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Need For Integration And Smarter Governance To Build Smart, Sustainable Cities

The Union government has allocated a sum of rupee 6,450 crore for the smart cities mission for 2020-2021, the same from the last year’s budget.

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Sustainability being a critical component of building smart cities, systems and structures are put in place keeping sustainable concerns in mind to best improve the supply of resources in the city. The state of Florida has developed an environment-friendly railway system based on big data technologies, where the resource consumption is monitored, reduced noise and vibrations, impacts it has on the air and water quality on nature. This helps in saving costs, improve upon the delivery of services in the state and better the livelihood of residents. 

The Union government has allocated a sum of Rs 6,450 crore for the smart cities mission for 2020-2021, the same from the last year’s budget. This year’s budget included five new smart cities. Finance Minister statement was, “There is a case for maximizing the benefits of three separately developing economic activities: (1) the upcoming economic corridors; (2) revitalization of manufacturing activities; and (3) Technology and the demands of aspirational classes. We have to benefit from their convergence. Hence, it is proposed to develop five new smart cities in collaboration with States in PPP mode.”

The use of technology cannot be denied to be a key enabler in making cities smart and sustainable. Harish Nair, Global Sales Head, Public Sector UST Global at an industry presentation on building smart and sustainable cities stated there are so many technologies available but how to make the technologies work is where the challenge is. Speaking on his company’s contributions, Nair said, “We work with global fortune 500 companies to bring the best practices and learned-failures into successes experiences to various countries and customers we work with.”

Nair pointed out his idea of smart city, “Any city can be smart – what really makes a city smart is its governance.” Adding to the idea of smart cities, Nair stated that the use of technologies in a smart city should focus on the citizen’s experience of digital city services. With all the latest applications and developments in technologies, Nair said that unless we are able to integrate the multiple applications and make it beneficial for the people, it is off to no use. His recommendations were: learn, act and optimize the resources to make cities smart and sustainable. 

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smart cities union government public sector