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!!


  1. The way they plan their houses is excellent and surely their upcoming residential projects after public private partnership in MPD 2021 are going to be splendid.

  2. I think, this is really very well and informative content given about What makes a Smart City- New, New Delhi! Thanks for given this information here about this blog.
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