Sunday, November 19, 2017

Editor's Space

SMART INDIA MOVEMENT

 

As more and more people flock to mega- cities groaning under the weight of lack of planning, governmental inertia and neglect, the idea of smart cities has increasingly captured the imagination of civic decision makers and planners from around the world. Against the background of the horrendous statistic which screams that cities are responsible for close to 70 percent of global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, it becomes easy to understand why minders of cities are currently in scramble mode and are trying to bring a measure of control by offering smart city solutions. In North America and Europe, in particular, the tough economic climate has forced local governments to become increasingly innovative in their use of technology in order to subtract from operational costs and in the way services are procured and delivered.

Ergo, Smart Cities become inevitable since urban challenges are expected to multiply manifold. In under a decade from now more than 37 megacities are expected to leap up across the world supporting populations in excess of 10 million — interestingly 22 of them will be located in Asia. India, despite its recent growing economic clout in the comity of nations – it has earned respect as a country on the go and one to be keenly watched by international agencies – and notwithstanding it the debilitating impact of the global economic slowdown, has shown ambition to adopt the Smart City route followed by more developed nations.

It has reached a point of take off in its development cycle mainly because it has access to intelligence, resources, opportunity and has progress written into its DNA.

Therefore, despite the cynics, it has shown tremendous wisdom to take the route which in the long term will lead to sustainability. City planners need to be farsighted and think beyond policy-based decisions, and brick and mortar blueprints. The time has come to plan and invest on intelligent cities. In this issue we focus on India’s Smart City Agenda, the challenges and the smart prospects for the stake holders. It is also fitting that we have touched upon the increasing sophistication being wrought into India’s infrastructure landscape thanks to the utilisation of construction and project management software. There is certainly inevitability to the fact that India will increasingly become smarter – evidence of that is amply provided by the Bohra Muslim community in Mumbai’s borough of Bhendi Bazaar who, in the face of governmental inaction for decades, decided to opt for the progressive route of self help to development. We are delighted to chronicle the transformation of a former dilapidated chawl sprawl into a Manhattan like smart skyline. 

There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that a Smart City is the way to go. We should all be proud participants in the Build a Smart India Movement!




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