Thursday, November 26, 2015

Development of Greater Noida

Sector 150 in G. Noida mooted as model of real estate development in NCR:
To boost infrastructure in the newly developed sectors along the Noida-Greater Noida expressway, Noida Authority has started working on several projects envisaging connectivity with Faridabad and Greater Noida. All projects along the Expressway were reviewed recently by Noida Authority, which is also taking up a project to develop the 45-meter road which will connect Kalindi Kunj to Greater Noida. This road will cut the travel time from Kalindi Kunj to Greater Noida to 10 minutes.

To improve public transport system between Noida and Greater Noida, both the authorities have chalked out a detailed plan which would provide metro connectivity between Noida and Greater Noida. The construction may start within six weeks. The decision was taken during the board meeting of Noida and Greater Noida authorities.

The CEOs of both the authorities decided to start the construction of metro rail between the two cities. Apart from that Noida Authority has also decided to extend the existing Metro link in Noida city. In the joint meeting, many developmental projects got their nod.

“We are re-assessing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Metro line between Noida and Greater Noida and the tenders will be floated after the State Government agrees to the proposal and clears it. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will carry out the project work while the cost will be borne by the twin authorities.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Noida Sanjeev Saran said that they will extend the Metro line from Noida City Centre to Sector 62. The Metro rail would start from Botanical Garden Metro station and would reach Greater Noida via Sector 32, 51, 83, 101, 143, 147 (Noida) and Knowledge Park, Pari Chowk (Greater Noida). The total length of the proposed extension is 29.7 kilometres and there will be 22 stations on this line. Whereas the existing Metro rail link will be extended upto six kms between Noida City Centre to Sector 62.

The CEO said that Noida Authority is in the process of augmenting the existing bus fleet of City Bus Service and for this authority would add 170 buses in its fold. For this Noida Authority would provide 40.5 crore to the State Transport Department.  Out of 170 buses, 48 buses will be in the semi low-floor category while feeder buses will be made available at all metro stations of Noida city.

The CEO also announced to make one MW solar plant on the model adopted by Gujarat Government and the authority will provide five acres of land to the concerned department. Authority will also bear the cost of the entire project and the plant are planned to make the region more environment friendly.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Smart City Race

                                                                                      Evaluation criteria for Smart City plans firmed up:
Based on credibility, feasibility and citizen engagement, Smart City plans will be evaluated by the Urban Development Ministry for selection of first batch of 20 cities after detailed consultation with states and urban local bodies (ULB).

New exit rules may attract private players to smart cities:
Easier rules will come as a lifeline for fund-starved developers engaged in private township projects, New Delhi, with just 3% of NCT population, in Smart City race: The New Delhi area includes government offices, houses of officials and ministers, diplomatic missions, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House and SC. Ghaziabad has been selected in the initial phase of the Central government’s Smart City project and a consultant will prepare a detailed project report to move Ghaziabad into the second phase of the scheme.

‘Green building costs just 10% higher than conventional ones’: With Nagpur's name included in list of 'Smart Cities' in India, the city needs to conform to its strict guidelines to become eligible for the grants under it. One of the conditions is to have many 'green buildings' that are not only cost effective in long run but also helps owners to maintain good health, apart from helping to preserve environment by saving light and water.

Maharashtra wants Pimpri Chinchwad name in Smart City Mission list:
The state government had clubbed Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad while selecting 10 cities from the state. Lower Parel has edge in Smart City race:
The Smart City detailed project report for Mumbai, which is being prepared by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), is in its final stages, and senior civic officials said Lower Parel in South Mumbai was one of the strongest contenders for area-based development. Nariman Point, Andheri (W) and Fort are also being considered.

Dharamsala to be developed as Smart City:
The state government was mulling to develop Dharamsala into a 'Smart City' as it is an international tourist destination of the country.

The race between Rae Bareli and Meerut to get selected under the Centre’s Smart City Mission has gained impetus, with both the Rae Bareli MP and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s office and BJP leaders from Meerut urging the UP government to take up their cause.
After the Union Urban Development Ministry announced that there was a tie between Rae Bareli and Meerut for the 13th ‘Smart City’ from UP and the state government was asked to take a final call, BJP leaders and Sonia’s office have both approached the government.

Let us see what the final list adds and what it deletes.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Real estate Regulatory bill

Real estate bill- All changes by Rajya Sabha panel accepted: The government is clearing the decks for passage of the crucial real estate bill in the forthcoming winter session of Parliament. The urban development ministry has accepted all the amendments proposed by a parliamentary committee and is readying to move the amended legislation for Cabinet approval and finally push it through Parliament.

Highlights of Real Estate Bill: 
All developers will have to register their projects with a real estate regulator. All states across the country will have one regulator which will settle disputes and impose compensation.
Neither housing nor commercial projects can be launched unless it got registered with the real estate regulator of the state. If the bill is passed in the Parliament, the ongoing projects, which are yet to receive completion certificates, will also have to abide by the same rule. Developers can't even advertise of their projects without prior registration with the real estate authority.
Developers cannot sell properties by showcasing the super area. Instead, the developers will have to disclose the carpet area before putting any advertisements.

The regulator authorities will monitor layout plans which should be declared during the time of registration of the project. Developers need to mention all details of contractor, architect, structural engineer, etc. associated with the project. Any buyer will get all information related to the project from the real estate regulator authorities. At least two-third buyers' consent to be needed if the developer wants to alter plans, structural designs and specifications of the building.

Developers will be responsible for structural defects and they need to refund money in cases of default. Any third party or broker, who are interested to sell flats or an apartment, will be asked to register their names with the regulatory body. The brokers also will be penalised for non-compliance.

Developers will have to pay refund with interest to buyers in case they fail to deliver projects on time. Promoters will have to deposit 50 per cent of the amounts collected from buyers in a separate bank account within 15 days. It will ensure that they will complete the project on time. The real estate regulator can impose penalty on developers if they violate any rules set by the authority. Projects can be de-registered and penalties might be imposed on the developer in such cases. Developers may have to pay a fine up to 10 per cent of project cost. Misinformation will attract fine of 5 per cent of project cost.

What are the changes/amendments made in the bill by NDA? Congress leader Ajay Maken in his blog highlighted a few points which actually irked Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders. Here are the points, which according to Congress, are problematic amendments to the bill. UPA had set the threshold of 70% of buyers' money which should be kept aside in a separate bank account by developers. The 70% money was to be used for construction cost. Now NDA reduced the amount and made it to 50%. In UPA's bill, builders were not allowed to make any changes in the plan of the project once it got clearance from the regulator. But now, they can make 'minor altercations'. Unlike the present bill, the previous bill had a clear definition of 'carpet area'. In NDA's bill, 'carpet area' definition replaced the definition of 'rentable area' which is used by the National Building Code. NDA's bill has a clause which may help developers in case of any delay of the project. Builders will not face penalties for delays due to "issue of completion certificate, approvals etc." Ajay Maken said that above mentioned clause can be misused easily by the developers.

