Saturday, August 29, 2015

Making Delhi A Smart City

Imagine driving in Delhi without getting trapped in traffic, being able to drift around freely, knowing where to park and hopping on the public transport without losing time, energy and patience.

Let us see where we are and where we have to go!!

Metropolitan Cities like Delhi, are the places where 50% of the world’s population live today, Responsible for 75% of its energy consumption and 80% of its carbon emissions - and cities are growing. Cities face huge challenges: congestion, pollution, blackouts, crime, debt and rising costs - while competing with each other for investment, jobs and talents.

Cities need to become smarter: more efficient, sustainable and liveable.

5 Basic steps to make a city smart:
1. Vision: setting the goal and the roadmap to get there
2. Solutions: bringing in the technology to improve the efficiency of the urban systems
3. Integration: combining information and operations for overall city efficiency
4. Innovation: building each city’s specific business model
5. Collaboration: driving collaboration between global players and local stakeholders

As cities grow and expand, so will urban transportation systems - increasing traffic congestion, threatening safety, wasting commuter time and valuable fuel, and impacting the environment. Cities are where traffic flows – cars, buses, subways and trains epitomise city life.

Cities need to make mobility smarter: more efficient, reliable and green. green. Urban populations will nearly double by 2050 accounting for 70 percent of the world’s population. Undoubtedly, transportation systems will be impacted, increasing congestion, threatening safety, delaying commuters, burning up valuable fuel, and harming the environment. To meet current and anticipated challenges, Smart Cities around the world are finding Smart Mobility solutions for integrated city management—improving mobility for citizens through operational efficiency and smart information. Reduce urban traffic congestion and improve air quality through centralized, real-time adaptive traffic management.

As things stand, the urbanization agenda is: urban renewal; rejuvenation and the implementation of smart city concept; While renewal and rejuvenation are relatively easier to grasp, there appears to be only an evocative imagination in the public mind as to what the contours of a smart city could be. So, here are few suggested attributes that may well describe, and to some extent define a smart city. 

Information, communication, and technology (ICT)-enabled governance: The international and domestic big daddies of the information technology (IT) world have, with their aggressive presentations, virtually hijacked the smart city definition to only mean IT-enabled administration and governance. Often referred to as "smart government", the use of integrated technology platforms that are easily accessible across various devices is certainly key to providing access, transparency, speed, participation and redressal in public services.

Efficient utilities - energy, water, solid waste and effluents: This area is often the most talked about after IT. Smart meters, renewable energy, energy conservation, water harvesting, effluent recycling, scientific solid waste disposal methods etc.. all clearly mark the hallmark of a smart city.

Meaningful PPPs: The creative use of public-private partnerships (PPPs) is a key attribute of the smart city concept. PPPs are to be used not only as a source of much-needed capital but also for the efficient delivery of utilities with agreed service-level standards. PPPs could range from health care to street lighting; and be used wherever there is a clear connection between the provision of a service and the ability to charge for the same - directly or even indirectly.

Safety and security: This aspect is high in public consciousness, especially with disconcerting news on the safety of women, road rage, robbery attacks on the elderly and juvenile delinquency. Clearly, networks of video cameras, brightly lit public areas, intensive patrolling and surveillance, identity-verified access, and rapid response to emergency calls are all on the expectations list.

Financial sustainability: The 74th Amendment to the Constitution (1992) enjoins towns and cities to "take charge of their own destinies". Nowhere is this more important than financial independence. This is only possible with elaborate and extensive tapping of all sources of revenue - property taxes, advertisements etc. coupled with astute collection of user-pay charges across the full range of utilities.

Citizen-participative local government: The enthusiastic participation of citizens in local issues needs careful designing of electoral and participative forums. The current apathy towards civic elections needs comprehensive reversal.

Sufficient social capital: Smart cities cannot be devoid of the appropriate levels of social infrastructure - like schools, hospitals, public spaces, sporting and recreational grounds and retail and entertainment venues. Along with a brain that works, and hands and legs that move, it must also have a heart that beats to the joys of daily living.

Transit-oriented habitats: "Walk-to-work" is the dream solution here. Nevertheless, conveniently networked public transportation with first- and last-mile connectivity’s in place, reduced motivation to use personal vehicles, use of electric cars, and bicycle paths are all in the expectation matrix. 

Green features: Minimizing the carbon footprint and eco-friendliness are important. Parks and verdant open spaces, absence of pollution, use of renewables, conservation and recycling are mandatory. It has rooftop solar energy, electric cars and electric-powered bicycles.

