Out of the various things that were discussed at the 3rd Smart Cities India 2017 Expo, the major takeaway was – India will have to develop its own smart city model. It is because India as a country has its own challenges. Its needs for smart city solutions are different. For example, what may require for a city like Muradabad, may not match with what is required for Varanasi. This is mainly because of our diversity as a nation, which sometimes appears as a challenge.
When we talk about smart cities, we imagine those self-sustaining highly-efficient cities that are productive in nature and provide creative solutions to its inhabitants. And for India to develop a smart city like this would need its own business models to make the cities self-sustainable.
Now what role does geospatial play in smart cities, is described by NSN Murthy, Executive Director, PwC India. He said, “In smart cities, GIS is going to be a part of the core IT infrastructure, and location-based services (LBS) is going to be completely dependent on how many applications are running. And how many citizen-services are going to be delivered.”
He added, “Smart cities will create an infrastructure that will enable the LBS services or the private operators.”
For example, smart cities will create the core infrastructure for telecom, which will be supported by fiber cables for the high-speed internet connectivity, something which is important to run the services for a third-party application. So, be it start-ups or established companies, they will use this core infrastructure of the city to deliver the services proficiently.
But in order to deliver such big projects, the country would need a reliable source of finance. To throw some light on the subject, Vikramjeet Singh, Sr. Country Officer, IFC said, “IFC is committed to support India’s municipalities for the smart city mission.” However, he added, “The municipalities will also have to learn ways to implement modern technology solutions in our smart cities.”
Started under the Smart City Mission, the government of India has selected a total of 109 cities for urban renewal and retrofitting. The mission of the project is to develop these cities as citizen friendly, sustainable cities.