In this section, we will drill deeper into the concept to understand what must be the core Infrastructure to build up a Smart city.
Frost & Sullivan have identified eight key aspects that define a Smart City:
smart governance, smart energy, smart building, smart mobility, smart infrastructure, smart technology, smart healthcare and smart citizen
We have leveraged out of it while coming up with our own list.
This cannot be a one-time process. First and foremost there is a need to identify metrics to define it. Suggestions need to be sought from residents and experts alike. Consolidated list, then, should be filtered out to weed out parameters which could not be measured. Whole process should be put online for everyone’s review and then the process set must be evaluated for the actions taken. This could be used as a model to make new learnings and improvise the existing system in an incremental fashion.
We are not talking about just pre-schools, schools, colleges, university(ies), training centers etc, but, about defining ways to keep all citizens educated and informed on all policies and matters, which are directly or indirectly related to them. A number of health issues can be contained beforehand if residents are updated about them through some governmental or Non-profit organization(s).
Also, there is need to upgrade the existing educational system. We will also recommend a 360 degree review system, where not just the students will get rated for the performance but teachers / professors too will need to pass through the evaluation process. This will help them know their shortcomings and at the same time put pressure on them to perform better alike students.
It should not just be about Health care but Preventive Health care. Simple living, eating healthy, regular exercises, on-time vaccinations and other preventive services could reduce burden on overall Health care services. This would allow people to live a healthy, long and stress free life.
Technology is continuously improving and could be used to record, monitor and analyze the health details of individuals; maintain medical history; and guide them periodically to avoid expected health concerns based on their and their family history.
So, in the smart cities, IOT is not just going to digitize homes and elevate experience of online shopping, but also will make health care services smarter by taking away focus from cure to prevention.
Adequate water supply
Firstly, there will be a critical need for accurate forecasting of water consumption and use by the habitants. To us, a smart city should be self sustainable in terms of its water requirement. That would mean that it should be able to re-generate water, atleast most of it, from what it consumed. This will need to be coupled with water loss management to induce smart water concept for smart cities which has become increasingly important because of rising population and water scarcity.
24 x 7 Electricity Supply:
This will need to be looked upon from two sides.
One would be to increase the electricity generation capacity keeping in mind the expected population of the city when at peak and the average requirement of an average household which must be at par with the usage in developed countries using renewable energy solutions, such as, solar, wind etc.
At the same time, enough attention needs to be devoted in researching better technologies to reduce energy consumption by the commonly used devices. A good example to this is the transformation from the filament bulbs to CFL to LED.
Sanitation and cleanliness:
Everything in a smart city will need to be developed with sustainability at its core. Physical infrastructure would need to be developed for things like Solid waste management and proper disposal of garbage. What could be recycled should be recycled and rest should be treated in the most environmental-friendly manner possible.
Besides, enlightening citizens on the subject would be a major challenge. We would need to work with the people to make them aware about the importance of sanitation and cleanliness. Also, initial level of waste segregation will have to be done at the source itself and people will need to be guided on that too.
Transportation to humans is what internet is to computers. This will further break down to two major sub segments, i.e., Public and Private Transportation.
Isn’t this the right time to start thinking of reducing our dependence on transportation powered by fossil fuel? Yes!! It is time to start switching to e(lectronic)-Transportation. They are expensive as of now but with more manufacturers jumping in and a mass transition catalyzed by governmental mandate could make that affordable to the common people.
This should be complimented by an efficient and robust public transport system comprising of Metro Trains, electric trams, AC buses etc, coupled with pedestrian walkways and cycling lanes. A well knit transport network could ensure jam free traffic on roads and will have minimal participation in causing pollution.
Real estate, let it be residential or commercial development, is both the cause and result of smart cities in some way. A smart city should have well planned, good quality and affordable housing solutions for all, at its core. Simultaneously, since there will always be a workforce in the lower and lower-middle group segment, provisions should be made for residential units and low budget markets for these people belonging to economically weaker section.
Healthy and Sustainable environment:
This could be achieved with effective use of renewable resources and minimizing dependence on fossil fuels. Green norms should be made a mandatory part of all planning, let it be for housing, transportation or any other entity.
Optimal digitization and Robust IT connectivity:
Wherever feasible, processes / services much be knit together with information technology. Internet speed in India has started to catch up with the rest of the world and new systems can be planned keeping in mind that it is going to get better in the coming years. We are expecting 5G in another 4 to 5 years time which would leave us with unending possibilities and applications. Cyber-security will assume an important role.
Safety and security:
Though, this in itself is a vast topic and is of utmost importance, we will stick to just a few concerns that should amicably be made part of this final chapter:
There were some more points which crossed our mind, but we will keep them for some other time.
Below are the links to the earlier parts of the series.