Government to streamline the selection process of Smart cities. 

Here’s a step-by-step process of shortlisting the Smart City:

Step 1: Firstly, a letter was sent to the states to nominate the cities for Smart City nomination along with a questionnaire that has a detailed listicle of questions to be answered by the state.

Step 2: The list of questions can easily be seen by tapping the parameters of scoring.

Step 3: On the basis of the response received from UTs and states, the Smart City list is shortlisted against the scoring received by each city.

Step 4: Once the selection of Smart cities is made, the potential Smart cities are announced. 

Step 5: Lastly, each Smart City is assigned one external agency and a consultant that helps them guide on multiple parameters in place for the Smart City competition. 

The stages of Smart City and detailed parameters can be understood by visiting the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs official website

Steps to Transform a Normal City into a Smart City

The steps to transform a normal city into a Smart City involve the following:

Step 1: Collect the data about the city and its critical areas of improvement.

Step 2: Set the metrics for what the city wants to become, along with the available budget and time frame. 

Step 3: Start with 1-2 small projects and complete them within the pre-determined time frame. The standard operating infrastructure and IT practices of the city might get altered or changed while completing the project.

Step 4: Scale all the procedures of the city.

Step 5: Review the overall experience and start working with other projects for making a normal city a Smart City.

That’s all! This step-by-step approach can help the authorities transform normal cities into Smart cities for a better and more comfortable living. 

To conclude, we would like to say that Smart cities are growing on a large scale to raise the standard of living and offer more than basic facilities to society. The concept of Smart cities has improved the overall infrastructure and will continue to do the same along with the integration of technology in governance, waste management, efficient transportation, etc. Many cities in the country are now implementing new policies and working on smart city projects to transform them into Smart City. 

Also read: How‌ ‌to‌ ‌Build‌ ‌a‌ ‌Smart‌ ‌Home‌ ‌on‌ ‌a‌ ‌Budget‌ ‌in‌ ‌India?‌


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