The objective of Indian government is to improve the quality of urban living of all its residents by the use of smart, modern technologies- hence the initiative of ‘Smart Cities’. The transformation of a normal city to a smart city is more of an evolution rather than a revolution. A smart city is different in terms of livability, workability and sustainability. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) component used in infrastructure will do most of the heavy lifting work, such as improving infrastructure, environment and governance through information driven data systems.
The answer to ‘who will benefit’ is that all the citizens will enjoy the benefit.
Overall digital connectivity means, broadband communication infrastructure and innovative services will combine to meet the needs of the government and its employees, as well as citizens and businesses. Collective intelligence will not only help urban planners but will increase the city’s competitiveness and provide opportunities for active participation of citizens, thanks to the open data.
Will only the young tech-savvy citizens enjoy these benefits?
It would be a mistake to assume that only young college going or tech-savvy people will enjoy the benefits. The objective of this is to improve the urban living for all its citizens. Nonetheless smart cities will have to ‘sell’ themselves to the common man so that he is aware and realizes how this transformation will help him have a better lifestyle and could improve his life. With deep penetration of smart phones into our society, the value of connectivity and understanding will be known to them.
Will it increase the cost of living and only the affluent will benefit?
This is a misconception. The smart initiatives employed in these cities will reduce many costs and improve productivity, in turn reducing the burden off the citizens. Also smart city implementation will come with government subsidy and not as an extra expense on the residents. This evolutionary transformation will prove to be more affordable than revolutionary. Areas around and in smart cities will see better infrastructure and hence there will be an increase in the rates of properties and land.
The formation of corporations and other bodies to check the evolution of smart cities will also make sure that these projects are for end users and not investment thus curbing the price rise and making it a market more affordable and user friendly.
The people of India will benefit from the smart cities projects as life will be easier, they will avail of advanced facilities like transportation, electricity through smart grid, advanced applications, modern technology to change city government and various other solutions. The smart city project will digitize India and the residents will have a better urban living.
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