India has 5,545 urban agglomerations. Class 1 towns (called cities) are those with a population of 100,000 and above. This should be the minimum population cut-off for a smart city. Achieving all the above-mentioned attributes may well be Utopian. So, maybe even if seventy percent of them are achieved, we should have no hesitation in declaring an urban habitation as a smart city.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Making a Smart City

Turning Delhi and its metropolitan area into a Smart City as a vision is beautiful but turning it into a reality would require lot of combined efforts. Making a Smart City out of a city is a complex process involving deep - rooted innovation with regard to: tangible and intangible infrastructures, the lifestyles of citizens; the regeneration and design of public spaces, strategies and tools to develop the economy and the handling of complexities. It requires a rethinking of policies and actions in order to create a community life and compete in a globalized world, also in terms of the changing rhythms of life and work in the "Smart" city. Many different players are part of this process: from large multinationals to social enterprises, from small and medium businesses to universities, from research centers to the world of associations. Public institutions, especially local ones, can play central role in facilitating, connecting and coordinating.

Public administration on its own can not transform a city into a smart city, but it does have the task of creating a favorable environment where the best and blue chip players within its area, work successfully towards common goals and shared vision. Smart city not only cultivates its technological component, but also combines: economic development and social inclusion, innovation and training, research and participation, and, at the same time, acquires all the tools necessary to provide the strategic framework, the internal coordination and the synergy, bringing together the different players.

In order to help trigger a virtuous circle, enhance existing synergies, meet the City's needs and making things practical and effective would call for active citizenship, following a public - public partnership model, building a strategy with the stakeholders and to foster a framework of governance suitable for a smart city. Pillars of Smart City are - Smart Economy, Smart Living, Smart Environment, Smart Mobility, Smart People. In parallel with the above process, an audit, comparison and analysis of 'smart' topics identifying potential promoters interested in the implementation of the smart process who could not only contribute with ideas and research, but also with funds and therefore, invest in the rebuilding of Delhi as a Smart City.

The underlying intention being the enhancement of the city, the social fabric of its neighbourhoods, so different in size and features so distinctive, it underlines that we should try and use the springboard for the development of a smart city which already exists in Digital, in consisting infrastructures and services including: a dense fiber networks optic, Wi-Fi hot spots, digital areas, and open data portals, among other things. All these have the aim of creating welcoming, resilient, flexible, changing city, and complement policies such as big data analysis, city EMF (electric and magnetic fields) structure plans, and so on. Through this existing data we can have a complete overview and understanding of how the smart processes can be put into place.

Delhi is already a hub of economic, social and cultural networks which are truly globulin nature. In order to be a pilot for smart, green and inclusive urban policies, Delhi must be Both inward and outward - looking. Smart City to a systemic and coordinated management of urban mobility, Which means reorganising the effectively transport demand, improving the use of public transport providing services and parking systems. The city has to enhance liveability by promoting all forms of sustainable mobility around the city where commuting becomes a pleasure, a moment of conscious choice with no waste nor waiting and with a reduced environmental impact. Mobility is smart if it leads to a better quality of life through effective, accessible and intelligent tools aimed at the optimisation of resources for all citizens, tourists and city users.

Smart City strives towards improving the quality of the environment, Which means improving the quality of life of its citizens. Caring for our surroundings means curbing pollution, improving energy efficiency in buildings and public lighting, and achieving better waste management and to citywide implementing smart grid for energy management. Energy issues are at the heart of a smart city where scarce resources, such as water, must be conserved and maintained. Smart City is a city where each citizen is unique and where all kinds of "intelligences" and diversities to create value. This requires that everyone contributes as an aware citizen. Therefore it is important to encourage smart policies focused on older people, children, young people, people with disabilities, migrants and the most vulnerable in order to ensure equal steadfast opportunities, eliminating discrimination and barriers based on race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or health condition.

Smart city can be achieved through the use of new technologies fostering the social realignment between public and private resources; to enhance existing informal networks and cooperation between the different stakeholders; to devise new ways of supporting and promoting multiculturalism; to ensure the availability of new forms of home-care and to give a voice to people otherwise considered "weak". Smart City will not exist without smart citizens: citizens who are active, aware and involved in the city's public life. To Achieve this, lifelong learning is needed to overcome the digital divide, to impart the cultures of well - being, the respect and improvement of the public facilities and of the environment.

Policies for well - being, which means the citizen benefits both fully from the home environment and the public spaces. Smart City is the one thats aiming towards the participatory management of green areas and public places, involving stakeholders in the promotion of well - being, spreading digital culture and new forms of interaction. At the same time Smart City encourages the spread of innovative tools even in the places of day - to - day living, decluttering and simplifying public administration.