Thus, even though the Real Estate Regulatory Bill is the step in the right direction, the government should put effort to bring in more clarity to make it really work for customers and developers alike.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Affordable Housing- Mumbai

Land identified in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) for affordable housing: The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) has identified land parcels spread over 1,100 acres across Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) for developing affordable housing projects. Maharashtra housing body earmarks 1,100 acres for affordable housing. The land parcels are in Thane, Raigad and newly formed district Palghar, which includes Vasai & Virar. Mumbai Metropolitan Region includes cities of Mumbai, Thane & Navi Mumbai.

After the decision of state government, about 30 developers have submitted proposals to build low-cost houses in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region along with government-owned agency.

Big names, with advanced technology in construction sector, would be roped in by the state government to construct five lakh affordable houses in Mumbai, in the next five years, fulfilling Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of providing affordable houses by 2022. Once these houses are ready, the ever-soaring cost of living in Mumbai shall automatically start sliding.

The land cost, the bulk of expenditure for any real estate project, will be minimum in this case as these land parcels will be allotted by the government to the state housing authority. The process of planning and drawing of a roadmap for these projects will be initiated after the land allotment.

The state minister of housing, labour and mines Prakash Mehta had last month announced that Maharashtra is considering opening up land parcels under the no-development zones as well as plots belonging to Indian defence personnel in an effort to build affordable houses in Mumbai. The Maharashtra government has already entered into an agreement with the defence ministry that will allow land under its control in Mumbai to be used for mass housing.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Govt Removes FDI Restrictions

Realty set for big revival as govt removes FDI restrictions:
The government recently removed all restrictions on foreign direct investments into the real estate and construction sector except for a three-year lock-in period for select projects, in a major boost to the cash-starved sector at this stage. This will have a huge positive impact on the housing sector as a whole, but much more so on the affordable housing segment, which was so far not a beneficiary of FDI in any significant manner. That is because the government has done away with restrictions on size and minimum capitalisation, meaning that FDI can now be brought into the construction sector in any amount and for any size of project. Also, there will now be no lock-in period for FDI investments into hotels and resorts, hospitals, SEZs, educational institutions, old age homes and NRI investments. The restriction that funds had to be brought into the country within six months of commencement of business has also been removed.

Bengaluru is top destination for real estate investments:
Nearly 13 per cent Rs 44,450 crore that PEs have invested in property market from 2013 have come to the city.

UP News:
Airport line tech to speed up work on Noida Metro:
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has tested and lifted the first 'U-girder', or U-shaped support beam, for the Noida-Greater Noida Metro alignment, and will install the first viaduct on the 29.9km corridor by the end of the year.
Girders directly bear the load of Metro tracks and the use of U-shaped ones have helped speed up construction work. The U-girders measure 27 metres in length which allows DMRC to use only two spans to install one segment of viaduct, whereas several spans of normal girders would have been required for installing the same viaduct. This technology was used by DMRC for the Airport line and the Badarpur-Faridabad corridor.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Collaborative Marketing

What is collaborative marketing? The collaborative marketing isn’t simply a new way of buying or selling: it’s a powerful movement in which people are getting goods and services from each other (what people call the “sharing economy”), or even making them outright (also known as the “maker movement”). Just as social media enabled peer-to-peer sharing of content, the technologies of the collaborative economy now enables peer-to-peer sharing of goods, services, transportation, space and money at a speed and scale that were unimaginable a decade ago.

Companies must be able to understand the customer insight and collaboration skills that they need to develop in order to compete effectively in the collaborative economy for years to come. Working as a team creates a powerful connection, not just as business owners, but as human beings. When people are connected in helping each other succeed they build a referral network that succeeds both online and offline.

We now have research to show that companies need to embrace the core innovations of the collaborative economy if they want to thrive in the era of Kickstarter, Uber and Taskrabbit. Forming strategic marketing collaborations with other businesses is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach new audiences. As customers are now coming forward to contribute their expertise, time, and resources in marketing exchanges in blogs, social media, and many interactive forums, we are witnessing the emergence of collaborative marketing.

Collaborative marketing is now becoming the process of working together with customers to create value in marketing exchanges. Some of the top companies that have used relationship marketing are required to think first about how to relate to their customers. In contrast, with the active customer, collaborative marketing requires companies to think about collaborating with customers, making sure they have an integral part in the company’s marketing activities. In collaborative marketing, the strategy network becomes the enabler of collaborative exchanges and goes way beyond relationship exchanges because companies involve mutual dependence and maximization of shared benefits to their customers.

If established companies want to tap the power of price, convenience and brand as competitive advantages in the era of the collaborative economy, however, they will have to embrace the lessons of sharing startups’ success. Companies that want to compete on price need to launch their own peer-to-peer marketplaces—like Walmart’s aftermarket for used video games—in order to reduce their customers’ total cost of ownership. Companies that want to offer customers the benefit of convenience can provide the ancillary services and products they need—the way Home Depot now lets its customers rent tools and equipment. And companies that want to leverage the power of their existing brand to attract sharing customers need to find ways to offer their traditional products via ownership or access—just as BMW has done, by introducing the DriveNow service that lets people get BMW vehicles when and where they need them.

The biggest challenge for most new brands is lack of awareness — which is why more than 80% of businesses recognise “finding new customers” as one of their biggest challenges to growth. This need, combined with limited budgets, is what drives a number of savvy brands to explore marketing collaborations to fuel their business. But collaboration remains one of the best-kept secrets of the entrepreneurial world.

More than 60% of start-ups and small businesses are working together to find new customers because it can be one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to grow a business. At one end of the scale, businesses are co-creating completely new products, or running whole marketing campaigns or on-pack promotions together. At the other end of the scale, savvy start-ups get together with other brands to promote each other’s brands and share each other’s products to expand their own reach.

Collaborative Marketing, in a nutshell, is the process of sharing resources to increase leads, brand, and influence. Not surprisingly, the Internet has made the option of collaborative marketing easier than ever. Are we ready for this paradigm shift? The answer to this question must be well thought out and carefully planned before we begin this new collaborative endeavor. If done correctly and utilized properly, this could grow our business exponentially.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Creating Smart Cities - 2

The strategic components of Area-based development in the Smart Cities Mission are city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city extension (greenfield development) plus a Pan-city initiative in which Smart Solutions are applied covering larger parts of the city.

Let us get into the descriptions of the three models of Area-based Smart City Development: Retrofitting will introduce planning in an existing built-up area to achieve Smart City objectives, along with other objectives, to make the existing area more efficient and liveable. In retrofitting, an area consisting of more than 500 acres will be identified by the city in consultation with citizens. Depending on the existing level of infrastructure services in the identified area and the vision of the residents, the cities will prepare a strategy to become smart. Since existing structures are largely to remain intact in this model, it is expected that more intensive infrastructure service levels and a large number of smart applications will be packed into the retrofitted Smart City. This strategy may also be completed in a shorter time frame, leading to its replication in another part of the city.

