Smart Cities Mission was introduced by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India in 2016.
As part of Smart Cities Mission, government would collect and assess data to improve the quality of life for its citizens.
What do you mean by a smart city and Smart Cities mission?
A smart city will be perceived differently by different people. It basically means a city that extensively uses technology fr providing services to its citizens.
There will be very good transportation, social service for its residents, and allows the citizens to express themselves. Though the perception for each country will vary.
There will be world-class infrastructure and services. there is a high level of aspirations for people and the economy. There are four main pillars of this development of the smart city: Physical, Institutional, Economic, and Social.
Getting to a smart city will be a long-term plan, it will need time and a lot of hard work with consumption of loads of money in the process.
The whole aim is to give its citizen the best possible facilities with the least amount of hassle.
The main aim is to have a wonderful quality of life. There are extensive planning and execution required to bring this smart city into reality.
It also requires the smartness of the residents to keep it that way and not spoil things.
What are we looking for in a smart city?
The salient features of a smart city under Smart Cities Mission are as follows:
Enhanced use of land as a hybrid in nature.
The land can be used in more than one way so that all the facilities are available in close proximity to the city itself.
To increase the efficiency of land use there can be agriculture as well as units to process the products side by side.
These sorts of multi-utility land laws will allow the amalgamation of prosperity and growth for all.
The land and building laws shall have to be amended accordingly and set new rules so that no sector is hampered due to the presence of the other. There can also be flexible or interchangeable uses allowed in the near future.
Housing shall be inclusive in nature.
One of the main features under Smart Cities Mission is housing for all.
There should be housing facilities for all types of the social and financial status of people in the same city.
There is no place for shanty or make-shift homes. To have a proper order and beautification of the city there is to be uniformity in the infrastructure as well.
Localities must be pedestrian-friendly.
There must be reduced congestion and ample parking space for vehicles so that the footpath and side rails are free for the people to walk.
Reduction of air pollution and improvement of the environment by planting more and more trees is also a major factor to be kept in mind while designing such a city.
The roads shall be refurbished to reduce the dust and have a smooth transportation facility. The local economy must be boosted to make a city as self-reliant as possible.
The administrative kiosks to be set up within walking range so as to reduce the use of vehicles every now and then.
This will also enhance the security of the locality as everything will be close-knit and most faces will be known to you. So, any evil soul can be detected at the earliest.
Giving importance to open spaces.
The city shall not be just a place for skyscrapers. There should be open space for all, kids and adults. There must be playgrounds and parks for recreational purposes.
These green spaces will also serve as the lungs of the city. It shall improve the quality of life as people will be also spending quality time with their loved ones in their own city close by. The ecology shall thrive in this setup.
Various types of transport
there should be loads of good quality and affordable public transport to reduce the use of private vehicles. There should be transit-oriented development and roads have to be at their best and maintained that way.
The administration must be friendly and easy to use for the citizens.
All the possible facilities must be given online or at least make kiosks for them. there must be accountability and transparency in all the governance matters. Making things mobile friends will make the system cost-effective and accessible to most. Also, there can be a feedback system for a chance of improvement whenever required.
Giving a unique identity to the city based on the specialty of the work or its culture. It can be based on so many things like cuisine, education, sports, craft material, and so on.
Last but not the least, there must be an optimal use of resources. Lesser usage of resources to cater to a larger number of people so that everyone can enjoy all sorts of facilities.
What will be the strategy used to achieve Smart Cities Mission ?
The main strategy used will be those aimed at the improvement of all the things that already exist.
It is very difficult to set a whole city from scratch. There has to be renewal and refurbishing of things.
There can also be reuse and addition of new things. It will lead to retrofitting, green area enhancement, and redevelopment along with all the new setups.
The existing buildings and areas must be used optimally but keeping their health in mind. Else they have to be strengthened before further use.
There can be multiple uses of the same space. Like having parking underneath, a mall in the middle and an open terrace garden on the top.
This will not only be a new concept but also be a revolutionary idea.
Though the planning of these smart cities is a big responsibility there will always be shortcomings.
First and foremost, will be finances. Then comes the time frame decided may not be met.
Also, there may be a shortage of space, and so on. But with the scope of innovative ideas to be incorporated, these challenges can be met. Smart cities are not just a dream.
They can really be achieved with a strong will and teamwork at all levels. The goal must be giving the citizens a better life, and the results will be heart-melting in no time.
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