Smart City will have to facilitate the relationship between public bodies or private services and through streamlining citizens administrative measures and simplifying bureaucracy. Smart City has to encourage monitor able, interlinked, cooperative projects, designed together with the stakeholders starting from the outset, in order to ensure project and to objectives coordinated approach, thereby encouraging public - public and public - private partnerships........and a lot more!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

What is urbanism?

What is urbanism? 

Throughout the centuries urbanism has been about human beings living in sustaining, and stimulating environment. It is the urbanism of cities, which attracts people from nearby villages, neighborhoods and towns, as places of interaction, opportunity, and creativity. What is New Urbanism? It is urbanism for our era. It is the revitalization of vital public space—streets, squares, and neighborhood centers—where people can see each other and meet. This essential feature of urbanism is in danger of disappearing from cities like Delhi.

Urbanism is the key to community life, efficient public infrastructure, and preserving nature. Urbanism is Interaction. Living things interact. The main reason of growth and development of cities is human commerce, commerce broadly defined—economic, social, civic, and cultural. Why do humans engage in commerce? For the rewards and satisfactions: employment, business, learning, creativity, stimulation, culture, politics, and companionship.

The right knowledge and education of Urbanism equips the urban planners and designers of the future with the right tools to come up with new solutions for effective, efficient and aesthetically organised and operated public spaces.

Urbanism is Organization 
We are organisms. Organic life is about ordered re
lationships, habits, and rules. When property owners, government agencies, businesses, and citizens agree on standards for development that sustain community life, the built landscape attracts people and people prosper.

Urbanism is Movement
We are animals and we are attracted to animated things; not the predictable movements of clock faces and freeway traffic, but the unpredictable movements of our fellow creatures. To be alive, a built landscape has to have intriguing, playful, spontaneous human movement, and places where that can be observed.

Urbanism is Color and Self-renewal
Living things are colorful. When things die, they lose their color. When places are replenished—buildings painted, surfaces washed, and landscaping tended—the spirit of hope and investment thrives.

Urbanism is life
City is a place where life comes together, but as we see the urban cities today they have turned unnatural and unhealthy. Urbanism is toxic and has to be regulated any ways. The earlier intimate neighborhoods have been replaced with big blocks, big buildings, and concrete jungles. Towns and cities went from cramped and intense to dispersed and lifeless. The human purposes of urbanism have been forgotten. Massive migrations put diverse racial and ethnic groups in uneasy and un-mixing proximity. Diverse peoples are trying to mix with each other. Urban spaces as gathering places are getting more popular and numerous. Crime rates are increasing. At marketplaces, multi-racial scenes like we see today would have been unthinkable twenty years ago.

There is a lot of work to be done, today we have the knowledge, technology, and sophistication to turn our built landscapes into hospitable, sustaining and beautiful places, as smart cities for future. These cities are places of contact and learning, they need to be healthy and welcoming. Turning our cities around- Turning them smarter is the way forward. Facing and celebrating the public spaces of our communities is key. Care is also the key. We have to care enough to design attractive architecture, maintain existing properties, prune trees, and keep streets/ roads in good condition. But no amount of caring by itself will ever make an interactive, living, walk able community out of sprawling, formless tract and strip development.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What's next for the Smart City

City residents will have to be engaged in the Smart City process. The city’s open government platform brings citizens and public servants into closer contact and provides transparency into government operations. by training and engaging city residents, the city can indulge questions or concerns about the program during the initial phases of implementation.

Govt has to be very open and explain things communicating the projects and initiatives to the public. It is a change that shall affect the city and citizens in the midterm and long term, but in the short term, citizens can have other worries, so it is something which needs to be explained that it is for the long term good of the citizens in the future.

The city shall have to look at the ways to use the Smart City initiative to create a single Internet and telecommunications architecture for the city. The existing fiber-optic network can provide the backbone for the various smart technology projects. This infrastructure backbone is presently operated by the local telecommunications firm, a public-private contract can be worked out, to give it a shape. The fiber-optic network is one of the main projects, and it is called transversal because it is the layer on top of which all other Smart City projects shall be developed in the city.

Structuring for the various projects need to be done, may be in subsequent technological layers. The first layer to consist of sensors that can be deployed throughout the city in conjunction with the various projects. This can be the platform used for smart water, smart lighting, and smart energy management projects, as well as others. the sensor network can gradually be expanded in future years for other things. The city’s sensor platform can be developed specifically to aid the city in bringing all of its sensor data together.

The next layer of the “urban platform” is the sharing of data and analytics provided by the City Operating Systems with both clients within the city government and external data users. This will enable both public and private sector development of applications to improve city services and operations, along with helping to produce a better-educated administration and citizenry. If we can pull this off, I am sure it will be a revolution.

