It is estimated that about 31% of India’s population lives in cities. These cities also generate about 63% of the nation’s economic activity. These numbers are increasing very fast and it is projected that almost half of India’s population will be living in its cities by 2030. These cities, therefore, need a way to withstand the ever increasing pressure on its resources.
Understanding this grave situation at hand, the Government of India has started the Smart Cities Mission. The mission aims to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people living in Indian cities by enabling local development and harnessing technology as a means to create smart outcomes for its citizens.
The India Smart Cities Challenge is designed to inspire greater creativity from municipal officials and their partners, more involvement and inspiration from citizens, and the development of proposals that will produce concrete benefits in people’s lives. The Challenge requires municipal leaders and their partners to consult the public to develop proposals that are both feasible and more likely to be implemented. The proposed solutions for the various issues that a city is facing must provide a way to solve these problems while strengthening the city’s governance or its physical, social, or economic infrastructure.
As per the Indian Smart Cities Challenge, each city is suppose to formulate its own unique vision,mission and plan for a “smart city.” The concept should reflect the city’s local context, resources, and priorities and aspirations of the its citizens. Cities should draw inspiration from smart solutions that incorporate the use of technology, information and date to improve services for the citizens. The pan-city initiative must touch the lives of many, or potentially all, of its citizens.
This objective of this Smart Cities Challenge is to transform an existing place within each city, creating an exemplar for other areas in the city, or across the country, to follow. Depending on local circumstances, cities may choose one or three approaches – retrofitting, redevelopment, or greenfield development.