Redevelopment will effect a replacement of the existing built-up environment and enable co-creation of a new layout with enhanced infrastructure using mixed land use and increased density. Redevelopment envisages an area of more than 50 acres, identified by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in consultation with citizens. For instance, a new layout plan of the identified area will be prepared with mixed land-use, higher FSI and high ground coverage. Two examples of the redevelopment model are the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Project in Mumbai (also called the Bhendi Bazaar Project) and the redevelopment of East Kidwai Nagar in New Delhi being undertaken by the National Building Construction Corporation.

Greenfield development will introduce most of the Smart Solutions in a previously vacant area (more than 250 acres) using innovative planning, plan financing and plan implementation tools (e.g. land pooling/ land reconstitution) with provision for affordable housing, especially for the poor. Greenfield developments are required around cities in order to address the needs of the expanding population. One well known example is the GIFT City in Gujarat. Unlike retrofitting and redevelopment, greenfield developments could be located either within the limits of the ULB or within the limits of the local Urban Development Authority (UDA).

Pan-city development envisages application of selected Smart Solutions to the existing city-wide infrastructure. Application of Smart Solutions will involve the use of technology, information and data to make infrastructure and services better. For example, applying Smart Solutions in the transport sector (intelligent traffic management system) and reducing average commute time or cost to citizens will have positive effects on productivity and quality of life of citizens. Another example can be waste water recycling and smart metering which can make a substantial contribution to better water management in the city.

The Smart City proposal of each shortlisted city is expected to encapsulate either a retrofitting or redevelopment or greenfield development model, or a mix thereof and a Pan-city feature with Smart Solution(s). It is important to note that pan-city is an additional feature to be provided. Since Smart City is taking a compact area approach, it is necessary that all the city residents feel there is something in it for them also. Therefore, the additional requirement of some (at least one) city- wide smart solution has been put in the scheme to make it inclusive.

Financing of Smart Cities 
The Smart City Mission will be operated as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) and the Central Government proposes to give financial support to the Mission to the extent of Rs. 48,000 crores over five years i.e. on an average Rs. 100 crore per city per year. An equal amount, on a matching basis, will have to be contributed by the State/ULB; therefore, nearly Rupees one lakh crore of Government/ULB funds will be available for Smart Cities development. The project cost of each Smart City proposal will vary depending upon the level of ambition, model and capacity to execute and repay. It is anticipated that substantial funds will be required to implement the Smart City proposal and towards this end, Government grants of both the Centre and State will be leveraged to attract funding from internal and external sources.

The success of this endeavour will depend upon the robustness of SPV’s revenue model and comfort provided to lenders and investors. A number of State Governments have successfully set up financial intermediaries (such as Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Orissa, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar) which can be tapped for support and other States may consider some similar set up in their respective States. Some form of guarantee by the State or such a financial intermediary could also be considered as instrument of comfort referred to above. It is expected that a number of schemes in the Smart City will be taken up on PPP basis and the SPVs have to accomplish this.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Creating Smart Cities - 1

There's no reason why we can't dramatically improve the livability and creativity of cities. Businesses and communities worldwide are cooperating to find solutions that can be integrated flexibly, sustainably and aesthetically into urban structures to provide a better quality of life.

Most commuters are all-too familiar with traffic jams or delays in public transportation. Bikers and walkers are also affected by the stop-and-go of city traffic. Smart mobility has to be worked out for smart cities, which offers cities efficient, eco-friendly and comfortable transportation options. Cyclists and pedestrians in the smart cities of tomorrow might enjoy elevated paths that eliminate waiting at crosswalks. Urban railway stations can serve larger areas by installing fast-moving walkways that utilize overlapping panels to allow for a safe, slow start and finish, yet quicker speeds in transit. Longer distances can be traversed on raised roadways for driverless vehicles.

Improvements such as these also enrich the lives of people who don’t have cars of their own. Persons with disabilities particularly benefit from better connections that help them travel and reach new places in the cities they live in. With public transport reaching new levels of efficiency, many of today’s car drivers might decide to give up their vehicles altogether. Indeed, future public systems may work so well that cities could opt for car-free city centers.

The reduction in energy consumption and emissions that comes as a bonus protects the environment and makes the city an even better place to live. Smart cities pave the way to efficient, eco-friendly living. Traffic jams, pollution, derelict areas, these are problems that many cities face. And rising urban populations mean these problems may soon get a great deal worse.

The move toward smarter cities is one way to help urban areas grow and become better places to live at the same time. Imagine a city you know. How easy is it to drive there and find a parking space? Is the shopping district crowded; is it even safe to ride a bike? Now imagine that same city with even more cars, bikes and, of course, people. Lots more people. According to the United Nations, the world’s urban population will increase from around 3.92 billion in 2015 to 6.25 billion in 2050. That’s an increase of nearly 60 percent.

One way to accommodate this trend could be so-called “smart cities”. Cities that can source and interconnect the best solutions for mobility, sustainable energy, space utilization and, most importantly, offer a great place to live and work, despite rising population densities. Smart cities are green cities. Not only should cities function better at every level, they should achieve smart, sustainable economic growth while minimizing their impact on the environment.

At its most basic level, a city is a collection of networks: networks of people, technologies and infrastructure. When these networks work together well, they enable reduced energy consumption, optimal use of space and improved quality of life. Hoping and looking forward for Delhi as a smart city in near future. Possible only if action starts today!!

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Future is Smart

Smart cities make the most efficient use of the space and resources they have to provide an attractive and clean place to live. Everything and everyone works together harmoniously contributing ideas and finding solutions. If cities want to get smarter, they need to involve everybody. Citizen participation is the key. The users of public infrastructure are often the best source of ideas to inspire intelligent solutions. Social media is one way that businesses and city administrators can collaborate with the public. Users can post suggestions for improvement on company Facebook pages and interact with politicians on Twitter. Businesses can also contribute to better life in the modern metropolis. They can install the charging stations for e-vehicles, improve energy efficiency, offer cleaner energies and make getting around easier for everyone. Public-private partnerships are definitely a smart way to employ the competitive ingenuity of the private sector in order to improve public services.

The quality of urban life also depends upon having the right advocates for the environment. Ideas may flow in from so-called “think tanks”, cross-disciplinary teams in non-profit organizations or academic research centers, from anywhere. The MIT Media Lab, for example, has come up with an electric, stackable city vehicle for car sharing in urban settings. Sustainability degree programs and multi-field research teams can now also be found in universities around the world. Further support can come from standards and voluntary certification programs, which bolster the image and visibility of sustainable design. Furthermore, the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Certificate is a green building certification program that recognizes buildings for efficient energy consumption, water usage, recycling practices and air quality. International and regional certifications recognize businesses for going beyond the legal requirements. In return, companies can improve their image by showcasing their high standards of sustainability.

