As we gathered from earlier articles, SMART City is a Process. Like Humans, there is no finality, but rather it keeps on evolving. As populations around the globe increase, rapid urbanization spreads too, and due to which governments have to accommodate and facilitate these large numbers of people, in an organized and well planned manner with the systems, resources and knowledge available. Ninety per cent (90%) of world’s population growth is expected to occur in fast growing, advancing and under developed economies.
Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and Green Initiatives & Practices (GI&P) are the Core and the lifeline of the concept of SMART. Lately, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also considered by experts to positively contribute to the concept of SMART. These three elements are critical to lay a strong foundation, for a Sustainable SMART City.
There are four pillars of a SMART City, namely, Physical, Economic, Institutional and Social infrastructures, upon which the SMART City framework is built which provides and facilitates all services to its citizens in a swift, easy, safe, transparent, user friendly and precise targeted manner, thus greatly improving the quality and way of life for its citizens, the health and thus the longevity of life, of the citizens, increasing efficiency and productivity on all fronts and of all, while reducing costs and benefitting in savings of time, money and efforts.
The concept of SMART, can be implemented in any one or more or all areas in a city, depending on the needs and requirements, the resources available, and the capabilities and capacities of a city. A city can opt to become SMART, gradually and step by step, in selected areas. An ideal SMART City can be broadly categorized and implemented in following areas of a city :
- Building Construction and Management
- Roads, Transportation, Traffic and Parking Systems and Management
- Energy Systems and Management
- Water Systems and Management
- Waste Water and Solid Waste Systems and Management
- Safety and Security Systems and Management
- Education Healthcare and Human Services Systems and Management
- City Governance Systems and Management
- Communications Systems and Management
- Home Systems and Management
- Computing, Monitoring and Data Analytics Systems and Management
Studies establish that this ideal SMART City infrastructure and systems last upto one hundred and fifty years. This brings us to the question of financing to create an ideal SMART City. Certainly, as the proverb goes, ‘to reap the fruits of anything, one needs to put in labor’. Here, the two fundamental considerations apply , and which are – What monetized Internal Sources a city has and What the city can gather from available External sources, based on its capabilities and capacities. All the resources and avenues that a city has, need to be tapped into in an efficient, effective and optimal manner, and leverage and mobilize it all for increased monetization. Generally a Finance Mix, from the Internal Sources basket and External sources are widely practiced by cities to acquire Finances for their SMART City.
In the coming weeks, we shall delve into each of these fundamentals, to further understand the concept of SMART, and build today the cities of tomorrow, and how we as stakeholders can better not just our lives, but for generations to come, in ways which were an imagination away.