| | FEBRUARY 20198EXPERTS TALKSMART CITIES: A MISSION TOWARDS URBAN RENEWALBy Dr. Abhijit Sarkar, Country Head - Corporate Real Estate, Administration, Infrastructure & Sourcing, SharekhanAn alumnus of Institute of Business Management, Dr. Abhijit is responsible for Corporate Real Estate, Admin, General Services, Infrastructure, and other responsibilities at Sharekhan. He has worked with prominent organisations like ICICI Securities India, Bombay Dyeing, Piramal's, and several others in a leadership position with recognition by each organisation.The concept of Smart Cities are an initiative by the Government of India to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local development and harnessing technology as a means to create smart outcomes for citizens. Since, more than two-thirds of the world's population is projected to be urban by 2050. In order to meet the demands of urbanization, we will see a huge growth in new infrastructure put-in place to support the largest population centers. Smart Cities are a mission towards Urban renewal, Greenfield and Retrofitting program, whereby the objective is to develop 100 cities across the country to make them citizen friendly and sustainable to focus on following infrastructure elements, amongst many others:· Adequate water supply· Assured electricity supply· Sanitation, including solid waste management· Efficient urban mobility & public transport· Affordable housing, especially for the poor· Robust IT connectivity & digitalization· Good governance, especially e-Governance and citizen participation· Sustainable environment· Safety & security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly· Health & educationSmart city technology can make cities more effective & efficient, which is necessary given the projected rapid growth in urban populations over the next few decades, while improving services to citizens & businesses, among many other benefits. While the definition of a smart city is still evolving, a few things have become clear. Smart cities are expected to leverage information and communication technologies to enhance service levels, citizen well-being, sustainability, and economic development.Advancements in `big data' and connected devices will allow these cities to access the information that is never been available before. A well-designed data analytics strategy is expected to give city officials the ability to access & analyze a massive amount of information and easily glean meaningful, and actionable insights. When a city can monitor desired metrics in real-time, service levels will definitely rise.Smart city technology will have the ability to cre-ate more equitable environment for citizens. To en-sure digital equity, individuals must have access to THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
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