Ultimately all of this stuff can come together, a new model for mobility, a new model for housing, a new model for how we live and work, a path to market for advanced technologies, but in the end the main thing we need to focus on are people. Cities are all about people. They're places for people. There's no reason why we can't dramatically improve the livability and creativity of cities.

There are many initiatives that lead to smarter cities. They can involve construction, building management, urban planning, revitalization, mass transportation and city administration, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Renewable energies from wind, solar and thermal sources play a major role, because, among other things, public health depends on a healthy environment. Renewable energies support reduced fuel consumption and cleaner air, but cities will also have to learn to use energy more efficiently to really go green.

Buildings, for example, are responsible for 40% of the world’s energy consumption, making them an obvious target for cities that aim to reduce their carbon footprint. Buildings are ripe for the age of smart cities, with an expanding web of development across myriad fields: green roofing, combined heat and power, solar tech and much more. Even more exotic and innovative ideas like power-generating elevators are gaining ground, as well. Smart technology can also improve city living at the personal level. E-governance programs offer a direct link between citizens and public administrators. Smartphone apps may address public health, help people improve their energy efficiency or even just find the nearest parking space or ride sharing opportunities.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mantras of the Smart City- 2

Smart cities are the cities that use information and communications technologies to improve livability —analyze them to uncover otherwise hidden clues that allow them to judge the effectiveness of programs, set budget priorities and deploy emergency relief the moment disaster strikes.

The real game is understanding, how technology can help make cities smarter:

Sharing the vision: how politicians make effective decisions based on a shared and consistent vision of the city, notably through public consultation and other means to involve all stakeholders.

Effective governance: the successful implementation of an Integrated Mobility Plan at metropolitan level is required.

Long-term political commitment: long-term political commitment is the key to realize the vision of an integrated mobility plan and turn words into action.

Strong links with land-use planning and economic development: putting integrated land-use and economic development at the heart of transport projects.

Long-term funding commitment: consistent and long-term funding strategy needs to be in place. 

Hardly a week passes without a mayor somewhere in the world unveiling the next ‘smart-city’. As they go about their business, cities produce a vast amount of data and smartness comes when you put that data to work. So far, this has rarely translated into game changing success: except in the area of public transport, apps using open data have made the jump from interesting novelty to reliable consumer service. Much can be learnt from the sector and panelists from the public transport sector, industry leaders and other smart cities.

Any smart city has to work on building a permanent infrastructure to collect Big Data. Installing hundreds of environmental sensors that will measure temperature, humidity, light, sound and cellphone signals. All this data shall enable the city to become a safer and cleaner city. The sensors can be placed on top of lampposts or other suitable locations.

Smart cities are nothing but they are true data generators, where all sensors placed within a city gathers vast amounts of data. And once the data is collected, it should be available as an open source to the public, so that anyone can access the data and make use of it. This would result in great new applications that citizens will come up with, that will have a positive affect on the city, helping it become truly a smart city.

Environmental sensors, just one of such concept for smart city, there are a lot of other possibilities when turning to sensors and data. For example:

Traffic management
Smart traffic management enabling car drivers to face less traffic jams, as data will tell which areas are busy. Traffic lights can automatically adjust to reduce congestion. Smart parking sensors automatically alerting drivers for free parking spaces and street lights only be turned on if someone is approaching, saving a lot of energy.
Maintenance management
Thanks to sensors, cities could turn to preventative maintenance management, saving the community a lot of money in unnecessary maintenance. Apart from citizens that can report damages on urban elements via smartphones, it becomes a lot more interesting if a traffic light informs the community that a repair is imminent.
Smart grids
Smart cities that contain smart energy grids will be a lot more efficient with their energy. A smart grid will be able to manage all the electric vehicles that require energy. It will be able to sense the amount of citizens present in time and location and adjust lighting accordingly. Smart grids will help community buildings also save a lot of energy and become more efficient.

Of course, these three examples are just the beginning. Cities will take another decade or two before they become true smart cities, where everything is connected.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Mantras of the Smart City- 1

Cities are complex real time systems that generate huge amounts of data. The intelligent use of this data, supported by information and communication technologies, can make it easier to tackle present and future challenges. Smart cities take full advantage of the potential of these technological advances to save costs, by being more efficient, provide new economic and social services, reduce their environmental footprint, stimulate local innovation and progress towards new forms of governance.

Smart Cities are based on the technological solutions from sensors to balanced scorecards that improve cities’ efficiency and sustainability. These days, every city wants to be Smart, but it is not that simple. Many cities invest in technology to become a Smart City without first considering their needs and what they wish to achieve with all this. Cities sometimes define a platform, or several platforms, only to discover that they have isolated, independent systems, from which they cannot gather and integrate data in order to be able to obtain valuable information. A Smart City is capable of capturing the useful data generated in it, transporting them through communication networks, centralizing them in a balanced scorecard and being able to provide an appropriate response in real time, enabling proper operation of infrastructure and services. Additionally, it can anticipate possible incidents and offer appropriate urban solutions.

The design of a Smart City is necessarily a shared work at three levels. Public authority leadership, from the party responsible for city design and management, is as necessary as the collaboration of private companies as service providers. And of course, the active involvement of citizens as end users is just as important. All over the world, industrialisation and knowledge-dominated service economies are reinforcing the role of urban centres.

Many cities have grown exponentially over the last few decades, but the smaller ones, in industrialised countries, are also expanding. This growth comes with an environmental and social cost for both the cities and the people who live in them. Mobility in the early 21st century is changing and also is shrinking cities, smart technology and new behaviours are changing the way they move.

Cities may be at different stages of maturity around the world, but they all have to bring their development onto a sustainable path. Integrated Mobility Plans (IMPs) are key tools that can be used to address this challenge. An IMP provides a vision for successful urban mobility, and ensures that people and places can connect, both now and in the future. Therefore, numerous cities world-wide are thinking of, or have already written IMPs.

They are also looking at how technology, especially ICT can help reach a more efficient level of organisation, and lead the way in becoming a smart city. A wider city plan designating public transport as the backbone of the sustainable urban mobility system must be complemented and supported by efforts in other local policy areas, such as land-use planning, mobility management, combined mobility, freight. Other key sectors, such as environment, energy, social services and health care are also an important part of the development.

Drawing up the plan will bring stakeholders from all sectors together around the same table, thus helping to understand challenges from different angles. This also means consulting citizens and stakeholders during the development phase of the plan. But the main challenge lies in how these plans can be effectively implemented.

However there appear to have been three main mantras for smart cities, number one- embraced technology and development, moving tech company driven, to city government driver, to, finally, citizen driven. Shall discuss more in next post.......

Monday, September 7, 2015

Becoming a Smart City

Most of the recent articles about smart cities have originated recently, where the Prime Minister has vowed to create 100 smart cities. Unlike projects aimed at creating smart cities from the ground up, India’s efforts are focusing on turning existing cities into smart cities. It’s an ambitious plan and big companies like IBM and Cisco are scrambling to be part of it.

