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Smart Cities in India – On the verge to become a reality

In India, the urban population is currently 31% of the total population and it contributes over 60% of India’s GDP and this is expected to grow to nearly 75% of the national GDP in the next 15 years. The number of people living in Indian cities will touch 843 million by 2050. This kind of sharp growth is known as “mass urbanization”. It has happened before only in China. Such rapid urbanization and growing pressure on limited floor space index across urban regions in India is leading to the increasing need for the Government to explore smarter ways to manage complexities, increase efficiency, improve the quality of life, and reduce overhead expenses.

In June 2014, the Government announced its ambitious plan to build smart cities across the country. This plan will be administered by the Ministry of Urban Development, and will focus on building new smart cities and redeveloping existing urban regions with populations of over 100,000 people. Each state will shortlist a certain number of smart city aspirants as per the norms to be indicated and they will prepare smart city proposals for further evaluation for extending central support. The government has allocated $1.2 billion but the overall investment needed for building smart cities will be much larger, which will be supplemented by funding from private investors and foreign players. However, the private investment in these projects will depend on state governments’ and municipal corporations’ ability to monetise the investment and make people pay for the services being offered them.

Our upcoming whitepaper, Smart Cities in India: Overcoming Challenges to Become a Super Power, examines various aspects of smart cities in India emphasizing on the current government’s focus and key developments within this space. It also highlights that technology will be the significant part of a smart city ecosystem encompassing from urban planning to creating healthy environment, ensuring continuous water supply, intelligent traffic and transportation management systems that additionally use analytics to provide efficient solutions. As the smart cities market in India evolves and shows strong growth potential, this study addresses a number of important market developments and the business opportunities for vendors currently participating in this market as well as for vendors considering investing in this space.

Some of the key highlights from this whitepaper:

  • There is a need for national and local government to develop a common vision and roadmap for deployment, develop system wide pilots and facilitate collaboration between cities, academia and industry.
  • Most of the proposed smart cities in India will comprise special economic zones or special investment regions with modified tax structures and regulations to make it impressive for investment from foreign countries/companies.
  • Smart Energy is the fastest growing market segment within smart cities and will be driven by the large scale adoption of smart grids and intelligent energy solutions.
  • Advancements in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, the Internet of Things, and wireless sensor networks (WSNs) will play a large role in assisting the smart city to prosper.
  • Partnerships between city governments, solution providers (businesses), and academia will become the working model for most future city projects.

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Pramod Kolhapur

"A consultative and result-oriented professional with over 8 years of extensive experience in Market Research around emerging technology domains such as the Internet of Things,...
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