Best Practices for Development of Smart Cities Shared by UNSW

Best Practices for Development of Smart Cities Shared by UNSW
29/04/2017 , by , in News/Views

A knowledge sharing workshop on ‘Smart Cities and Informed Urbanisation’ in New Delhi was organized by NITI Ayog and University of New South Wales, Australia where the best practices for development of Smart Cities was shared by the University of New South Wales. This workshop was the closing in a series of three workshops, the previous two held in Sydney and Chennai.

Addressing the workshop, Urban Development Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu said that Smart Cities are engines of growth. “Sustainable urban planning and development, management of urban affairs with citizens participation , area based development, resilience to climate change, natural disasters and technology based solutions mark the flavor for a Smart Urban Mission,” he further said. He also said that the Smart City Mission is changing the way city governments are addressing issues of urban planning and execution and the objective was to raise standards of livability and urban sustainability in these areas.

Other dignitaries present in the workshop were Dr. Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Ayog, Rajiv Gauba, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Dr. Bibek Debroy, NITI Ayog Member, H.E. Harinder Sidhu, Australian High Commissioner to India and Prof Helen Lochhead, Dean, Faculty of the Built Environement, University of New South Wales, Australia.

Dr. Arvind Panagariya said in his address that the government has selected 100 cities for smart city development based on competition without any iota of controversy and was highly laudable. Basic features of a smart city include slum free city environment, proper delivery of city services including clean water and quality and assured power, affordable housing and meeting the needs of children, women and the aged. He stressed on the need for optimal use of scarce urban land through vertical development.

Rajiv Gauba, Secretary (Urban Development) said, “Smart City Mission is not a typical project oriented programme but a process driven by the ambition of the citizens for better living and is not limited by time”.

He clarified that a special purpose vehicle is being constituted for implementation of smart city plans and should not be seen as parallel power structures but as accountable execution tools with the involvement of mayors and elected representatives of people in advisory bodies.

The workshop served as a platform to bring together  leadership team of Indian state officials, smart city CEO’s and industry leaders to discuss issues with the development of urban smart cities and discuss best practice, with Australian experts at UNSW’s Smart Cities Cluster.

Talking to Realty Plus and commenting on the benefits of the workshop Prof Helen Lochhead said, “After this workshop, I think there will be pilot projects, which will come, where people we see how things can be different and there will be domino effect.” She also said that we need to have cultural change in education so we need to work with the communities and educate them about water management, waste management, about recycling etc.

She also believes that there is a great scope to do research and to analyze the existing the smart cities initiative and to see where it is effective, where there are gaps and what is the future potential. How the next 100 smart cities will be done differently and what are the lessons one can apply from this.

Adding to this she said that we also learn by mistakes, which we often don’t share and put them under table so we need to share the mistakes so that we can learn by them. “I also think that there is opportunity for capacity building, knowledge sharing, for professional development program where we can actually participate in so it’s not just about doing a degree program but working with professionals to look ways of accelerating the opportunities of smart cities initiatives,” she further reiterated.

Officials from various states also shared their views on the same. Malay Shrivastav, Principal Secretary, Urban Development and Environment Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Naresh Kumar, Chairman, New Delhi Municipal Corporation, Dharmendra Pratap Yadav, Principal Secretary, Urban Development, Government of Tamil Nadu, J M Balamurugan, Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Company, Sonal Goyal, Municipal Commissioner, Faridabad shared few case studies about their states.

Dr. Hoon Han, Associate Professor, Faculty of Built Environment and Convenor, Smart Cities Research Cluster, UNSW, Australia and Professor Christopher Pettit, Associate Director, City Futures Research Centre, UNSW, Australia showed their presentation on The New Urban Economy and Innovation Clusters in Smart Cities and Data Driven Decision Support Tools for Smart Infrastructure Management during the workshop.

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