The transformation from a ‘normal’ city to a ‘smart city’ is more evolution than revolution. That is both good and bad news for the smart cities movement. It’s good news because evolutionary transformations are generally more affordable than revolutionary ones. It’s bad news because revolutions inspire a lot more emotion and commitment than evolutionary changes. Given that smart cities aim to improve the lives of all their residents, it may be somewhat surprising to find that the people who know the least about them are the ones who stand to gain the most.

When considering the future of cities, there are lots of areas in need of optimisation: Climate-neutrality, Multi-Modality, Sustainability etc. The term ‘smart city’ encompasses all these aspects and has become synonymous for many people with the dynamically interconnected city of tomorrow. This vision can now become reality in the not too distant future! Already, large companies such as Cisco and IBM are working with universities and civic planning authorities to develop data-driven systems for transport, waste management, law enforcement, and energy use to make them more efficient and improve the lives of citizens. We will interact and get information from these smart systems using our smart phones, watches and other wearables, and crucially, the machines will also speak to each other. Garbage trucks will be alerted to the location of refuse that needs collecting, and sensors in our cars will direct us towards available parking spaces.

No single urban plan is right for every city. Just as every city is unique, its path to becoming a smart city is unique. Every city has to determine how it envisions its future as a smart city and chart out the journey towards it. That’s why all stakeholders need to be involved in the planning and implementation of that vision. The ultimate goal is to make technologies that improve our lives such an intimate part of our daily activities that we can’t imagine how we ever lived without them. The transformation from a normal to a smart city is likely to be evolutionary not revolutionary. The transformation may be so slow that people don’t really feel the change in their daily lives until all of the pieces are in place. Even then, residents are unlikely to wake one morning with the startling realization that city they live in is smart. They’ll probably appreciate how much easier life is in a connected and optimized city; but, for them, it won’t be a brave, new world but a new normalized environment.

A successful smart city strategy requires a strong vision, effective governance, long-term political commitment, new funding arrangements and most importantly ‘connectivity’ and ‘collaboration’ within the transport sector and with other city services. Public transport plays the central role in smart cities. The Smart Cities Mission is the vision of our Prime Minister to change the face of urban India. A change that not only brings prestige to the nation, but also induces national growth and prosperity. The Smart Cities Mission complemented by AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) and PMAY(Pradhan Mantri Was Yojana) has the potential to make the Indian experience a global model of good practice and further augment prestige and national pride. To fulfill Modi’s vision, two main processes go hand in hand. Action at the national level, which including leading and coordinating activities of the Smart Cities Mission, AMRUT and PMAY, and creating an enabling environment for implementation.

It is widely expected that the process at the national level will move ahead under the leadership of the PM and his team, including the Ministries of Finance and Urban Development. Also crucial is providing leadership in collaboration with State Governments to build capacity at the local level. Action at the local level is, however, the single most important factor responsible for fulfilment of Modi’s vision. Although there exists considerable amount of good intention at the local level, implementation requires more than just good intention. It needs effective local leadership, managerial and technical capacity and skills to push the process through. Thus for municipalities to play their role effectively in implementation, their capacity must be built professionally, systematically and quickly in order to keep pace with the speed the PM wishes the implementation to proceed. Although local urban bodies need national and State leadership and assistance to build local capacity, equally important is local commitment and initiatives to build their own capacity significantly. Thus, if there is an expectation that the selected municipalities will implement the projects at the speed the PM wants, then building municipal capacity needs to begin now. Building local capacity is much more than training, it entails development of local elected representatives, officials of urban local bodies and stakeholders at the state level; the organisation of municipalities and; the environment within which municipalities operate.

The Government decision to appoint CEOs for Smart Cities, who will drive the concept and execute the programme rather than leave these tasks to municipal bodies alone, is an attempt to import capacity at the level of the organisation of municipalities. Appointment of CEOs is a good decision, however, it can’t completely fill the capacity gap. CEOs need the cooperation of many more stakeholders within and without municipalities for successful implementation. Capacity building should not stop with appointment of CEOs. Further, CEOs will be appointed only for 100 Smart Cities. The Smart Cities Mission presents a golden opportunity to improve the beauty of our cities and promote national prosperity. Never before has there been such volume of commitment at the highest level of Government to change the face of urban India. We are also anxious because we do not yet see an adequate level of capacity in urban local bodies to implement the vision, or an adequate level of commitment at the national level for building the capacity of local Governments. No doubt there is awareness and good intention, but a clear strategy and action plan are missing. A few sporadic programmes of training would be of little consequence.

India is not a small country, it is a continent. Thus the volume of capacity building must match its size. Urban India has been provided with a golden opportunity not only with the support of the most powerful man in the nation — PM Modi — but also with his strong commitment to the mission. Whether India will make use of this opportunity adequately or not is to be seen in the years to come. It will mainly depend on how seriously we take the capacity of urban local bodies in the context of the mission.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Making Delhi A Smart City

Imagine driving in Delhi without getting trapped in traffic, being able to drift around freely, knowing where to park and hopping on the public transport without losing time, energy and patience.

Let us see where we are and where we have to go!!

Metropolitan Cities like Delhi, are the places where 50% of the world’s population live today, Responsible for 75% of its energy consumption and 80% of its carbon emissions - and cities are growing. Cities face huge challenges: congestion, pollution, blackouts, crime, debt and rising costs - while competing with each other for investment, jobs and talents.

Cities need to become smarter: more efficient, sustainable and liveable.

5 Basic steps to make a city smart:
1. Vision: setting the goal and the roadmap to get there
2. Solutions: bringing in the technology to improve the efficiency of the urban systems
3. Integration: combining information and operations for overall city efficiency
4. Innovation: building each city’s specific business model
5. Collaboration: driving collaboration between global players and local stakeholders

As cities grow and expand, so will urban transportation systems - increasing traffic congestion, threatening safety, wasting commuter time and valuable fuel, and impacting the environment. Cities are where traffic flows – cars, buses, subways and trains epitomise city life.

Cities need to make mobility smarter: more efficient, reliable and green. green. Urban populations will nearly double by 2050 accounting for 70 percent of the world’s population. Undoubtedly, transportation systems will be impacted, increasing congestion, threatening safety, delaying commuters, burning up valuable fuel, and harming the environment. To meet current and anticipated challenges, Smart Cities around the world are finding Smart Mobility solutions for integrated city management—improving mobility for citizens through operational efficiency and smart information. Reduce urban traffic congestion and improve air quality through centralized, real-time adaptive traffic management.

As things stand, the urbanization agenda is: urban renewal; rejuvenation and the implementation of smart city concept; While renewal and rejuvenation are relatively easier to grasp, there appears to be only an evocative imagination in the public mind as to what the contours of a smart city could be. So, here are few suggested attributes that may well describe, and to some extent define a smart city. 

