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INFRATRACK Tech-wise cities Innovation and integration will be the route to take as India plans smart city infrastructure says YOUSEF HAMIDADDIN Urbanisation is a major challenge facing IBM’s ‘Smarter Planet’ campaign started region, superior in terms of infrastructure, most developing countries today. There in the year 2008-2009 was one of the firsts sustainable construction, connectivity and has been an increase in the migration that got the entire world talking about market feasibility; technology forms the from rural to urban areas, worldwide. the implications of rapid urbanization. crux of smart cities. According, to a UN Report, 50-70 per cent Since, then there have been numerous A city that is technologically integrated of India’s and China’s population will be platforms, planners and nations striving provides for seamless services across basic living in cities by the year 2050. to derive solutions that can make our cities requirements to complex infrastructure. It is estimated that 30 Indians residing livable. Globally, there are some excellent Be it 24/7 water supply, energy, sanitation in rural areas relocate to cities every examples that developing countries can to transport and surveillance systems minute. At this rate, India will need about take inspiration from – some of them being and automated building security; Smart 500 new cities to accommodate the influx. Toronto, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Cities function on data analytics to ensure Rapid urbanization has led to a strain on Vienna, Cairo etc. minimal human intervention. All the data physical and social infrastructure giving collected is compiled, integrated into a rise to conflicts and strife. The ever- smart grid and then fed into computers growing demands on the city infrastructure “Planners and governments also that can focus on making the city as for better transport, water supply, housing, need to avoid – ‘the one size fits efficient as possible. This further allows energy and other vital services will only all’ theory here as the concept of government authorities access to real-time continue to rise. smart cities varies across nations.” information and helps balance supply and The recent announcement by the demand by regulating electricity, water Government of India to develop ‘100 Smart There are several terms that can be used to supply and traffic congestion. This might Cities’ is a well-thought out initiative in define smart cities. Simply put, it comprises sound futuristic but will soon convert into response to the problems that plague of a meticulously planned, sustainable reality as this phenomenon is gaining a Indian cities today. Also, there has been and technologically integrated space stronger foothold in India. a rise in global contests such as Omraan, with dependence on ICT. Digitizing and Success of any smart city will depend Holcim Awards and many more that are connecting our systems to analyze and on its residents, entrepreneurs and providing platforms to start-ups and integrate data is a key driver in revitalising innovators becoming actively involved innovators who aim to solve urban issues existing infrastructure to make it smarter in creating solutions related to urban and promote sustainable construction. and efficient. Characterised as an urban problems. With the advancement of 70 construction opportunities|NOVEMBER 2014
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