Indeed, the 100 smart cities is a pragmatic vision for India Inc. Cities are plunging to make space for themselves in the Smart City folio.
But the Question arises; what will make a Smart City ‘Smart’?
The known answer is ‘Technology’ but how a technology to gallop tilting Milestones. Well, a smart city comprises integration, expertise, understanding, coordination and synergy of different participants in the ecosystem. These include several aspects such as smart governance, smart energy, smart infrastructure, smart buildings, and smart service delivery mechanisms.
When we look into a country like India, a smart city is not about a single, or a certain industry segment. In broader perspective, it opens up opportunities for multiple growths across all industries. Smart city solutions are being developed to address a range of issues, including energy management, water management, urban mobility, street lighting, and public safety. These innovations are reinforced by general developments in areas, such as wireless communications, sensor networks, data analytics, and cloud computing.
Undoubtedly, Technology is the backbone of a smart city ecosystem transiting from urban planning to creating healthy environment, ensuring safety of people, smart and efficient power distribution, continuous water supply, intelligent traffic and transportation management systems that use analytics to provide efficient solutions to ease commuting, and surveillance systems requiring minimal human intervention.
Smart cities use advanced technologies such as virtualization, NFC, RFID, Internet of Things, etc. to be more intelligent and efficient in the use of resources, resulting in cost and energy savings by connecting devices/systems to internet. The concept of the “technology-driven” smart city has captured the imagination of public, private, and non-profit organizations in India.
Deluging of $15.3 billion for smart cities by the Government of India will not just push the border of urbanisation but also create a new set of markets for technology companies across a range of industries.
There is an estimation that a minimum of $315 million will outlay into the technology sector with this initiative, providing a great potential for technology businesses in this growing market. This in turn would open up the entry opportunity for companies across the globe with a market in India and provide them with a platform to export their services. With respect to verticals, the government needs to take a lead in removing barriers to innovation and facilitating collaboration between multiple diverse sectors. This has already begun to happen in the Assisted Living and Transport verticals, but more needs to be done.
In addition, continuous advancements in current technologies will aid in the transformation of existing cities into smart cities. Specifically, advancements in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, the Internet of Things, and wireless sensor networks will play a large role in the success smart city projects.
Public and private organizations can use M2M technology to obtain key information about their devices, allowing them to gain better insight into the needs and wants of their community, hence driving better quality of life for city residents.