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Decoding The Smart City Concept Definition of a smart city differs from place to place but we will discuss certain basic aspects which are important

By Rimpy Pillania

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There is no international accepted definition of smart city. A smart city could be really different in Europe or any other part of world than in India. In developed countries it could mean technologically advanced city but in India it could be holistic development of the city. It is a solution to a problem and the problem in existing Indian city is lack of basic infrastructure.

So we need to design them in context – that is, with an understanding of the environment in which they will exist, and the other elements of that environment with which they will interact. In Indian context problems like proper sewage system, proper infrastructure, housing, planning and availability of other basic amenities should be addressed.

Conceptually, there are two types of smart cities. a new city built from the scratch or converting an existing city into smart city by redeveloping the present infrastructure. Redeveloping the existing city needs the understanding of existing problem and providing solution accordingly. On the other hand, creating new smart city should focus on planning holistically than merely treating the symptoms of problems.

To provide for the needs of the people there are four pillars of comprehensive development: connectivity, sustainability, mobility and security.


Since the idea of a smart city is very inspiring, integrating multiple services through multiple new ideas is being looked upon for enhancing connectivity. The solutions should be delivering convenience and efficiency, through connectivity that was unimaginable, a few years ago. This unparalleled connectivity is enabled by enhanced wireless communication and a vast range of sensors present, among many other things. This connectivity can develop urban lighting, energy consumption, infrastructure and performance.


Smart development has been recognized as a sustainable solution to the already existing urban planning issues prevalent worldwide. The principle of introducing sustainability in smart city development aims at providing a better quality of life and advertises livable communities that are respectful to the utilization of natural resources available around. Due to the witnessing rapid urbanization all around in most of the countries, various issues in the field of urban planning have been elevated. The most important being the eradication of the gap in demand and supply of infrastructure services and utilities, controlling the reduction on natural green cover, reducing traffic congestions and reduction of pollution, planning the peripheral settlement typology, etc., which on the other hand affects the natural and built environment in adverse ways. These widespread issues which has high chances of worsening in the coming decades, as the urban population is escalating at a phenomenal rate, highlights the urgency to take appropriate actions.


The idea of urban mobility is no longer just restricted to moving people around by motorized vehicles, what people really need is the right kind of accessibility to multiple urban services. The promotion of public transport, in the city-wide communication infrastructure developed interconnectedness for all road users, intelligent planning of traffic among others comprises the characteristics of mobility in a smart city. The development of zero-emission public transport system and encouraging propositions for fewer traffic jams in the inner city ultimately will have a positive impact on the quality of life in smart cities and on the environment. Mobility nowadays also means that the smart city development is encouraged through the independent monitoring of the flow of traffic and reacts flexibly to issues of mobility if any arises.


With the increasing interconnectivity across virtual and physical networks as well as infrastructure that will make a smart city functional, will also creates innovative and substantial cyber security risks. With each sensitive data exposure vulnerabilities will also tend to expand as there will be multiple access points within the smart cities. The cities will be vulnerable to numerous cyber crime techniques like remote execution, signal jamming among others. To oppose the risks, comprehensive smart-city plans should be designed concerning safeguard of critical information and infrastructure that will be otherwise accessed by the citizens sharing private data over the network.

The development of smart cities means providing huge number of jobs. To witness large number of footfalls in a developing city, job creation becomes foremost importance.The use of technological advancement will also make these cities unique. All these aspects will attract more people to settle in these cities for better future prospects. These are some of the factors that make a smart city different and successful from other cities.

Rimpy Pillania

Founding Principal, Avant Garde Studio

With close to over 15 years of solid professional exposure, Rimpy consults for various
firms and executes a wide number of projects in her capacity.
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