The city shall have to develop other plans to include projects to remotely control street-level lighting and to transition streets and lampposts to LED technology. In addition, smart city shall have to work with utilities to create a program to achieve greater energy efficiency. The plan should also include implementing remote irrigation control for the city’s green spaces, remote- controlled fountains etc...

The city shall have to initiate smart transportation which can include deploying orthogonal bus lines and zero-emissions mobility options, which include more hybrid taxies, public electric vehicles, recharging points, electric motorbikes, and private electric vehicles.

The city should initiate the Open Government program, which aims to bring transparency of the municipal government to citizens. This can start with the deployment of “Citizens Attention” kiosks and the launch of an Open Data portal that allows private citizens and companies to develop applications that address needs of city residents.

The implementation of the Delhi Smart City initiative is to set clear objectives and map out the steps necessary to attain the goals. The involvement of top-down political leadership to ensure that project have full support is a key factor, as well as having a leadership structure to coordinate.

The different aspects of the project. “Each one has to think ‘Do you want to be smart? What do you want the city to be as it grows, and how can you use technology to accomplish this?’”. By strategizing early on, potential roadblocks can be seen and needed resources identified before challenges arise. We have to start setting up the projects and, once we have the vision and a good army to help develop the projects, it shall be easier. All with the focus of making Delhi’s development as a technology-efficient, data-driven, environmentally sustainable 21st century city.

As the smart city concepts for Delhi are implemented, hoping to see dividends in the form of a more efficiently run city with a citizenry engaged with an open government, as well as a technological infrastructure that will attract companies and investment. City hopes to gain a better idea of what needs to be done to become a city of the future. New jobs shall be created through these Smart City efforts. If we can pull this off, it shall definitely be a revolution.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Building a Smart City

Work out what problems need fixing Too many smart city visions concentrate on big data and the Internet of things when there are more fundamental problems. Take Jakarta and Beijing: They are both currently exploring data dashboards and citywide sensing projects to address issues around traffic congestion, when what these cities really need are vastly improved public transport systems. 

Find a leader, Leaders should come from the public sector. Some of the standout smart cities – Barcelona, Amsterdam, Malmo – exhibited dynamic leadership from their mayors as well as chief executives. Crucially, they did not leave the evolution of the city to the market … In parts of Africa and Asia smart cities are almost purely private sector-driven. As a result, we are seeing elaborate hi-tech satellite cities gathering dust.

Develop a vision everyone can get behind, The Olympics is a good example of a shared goal, which succeeded in bringing together communities, the public and private sectors, academia, volunteers and business. Many smart city projects fail in communicating the vision, capturing the imagination of people, they should be involved and made to participate. There is a cultural dimension which has to brought in to make the project successful. Make a business case Networks of sensors need expensive infrastructure, and there’s currently little precedent around whether it’s the taxpayer or industry that foots the bill.

A vision that adds economic, social and environmental value could be key to attracting investment from tech companies, universities and elsewhere. The tech is probably the easiest bit to fix, who pays, who drives the changes, who should be involved – these are all even bigger challenges. Design from the bottom up We have learned from past technology failures that large projects are doomed but breaking down projects into bite-size pieces often works better, Fujisawa, Japan, is an example of a city designed from the ground up. It’s a disaster proof, self-sufficient town with self-cleaning homes that generates its own electricity, even the streets are designed to reduce energy consumption – they follow the shape of a leaf to help natural airflow and reduce the need for AC.

Educate citizens, A smart city will be irrelevant to most of its inhabitants unless they can learn how to use new technology, Very few people can pull live data from an API or set up a new sensor network to monitor air pollution – but until more can. This brief compilation of emerging standards reveals the breadth of smart city subject, the value of collaboration, the opportunities for innovation and the potential for 21st century transformation.

Starting with the ICT enablers that drive smart cities, this multi-part sampling shall touch also upon energy, water, transportation, the built environment, carbon and climate, resilience, community, materials and food, finance and economic development, city business and measurement indicators. Building on the concepts of the technology-driven Internet of Everything and the humanity-driven Internet of the Right Things is like the Industrial Internet Consortium, a new open membership group which can "focus on breaking down the barriers of technology silos," allowing cities to "significantly reduce waste through sensor-embedded water pipes, buildings, parking meters and more. Microgrids can be a climate-smart city's close friend. Combatting climate change necessarily involves a critical shift away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy, efficiency and renewable energy. Such energy resources are inherently distributed and resilient, which makes them naturally compatible with — and their benefits maximized by — microgrids.