Strategies To Create A Self-sustainable Smart City

Traditionally, we keep our homes neat, clean, beautiful and smart. No one else can make our homes better than we ourselves. The same applies to cities as well. Essentially, your City is your Home. Surprised? Let me explain. You spend more than 16 hours out of your house daily and only around 8 hours in the house. Therefore, you actually live more in the City and less in your Home. So naturally, your city is your home.

Continuous improvement in infrastructure is the need of every city. As population escalates, challenges of cities also increase and thus, continuous improvement becomes a mandatory process for every city. Now, technology companies have started developing and applying technical solutions to address urban challenges and this concept has been given the title of ‘Smart City’. These companies have started focusing on developing solutions to make the life of citizens better. This is a noble job. However, all said and done the current way in which the Smart City project is going is really not going to make cities smart.

According to the existing model of Smart City Mission, the Central government, State government and Local City Corporation is going to do a fixed investment. It is okay if all cities get funds but, if they don’t have the provision of funds, they will generate money by raising taxes or they may resort to a PPP model. The current model is a completely capital expenditure project where all respective bodies will have to make a certain investment over a period of time. Everything sounds good till this point. But, what about sustainability? Who will invest after that? Who will fund for the expansion of these projects? Will these projects be scrapped in the future due to non-provision of funds? Historically, not more than 50% funds of government projects are utilized in the right way. Also, what is the role of Citizens in the Smart City projects? Can any project be successful without the inclusion of citizens? The answer is ‘No’. No city can get smarter if it is not made smarter by its citizens. A major flaw in the current Smart City model is non-involvement of citizens. What is the solution then?

The solutions is simple. Let’s make our city Smart ourselves. The government should implement job enablement and encourage people to make their city Smart. The government should play the leadership role instead of playing the customer for Smart City projects. And how can this be accomplished? The government should call up on local entrepreneurs asking them to create a business model for any one or more elements of Smart City.

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