What are Smart cities? Experts on urban landscape transformation in the offing
Smart City is all about high efficiency & optimisation of Urban Infrastructure & Services in a holistic approach.
Smart City concept was coined by the Modi 1.0 government to recreate a better standard of living for the public and resolve problems, created during the process of continuous expansion of human habitation. Differing from state to state, nation to nation owing to the variation in the Demographics, Economic Structure, Technology and Political Environment, Smart cities could either be Greenfield (start afresh) or Brownfield (on existing ones) projects where challenges are different in both the cases.
On what will be there in a Smart City Subhashis Mukherjee, MD, M2M Cybernatics said, "It is all about high efficiency & optimisation of Urban Infrastructure & Services in a holistic approach. The goal is to achieve a better quality of life, a higher rank in the HDI (Human Development Index). Urban living in Smart cities should mean the most cost-effective way for a citizen to avail all kinds of services at the highest achievable performance."
Mukherjee added that the entire city and its services shall be System is driven, process driven with minimal discretionary powers for decision. At the same time, the system should be able to eradicate the constraints (which we face today) by maximising the desired factors (better living, better services) and minimizing undesired ones (crimes etc.).
Giving an idea about how Smart cities shall be made Mukherjee said, "The Smart Cities will cover the utilization of information and communication technology, and clean energy technologies, for the more efficient management of municipal operations or E-governance services [be it G2G (government to governments) or G2C (government to citizens)] .
The services of a smart city cover Integration in the areas of energy management (as Smart grid), water management (as conservation), urban mobility (as Intelligent Transportation), connected healthcare, Smart education, public safety & security etc., for example, to name a few.
Sharing about the Building Blocks of a Smart city Rakesh Yadav, CMD, Antriksh India said, "The Base Layer of a Smart city is indeed the Technology Platform. The city-cockpit could be enabled with a 4CI (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence) center which could eventually integrate City-Surveillance with police, fire Dept, ambulance etc. Also, it could be SCADA like system to take care of the Integration between Utility Smartgrid(s) of Energy, Water, Gas and Sewerage with other Municipal Functions. Loads of technology be it M2M sensors, RFID, Could computing, Power line communication, Optical Fibre, Smart metering, Wireless, Mobile Devices, Wearable’s, advanced storage or backup solution and Advanced Power Solutions etc., all will have a role to play in building the technology plinth of a Smart city."
On top of the Technology Layer, there will be the Logical layer which may include connectivity, service continuity, Data Virtualization, Big Data analytics, Cyber Security, Demand Side Management, Governance (Risk & Compliance), Disaster Recovery, Privacy & Identity, etc.
The Logical Layer will connect the physical systems and actual service delivery points like Smart building, Connected Healthcare, Smart grid, Smart metering, Intelligent Traffic management, Emergency Services, Public Hotspots, Public Safety /Security, home automation, robotics, assistive technology etc.
It is to remember that technologies should have common taxonomies, methods, protocols and standards so that they could be integrated easily.
On approaches towards the Smart Cities in making Rakesh Yadav of Antriksh India said, "There could be various approaches and philosophies towards developing a Smart city. But indeed it could be Best to design a Smart city keeping in mind the convenience and need of the Elderly citizen, ease for the differently abled (like Outdoor spaces and buildings, Transportation, Housing; Civic Participation & Employment; Social Participation; Respect & Social Inclusion, Communication & Information, Community Support & Health Services). The city design should not only take care of the exuberance of a CEO but also be ADAPTIVE in providing the basic needs of a migrant worker, poor & destitute."
Therefore, it is very important to plan a Smart city with a Resilience Strategy. Any Smart city should have the power or ability to return to the original form or Return to normalcy ASAP after being affected by a disaster (Natural be it flood, earthquake or Man-Made Gas leak etc). It would be highly desirable to have our Smart cities designed and planned future proof by studying in depth the demographics, the vulnerability factors in details so that it could inherit resilience for overcoming the scourge of climatic changes (like sea level rise or glacier melt, or could burst) or could be health epidemic like (ebola virus or bird flu, etc.) or even the economic slowdown (alternate livelihood like the Decline of Detroit).
Tags: Smart City