After our last post when we were planning to get onto our next, we stumbled upon this topic and with it being relevant to our cause and since the honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has already pitched for it by setting path for developing next 100 smart cities in the country, it became our pick of the week.
Now since the topic is too vast to be covered in one go, we will be splitting it into sections for easy maneuverability across the various fragments.
What is a Smart City?
We scrolled through numerous web pages, discussed with experts, but, found it difficult to extract a precise definition for a smart city. One thing that we could say for sure is that it is about an effort to take the quality of human life towards standards set at level of idealism.
Before understanding the “What”, we might need to get over with “Why”:
Some of the other terms that have been used for similar concepts are:
Digital city: This would comprise of locally focused, fully integrated, online network encompassing whole of city processes into a single seamless thread.
Flexicity: In a age where technology is growing exponentially, it would be a city having processes and infrastructure made flexible enough for the authorities to allow its upgradation to next version without breaking the existing system.
Intelligent City: A city planned after studying a range of data on air quality, whether conditions, humidity level, traffic, crime, socio-economic status etc to change systems and functionality of cities. Primary focus is on collecting terabytes of data using researchers / sensors etc and feeding the same to an optimal analyzer before letting the information pass through human scrutiny.
Knowledge-based city: A Knowledge-based city is the one that nurtures knowledge and provides an environment for it. William Lever, through his papers, have established a broad relationship between the quality of knowledge base and economy change.
MESH city: MESH stands for Mobile, Efficient, Subtle, and Heuristics. MESH Cities use adaptive, citizen-focused, self-forming networks to learn and inform new design solutions.
They all have their pros and focus on one or more aspects of modernization. As was mentioned earlier, Smart City is a concept that has no true definition and could be considered to be the one encompassing features from one or more of the above.
In the age of Information Technology, it could be safely said that no city could be given this tag until all the city processes / functions are fully digitized. Also, no city can become truly smart unless it is populated by well informed citizens. It should have a place and plan for people of all socio-economic status and with all sorts of cultural and religious beliefs.