Suggested Smart city ICT and geospatial technologies framework for India

India’s population in towns and cities is expected to reach 600 million by 2031. Urban infrastructure in these towns and cities will need to keep pace with the growing requirements in the years to come. India is also a diverse country with varied geographic, socio-economic and cultural differences across the country. The solution is to develop new smart cities and modernize existing Indian cities leveraging the efficiencies and effectiveness enabled by implementing city specific ICT solutions.

A smart city effectively delivers public services to citizens and businesses wherever they may be located, in an integrated and resource-efficient way while enabling innovative collaborations to improve the quality of life, reduce any detrimental impact on environment, grow the local and national economy and ensure safety and emergency compliances.

For creating smart cities, India needs a balanced focus in terms of modernizing city infrastructure and leveraging technology to improve efficiency and capacity of city services. In terms of city infrastructure, investments are required to modernize city services like water, energy, public transportation, roads, sewage, etc. In terms of technology, investments are required to take up technology initiatives in core city subsystems like energy, water, transportation, public safety, citizen services, city governance, healthcare, education, etc. and overall at city level to improve collaboration amongst these city subsystems, improve citizen’s participation and to wring out efficiencies from the infrastructure assets.

Essence of smartness in a city lies in integration of the core city subsystems and a deep analysis of the resultant data in ways meaningful to all the stakeholders. All of this can be facilitated by leveraging advances in technologies as well as by synergizing with several investments already made in creating technology infrastructure, all across.

NASSCOM has proposed a smart city framework for India which is driven by the unique challenges faced by the Indian cities. It covers the physical, social, environmental and institutional (governance) infrastructure requirements for a smart city driven by stakeholder collaboration and one which extensively leverages the advances made in the domain of Information and Communication Technologies.

Figure 1: Overall smart city framework for India

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The framework covers physical and social infrastructure, environment and governance systems required to design a smart city. Each of the parameters has been further elaborated to layout the components.

Physical infrastructure: Physical infrastructure illustrates requirements within various layers of energy, water, waste, mobility and real estate necessary for a robust smart city infrastructure. The objective here is to provide cost-efficient and intelligent physical infrastructure such as electricity supply, transport and traffic infrastructure, water supply system, sewerage system, sanitation facilities, drainage system and building energy, security systems, etc.

Social infrastructure: Social infrastructure relates to provisions of healthcare, education, safety, cultural requirements and establishments for citizen services required by the city. Smart social infrastructure aims to ensure intelligent and better connected infrastructure for various social needs and services for citizens

Environment: Smart cities need to be sustainable and environment-friendly. There need to be systems and processes in place to address climate change, pollution, disaster management and any city specific issues.

Governance: Smart city should comprise governance mechanisms to ensure proper functioning of all other systems and processes. This begins with having requisite policies and regulatory mechanisms, an urban local body to execute processes along with an execution mechanism

ICT and Geospatial Technologies(GT)plays a crucial role in improving quality of life of citizens, improving business infrastructure and reducing impact on environment. ICT-GT technologies have the ability to improve performance, capacity and efficiency of physical, social, environmental and institutional (governance) infrastructure. Considering the role that ICT and geospatial technologies can play in improving city performance, Integrated ICT and Geospatial Technologies Framework for 100 Smart Cities Mission is designed in alignment with the overall smart city framework for India.

Figure 2- Smart city ICT and geospatial technologies framework

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Synergies with Key National Programs- The 100 smart cities program can create significant synergies with other infrastructure related Government of India projects such as Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Heritage City Development & Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) and Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).

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