June 2018 \ Business & Investment \ BUSINESS

Experts and government delegates call for a collaborative approach to building future-ready sustainable and smart cities at the 4th Smart Cities India 2018 expo. Discussions among speakers in various conferences emphasised the challenges and opportunities ahead for adoption of smart technologies, battling climate and pollution issues, and holistic improvement of citizen’s quality of life...

By Yogesh Sood

Mr. Peter Vangsbo, Business Developer Director, EIT Climate, Denmark, said, “Smart city development, meeting sustainable development and climate change mitigation goals should go hand-in-hand. Combatting pollution strains our cities we simply cannot risk neglecting this important aspect. Focusing more on education and knowledge sharing, innovation and inspiring start-ups to export ideas and engage in dialogues with global experts can help countries tackle pollution. Encouraging the germination of new ideas, fast-tracking processes, throwing new light on challenges is the way forward.”

Ms. Shonali Rastogi, Founder Partner, Morphogenesis, said, “Should smart city only be synonymous be ground-breaking technology and smart be the buzzword of technological capability? Well, I believe that smart should not merely be about digital enablement, but equally about policy mechanisms, governance, and a systematic approach.”

The City Leaders’ Conclave, a dynamic and exciting business programme for industry and government, was held during where multiple stakeholders addressed the needs of urban sustainability. Panelists at the discussion emphasised that smart city development need to be truly holistic, encompassing everything from technology to policy to enablement to government action and citizen participation.

Shri V. Umashankar, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation Gurugram & Additional CEO, GDMA, stated during a panel discussion that urban policies are needed for urban challenges. He reinforced the idea that smart city solutions begins with keeping citizens at the heart of design. GDMA raises funds locally and has received no external funding. The idea of making Gurugram smart is planned at city, sub-city and sector level. This process ensures that city wide development takes place rather than that of only specific areas or localities. Many government representatives from both city and state levels at the conclave mentioned that approximately INR 20,000 crore worth of investments are being allocated to develop the Integrated Command and Control Centres across 100 smart cities in India and how the centre will monitor the entire city through cameras and function as one-stop urban assistance solution for its citizens.

The last day of the three-day expo also saw the Smart Cities India Awards, an annual event designed to felicitate, recognise and encourage individuals, policy makers, companies, government bodies and associations working towards developing over 100 smart cities and rejuvenating 500 cities in India. The Smart Village Conclave served as a platform to bring together village heads (pradhans, sarpanches), MPs, innovators, influencers, NGOs, etc., working towards developing smart villages in India.

Tags: Yogesh Sood