Information, communication, and technology (ICT)-enabled governance: The international and domestic big daddies of the information technology (IT) world have, with their aggressive presentations, virtually hijacked the smart city definition to only mean IT-enabled administration and governance. Often referred to as "smart government", the use of integrated technology platforms that are easily accessible across various devices is certainly key to providing access, transparency, speed, participation and redressal in public services.

Efficient utilities - energy, water, solid waste and effluents: This area is often the most talked about after IT. Smart meters, renewable energy, energy conservation, water harvesting, effluent recycling, scientific solid waste disposal methods etc.. all clearly mark the hallmark of a smart city.

Meaningful PPPs: The creative use of public-private partnerships (PPPs) is a key attribute of the smart city concept. PPPs are to be used not only as a source of much-needed capital but also for the efficient delivery of utilities with agreed service-level standards. PPPs could range from health care to street lighting; and be used wherever there is a clear connection between the provision of a service and the ability to charge for the same - directly or even indirectly.

Safety and security: This aspect is high in public consciousness, especially with disconcerting news on the safety of women, road rage, robbery attacks on the elderly and juvenile delinquency. Clearly, networks of video cameras, brightly lit public areas, intensive patrolling and surveillance, identity-verified access, and rapid response to emergency calls are all on the expectations list.

Financial sustainability: The 74th Amendment to the Constitution (1992) enjoins towns and cities to "take charge of their own destinies". Nowhere is this more important than financial independence. This is only possible with elaborate and extensive tapping of all sources of revenue - property taxes, advertisements etc. coupled with astute collection of user-pay charges across the full range of utilities.

Citizen-participative local government: The enthusiastic participation of citizens in local issues needs careful designing of electoral and participative forums. The current apathy towards civic elections needs comprehensive reversal.

Sufficient social capital: Smart cities cannot be devoid of the appropriate levels of social infrastructure - like schools, hospitals, public spaces, sporting and recreational grounds and retail and entertainment venues. Along with a brain that works, and hands and legs that move, it must also have a heart that beats to the joys of daily living.

Transit-oriented habitats: "Walk-to-work" is the dream solution here. Nevertheless, conveniently networked public transportation with first- and last-mile connectivity’s in place, reduced motivation to use personal vehicles, use of electric cars, and bicycle paths are all in the expectation matrix. 

Green features: Minimizing the carbon footprint and eco-friendliness are important. Parks and verdant open spaces, absence of pollution, use of renewables, conservation and recycling are mandatory. It has rooftop solar energy, electric cars and electric-powered bicycles.

India has 5,545 urban agglomerations. Class 1 towns (called cities) are those with a population of 100,000 and above. This should be the minimum population cut-off for a smart city. Achieving all the above-mentioned attributes may well be Utopian. So, maybe even if seventy percent of them are achieved, we should have no hesitation in declaring an urban habitation as a smart city.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Making a Smart City

Turning Delhi and its metropolitan area into a Smart City as a vision is beautiful but turning it into a reality would require lot of combined efforts. Making a Smart City out of a city is a complex process involving deep - rooted innovation with regard to: tangible and intangible infrastructures, the lifestyles of citizens; the regeneration and design of public spaces, strategies and tools to develop the economy and the handling of complexities. It requires a rethinking of policies and actions in order to create a community life and compete in a globalized world, also in terms of the changing rhythms of life and work in the "Smart" city. Many different players are part of this process: from large multinationals to social enterprises, from small and medium businesses to universities, from research centers to the world of associations. Public institutions, especially local ones, can play central role in facilitating, connecting and coordinating.

Public administration on its own can not transform a city into a smart city, but it does have the task of creating a favorable environment where the best and blue chip players within its area, work successfully towards common goals and shared vision. Smart city not only cultivates its technological component, but also combines: economic development and social inclusion, innovation and training, research and participation, and, at the same time, acquires all the tools necessary to provide the strategic framework, the internal coordination and the synergy, bringing together the different players.

In order to help trigger a virtuous circle, enhance existing synergies, meet the City's needs and making things practical and effective would call for active citizenship, following a public - public partnership model, building a strategy with the stakeholders and to foster a framework of governance suitable for a smart city. Pillars of Smart City are - Smart Economy, Smart Living, Smart Environment, Smart Mobility, Smart People. In parallel with the above process, an audit, comparison and analysis of 'smart' topics identifying potential promoters interested in the implementation of the smart process who could not only contribute with ideas and research, but also with funds and therefore, invest in the rebuilding of Delhi as a Smart City.

The underlying intention being the enhancement of the city, the social fabric of its neighbourhoods, so different in size and features so distinctive, it underlines that we should try and use the springboard for the development of a smart city which already exists in Digital, in consisting infrastructures and services including: a dense fiber networks optic, Wi-Fi hot spots, digital areas, and open data portals, among other things. All these have the aim of creating welcoming, resilient, flexible, changing city, and complement policies such as big data analysis, city EMF (electric and magnetic fields) structure plans, and so on. Through this existing data we can have a complete overview and understanding of how the smart processes can be put into place.

Delhi is already a hub of economic, social and cultural networks which are truly globulin nature. In order to be a pilot for smart, green and inclusive urban policies, Delhi must be Both inward and outward - looking. Smart City to a systemic and coordinated management of urban mobility, Which means reorganising the effectively transport demand, improving the use of public transport providing services and parking systems. The city has to enhance liveability by promoting all forms of sustainable mobility around the city where commuting becomes a pleasure, a moment of conscious choice with no waste nor waiting and with a reduced environmental impact. Mobility is smart if it leads to a better quality of life through effective, accessible and intelligent tools aimed at the optimisation of resources for all citizens, tourists and city users.

Smart City strives towards improving the quality of the environment, Which means improving the quality of life of its citizens. Caring for our surroundings means curbing pollution, improving energy efficiency in buildings and public lighting, and achieving better waste management and to citywide implementing smart grid for energy management. Energy issues are at the heart of a smart city where scarce resources, such as water, must be conserved and maintained. Smart City is a city where each citizen is unique and where all kinds of "intelligences" and diversities to create value. This requires that everyone contributes as an aware citizen. Therefore it is important to encourage smart policies focused on older people, children, young people, people with disabilities, migrants and the most vulnerable in order to ensure equal steadfast opportunities, eliminating discrimination and barriers based on race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or health condition.

Smart city can be achieved through the use of new technologies fostering the social realignment between public and private resources; to enhance existing informal networks and cooperation between the different stakeholders; to devise new ways of supporting and promoting multiculturalism; to ensure the availability of new forms of home-care and to give a voice to people otherwise considered "weak". Smart City will not exist without smart citizens: citizens who are active, aware and involved in the city's public life. To Achieve this, lifelong learning is needed to overcome the digital divide, to impart the cultures of well - being, the respect and improvement of the public facilities and of the environment.

