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Contest aims to jumpstart India's 100 ‘smart’ cities goal

Bloomberg Philanthropies has partnered with India’s government on a new contest that would fund the most innovative 'smart' city proposals. (Prime Minister's office photo)

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has outlined a grand vision for 100 smart cities. To help make the goal a reality, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a partnership with India’s government on a Smart Cities Challenge.

The philanthropy, founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, would provide technical and strategic advice to Indian cities that want to compete. Delhi would choose 100 cities over the next three years to receive funding for their ideas.

Overall, Modi wants to spend US$ 7.5 billion in the next five years to improve the infrastructure, livability and governance of Indian cities, the announcement says. According to the Hindustan Times, he views urbanization as an economic catalyst while cautioning that citizens and city officials must have a voice alongside developers.

But Rama Lakshmi reports for the Washington Post that some Indians want Modi to focus on basic functions instead. They’d rather see an expansion of access to water, paved roads, sanitation and electricity before municipalities introduce sensors and Big Data.

More details about the challenge are here

Bloomberg Philanthropies

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