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Insights into India’s ‘smart’ cities vision

Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi speaks at the launch of the Smart Cities Mission in June. (STR/EPA/LANDOV)

Details about India’s push to create 100 “smart” cities are beginning to emerge.

According to the Centre for Internet and Society, roughly 35 percent of the nation’s urban population would be impacted by development plans. Government leaders and urban designers aim to maintain cultural sensitivity. “The vision is to preserve India’s traditional architecture, culture & ethnicity while implementing modern technology to make cities livable,” the blog post says.

The centre, a nonprofit research group based in India, is playing a key role in the smart cities selection process. Much is riding on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government to get this right. Goals include improving sanitation, education, mobility, affordable housing and basic utilities. 

Ninety-eight cities have tentatively been selected for participation. This month, the pool will be whittled to 20 cities to be granted approval to move forward, the article says. The ten most promising proposals would receive funding from the centre. India’s government has relaxed investment rules to welcome foreign capital. Delhi also plans to seek sizable loans from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

Centre for Internet and Society

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