Policies for well - being, which means the citizen benefits both fully from the home environment and the public spaces. Smart City is the one thats aiming towards the participatory management of green areas and public places, involving stakeholders in the promotion of well - being, spreading digital culture and new forms of interaction. At the same time Smart City encourages the spread of innovative tools even in the places of day - to - day living, decluttering and simplifying public administration.

Smart City will have to facilitate the relationship between public bodies or private services and through streamlining citizens administrative measures and simplifying bureaucracy. Smart City has to encourage monitor able, interlinked, cooperative projects, designed together with the stakeholders starting from the outset, in order to ensure project and to objectives coordinated approach, thereby encouraging public - public and public - private partnerships........and a lot more!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

What is urbanism?

What is urbanism? 

Throughout the centuries urbanism has been about human beings living in sustaining, and stimulating environment. It is the urbanism of cities, which attracts people from nearby villages, neighborhoods and towns, as places of interaction, opportunity, and creativity. What is New Urbanism? It is urbanism for our era. It is the revitalization of vital public space—streets, squares, and neighborhood centers—where people can see each other and meet. This essential feature of urbanism is in danger of disappearing from cities like Delhi.

Urbanism is the key to community life, efficient public infrastructure, and preserving nature. Urbanism is Interaction. Living things interact. The main reason of growth and development of cities is human commerce, commerce broadly defined—economic, social, civic, and cultural. Why do humans engage in commerce? For the rewards and satisfactions: employment, business, learning, creativity, stimulation, culture, politics, and companionship.

The right knowledge and education of Urbanism equips the urban planners and designers of the future with the right tools to come up with new solutions for effective, efficient and aesthetically organised and operated public spaces.

Urbanism is Organization 
We are organisms. Organic life is about ordered re
lationships, habits, and rules. When property owners, government agencies, businesses, and citizens agree on standards for development that sustain community life, the built landscape attracts people and people prosper.

Urbanism is Movement
We are animals and we are attracted to animated things; not the predictable movements of clock faces and freeway traffic, but the unpredictable movements of our fellow creatures. To be alive, a built landscape has to have intriguing, playful, spontaneous human movement, and places where that can be observed.

Urbanism is Color and Self-renewal
Living things are colorful. When things die, they lose their color. When places are replenished—buildings painted, surfaces washed, and landscaping tended—the spirit of hope and investment thrives.

Urbanism is life
City is a place where life comes together, but as we see the urban cities today they have turned unnatural and unhealthy. Urbanism is toxic and has to be regulated any ways. The earlier intimate neighborhoods have been replaced with big blocks, big buildings, and concrete jungles. Towns and cities went from cramped and intense to dispersed and lifeless. The human purposes of urbanism have been forgotten. Massive migrations put diverse racial and ethnic groups in uneasy and un-mixing proximity. Diverse peoples are trying to mix with each other. Urban spaces as gathering places are getting more popular and numerous. Crime rates are increasing. At marketplaces, multi-racial scenes like we see today would have been unthinkable twenty years ago.

There is a lot of work to be done, today we have the knowledge, technology, and sophistication to turn our built landscapes into hospitable, sustaining and beautiful places, as smart cities for future. These cities are places of contact and learning, they need to be healthy and welcoming. Turning our cities around- Turning them smarter is the way forward. Facing and celebrating the public spaces of our communities is key. Care is also the key. We have to care enough to design attractive architecture, maintain existing properties, prune trees, and keep streets/ roads in good condition. But no amount of caring by itself will ever make an interactive, living, walk able community out of sprawling, formless tract and strip development.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What's next for the Smart City

City residents will have to be engaged in the Smart City process. The city’s open government platform brings citizens and public servants into closer contact and provides transparency into government operations. by training and engaging city residents, the city can indulge questions or concerns about the program during the initial phases of implementation.

Govt has to be very open and explain things communicating the projects and initiatives to the public. It is a change that shall affect the city and citizens in the midterm and long term, but in the short term, citizens can have other worries, so it is something which needs to be explained that it is for the long term good of the citizens in the future.

The city shall have to look at the ways to use the Smart City initiative to create a single Internet and telecommunications architecture for the city. The existing fiber-optic network can provide the backbone for the various smart technology projects. This infrastructure backbone is presently operated by the local telecommunications firm, a public-private contract can be worked out, to give it a shape. The fiber-optic network is one of the main projects, and it is called transversal because it is the layer on top of which all other Smart City projects shall be developed in the city.

Structuring for the various projects need to be done, may be in subsequent technological layers. The first layer to consist of sensors that can be deployed throughout the city in conjunction with the various projects. This can be the platform used for smart water, smart lighting, and smart energy management projects, as well as others. the sensor network can gradually be expanded in future years for other things. The city’s sensor platform can be developed specifically to aid the city in bringing all of its sensor data together.

The next layer of the “urban platform” is the sharing of data and analytics provided by the City Operating Systems with both clients within the city government and external data users. This will enable both public and private sector development of applications to improve city services and operations, along with helping to produce a better-educated administration and citizenry. If we can pull this off, I am sure it will be a revolution.

The city shall have to develop other plans to include projects to remotely control street-level lighting and to transition streets and lampposts to LED technology. In addition, smart city shall have to work with utilities to create a program to achieve greater energy efficiency. The plan should also include implementing remote irrigation control for the city’s green spaces, remote- controlled fountains etc...

The city shall have to initiate smart transportation which can include deploying orthogonal bus lines and zero-emissions mobility options, which include more hybrid taxies, public electric vehicles, recharging points, electric motorbikes, and private electric vehicles.

The city should initiate the Open Government program, which aims to bring transparency of the municipal government to citizens. This can start with the deployment of “Citizens Attention” kiosks and the launch of an Open Data portal that allows private citizens and companies to develop applications that address needs of city residents.

The implementation of the Delhi Smart City initiative is to set clear objectives and map out the steps necessary to attain the goals. The involvement of top-down political leadership to ensure that project have full support is a key factor, as well as having a leadership structure to coordinate.

The different aspects of the project. “Each one has to think ‘Do you want to be smart? What do you want the city to be as it grows, and how can you use technology to accomplish this?’”. By strategizing early on, potential roadblocks can be seen and needed resources identified before challenges arise. We have to start setting up the projects and, once we have the vision and a good army to help develop the projects, it shall be easier. All with the focus of making Delhi’s development as a technology-efficient, data-driven, environmentally sustainable 21st century city.

As the smart city concepts for Delhi are implemented, hoping to see dividends in the form of a more efficiently run city with a citizenry engaged with an open government, as well as a technological infrastructure that will attract companies and investment. City hopes to gain a better idea of what needs to be done to become a city of the future. New jobs shall be created through these Smart City efforts. If we can pull this off, it shall definitely be a revolution.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Building a Smart City

Work out what problems need fixing Too many smart city visions concentrate on big data and the Internet of things when there are more fundamental problems. Take Jakarta and Beijing: They are both currently exploring data dashboards and citywide sensing projects to address issues around traffic congestion, when what these cities really need are vastly improved public transport systems. 

Find a leader, Leaders should come from the public sector. Some of the standout smart cities – Barcelona, Amsterdam, Malmo – exhibited dynamic leadership from their mayors as well as chief executives. Crucially, they did not leave the evolution of the city to the market … In parts of Africa and Asia smart cities are almost purely private sector-driven. As a result, we are seeing elaborate hi-tech satellite cities gathering dust.

Develop a vision everyone can get behind, The Olympics is a good example of a shared goal, which succeeded in bringing together communities, the public and private sectors, academia, volunteers and business. Many smart city projects fail in communicating the vision, capturing the imagination of people, they should be involved and made to participate. There is a cultural dimension which has to brought in to make the project successful. Make a business case Networks of sensors need expensive infrastructure, and there’s currently little precedent around whether it’s the taxpayer or industry that foots the bill.

A vision that adds economic, social and environmental value could be key to attracting investment from tech companies, universities and elsewhere. The tech is probably the easiest bit to fix, who pays, who drives the changes, who should be involved – these are all even bigger challenges. Design from the bottom up We have learned from past technology failures that large projects are doomed but breaking down projects into bite-size pieces often works better, Fujisawa, Japan, is an example of a city designed from the ground up. It’s a disaster proof, self-sufficient town with self-cleaning homes that generates its own electricity, even the streets are designed to reduce energy consumption – they follow the shape of a leaf to help natural airflow and reduce the need for AC.

Educate citizens, A smart city will be irrelevant to most of its inhabitants unless they can learn how to use new technology, Very few people can pull live data from an API or set up a new sensor network to monitor air pollution – but until more can. This brief compilation of emerging standards reveals the breadth of smart city subject, the value of collaboration, the opportunities for innovation and the potential for 21st century transformation.

Starting with the ICT enablers that drive smart cities, this multi-part sampling shall touch also upon energy, water, transportation, the built environment, carbon and climate, resilience, community, materials and food, finance and economic development, city business and measurement indicators. Building on the concepts of the technology-driven Internet of Everything and the humanity-driven Internet of the Right Things is like the Industrial Internet Consortium, a new open membership group which can "focus on breaking down the barriers of technology silos," allowing cities to "significantly reduce waste through sensor-embedded water pipes, buildings, parking meters and more. Microgrids can be a climate-smart city's close friend. Combatting climate change necessarily involves a critical shift away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy, efficiency and renewable energy. Such energy resources are inherently distributed and resilient, which makes them naturally compatible with — and their benefits maximized by — microgrids.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

What makes a Smart City- New, New Delhi!!!

We need visionaries for our city to be transformed into a Smart City, not really putting focus on a concrete jungle, but going little steps forward and thinking about how technology can be used to transform the lives of the citizens. When I am referring to citizens, I am referring not only to those citizens like me who live in the city, but also to the companies who are part of the city. We need to have a social dream, which is to transform the city in a generation’s time through technology. Hopefully this is the only way to create a sustainable model of living.

Objective of a smart city is to Improve citizens’ quality of life and stimulate new Smart City economy including smart water, smart buildings, smart energy, smart parking, and more. Strategy is to Use new ICT (Information and communications technology) technologies cross- directionally to transform the city. It would require Citywide sensors to capture vital information for smart water, smart lighting, and smart energy management projects

Let us see what actually makes Barcelona a Smart City:

Smart City Barcelona seeks to efficiently provide city services at multiple levels to all citizens by harnessing information and communications technology (ICT) through development and implementation of the Barcelona Smart City Model. The model identifies 12 areas under which Smart City projects are initiated: environmental, ICT, mobility, water, energy, matter (waste), nature, built domain, public space, open government, information flows, and services. Currently, the city has 22 major programs and 83 separate projects that fit into one or more of these 12 areas. Some of these projects include smart lighting, smart parking, smart water management, and smart waste management.

Barcelona currently has more than 500 kilometers of fiber-optic network, development of which began more than 30 years ago when the city networked two municipal buildings with optical fiber. It was upon this initial network that current Smart City efforts were established. In 2012, the city government structured its Smart City projects under the umbrella of “Smart City Barcelona.” In addition to implementing smart technologies, the city has also utilized these connectivity projects to deliver coordinated services across departments. This has helped to eliminate departmental silos and improve the resident experience in Barcelona.

The Barcelona Municipal Institute of Information Technology, played a key role in this initial organizational formation, which emphasized involvement of the government, residents, and the business community in developing and shaping the city’s technological initiatives.

Barcelona is currently using an open tender procurement process to identify a developer to build what the city calls its City OS(operating system). This operating system will sit atop the city’s established network of sensor technology to collate and analyze data that is collected across the network. City officials envision this OS as an open platform working across the various specific smart technology projects operating in the city. The city sees this platform as the key to unlocking IoE(Internet of Everything) benefits associated with data analytics and predictive modelling.

The seed for Barcelona’s Smart City program began more than 30 years ago when the city first installed fiber-optic lines to connect two municipal buildings. Since that time, the city has continued to develop its fiber-optic network. In 2011, began a comprehensive Barcelona Smart City program. The first overarching goal was to improve efficiency of city services and to address sustainability and environmental concerns. Second was to transform the lives of the citizens and the companies who are part of the city.

The Barcelona Smart City program aims to provide city services at multiple levels to all citizens based on the use of Internet and telecommunications technology. Underlying Barcelona’s approach to its Smart City efforts is the idea that the city functions as a “network of networks.” A blueprint was established to connect the different city- affiliated “networks” — for example, transportation, energy, and technology. One key step has been the establishment of a Smart City Strategy team within the mayor’s office. This office is charged with promoting and coordinating Smart City application development throughout the city organization. This senior-level political support has been crucial to Barcelona’s ability to develop its Smart City projects. Increased government transparency has also been a critical component of the Barcelona Smart City strategy, helping city officials communicate and explain why they are developing new smart applications or publicly sensitive solutions, such as newly reconfigured bus routes. This has been helpful in gaining public support for projects, especially in a difficult fiscal environment.

For implementing Smart City project successfully for New Delhi, the political desire to examine and create a Smart City is vital. Smart city initiatives are required with leaders from around the country who clearly embrace the movement and are in positions to make positive changes. No one else but these are the people who can make it a success, others can just dream and write about it. It is only possible with top-down political vision, we can start thinking bottom-up, but the big, final push will be at the political level. If we don’t have political willingness, it is impossible. Coordinating across the various city departments shall be a great challenge.

The key to success shall of course be the top-level support from the CM, which shall help to cut through various layers of city bureaucracy and bring departments together. The city will also have to adapt to dealing with large multinational companies that may not be accustomed to working at the municipal/ local level. Partnering with key technology firms shall be a crucial part of developing New Delhi’s Smart City capabilities. All these developments cannot be done only by the city; we shall have to follow a strong and well-thought-out public/private partnership approach in which government has to encourage for both large and small private sector participants. Lot of food for thought as of now shall cover more details in next post!!