Posted: 2016-07-27 08:58:24 by
Smart cities has become the talk of the town with Mr. Modi announcing to create 100 smart cities in India in less than a decade from now. All the news channels and papers are buzzing about its plan and development. But is it only about one country? Is the need of developing smart cities only the need of India or we need to see it arising as a global requirement?
With the rapid rise in urbanization globally, it has become imperative to develop smart cities across continents – Cities that can accommodate the rising pressure of population over a lesser piece of land, cities that are technologically robust, high on infrastructure, faster on communication, greener in energy and has a better healthcare and education system with an overall elevation in the governance style and regulations. Most importantly the sustainability and competitiveness form the key elements to a smart city.
Over 4.6 billion people are expected to dwell in urban areas contributing to 58% of world’s population – If this has to happen, proper planning and change in the existing models of the city is inescapable for survival. Looking at these figures and the smart things that a smart city should essentially have, let us evaluate world’s 10 smartest cities today.
1. Vienna- It surprisingly holds the number one position through substantial carbon reduction participation in programs like art Energy Vision 2050, Road map 2020, and Action Plan 2012-2015 and is hopeful of being one amongst the key European city in the smart city technology.It is also the one to be ranked amongst the top 10 cities for the title of innovation city, regional green city, digital governance and quality of life.
2. Dholera SIR–
Dholera shall be developed to be six times the size of Shanghai and shall gain the status of smart megacity by 2025. It shall be one of the largest manufacturing hub in the world supported by high class infrastructure attracting major employment opportunities. It is expected to have centralized digital control for facilities such as water, power, gas and traffic through an underground sensor system reporting to a central control room with CISCO and IBM as key contractors. Mahindra Lifespace Developers Limited (MLDL) and Nano Works Developer Gujarat Pvt Ltd are coming up with plans to build global standard business city and projects over extensive areas in this city.
3. Toronto– It was named 2014 Intelligent Community of the Year – the first Canadian city since 2007. The title was gained on account of great performance in all the areas of academic, creative and private sector and its demonstration of continued prosperity. Known for its culture of tolerance, diversity, collaboration, and inter-sector cooperation, it is a mega hub for information and communication technology and financial services.
4. New Delhi– Delhi shall shortly be one of the biggest smart cities in the world covering an area of about 24,000 hectares with plans already laid out to create a world class infrastructure with incessant water and power supply, promotion of green technology and renewable energy, uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity, upgraded technologies to conserve water such as rain water harvesting and state of art waste management techniques.
5. Paris– Paris is considered to be the greenest and the most livable cities of Europe. It was ranked very well in terms of digital governance and innovation. Velib, a highly successful bike sharing program is a landmark in the culture of Paris and a similar model named Autolib with 250 rental stations was also launched by the mayor recently. In future it shall have modern residential towers empowered with photovoltaic and thermal shields, producing electricity and heating water while power generation shall be generated by reversible hydro-electrical pumps using collected rainwater.
6. New York–
With a series of initiatives such as establishing a 24*7 interactive program that provides information to anyone, anywhere and on any device and provision for uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity at major centers are some features making it a smart city. Besides the much anticipated USD 20 billion Hudson Yard project
shall be the biggest development in the city bringing an elevated quality of life for residents and visitors through digital tracking of environmental factors such as air quality, traffic and energy consumption.
7. Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT city)– A financial city with emphasis on service sector that promises to generate over 50,000 employment in next 2 years and shall be overall managed by a team of professional. It shall be comparable to any developed city of Europe in terms of providing very high quality of lifestyle by meeting 24*7 water supply, electricity, pollution free air, entertainment and sports and optimum facilities for healthcare and education.
8. Boston- It is paramount in smart technology , application of which can be seen across the city, the most important being “Soofas”- The solar powered benches that can not only charge gadgets but also monitor the levels of air quality and sound. Besides the five applications created by the department of innovation and technology also finds its use in finding on street parking, reporting real time problems to government and empowering the citizens to extend civic sense network at zero additional cost.
9. Tokyo– This scores in innovation and digital city has been great for the city of Tokyo which has recently announced plans for creating a suburban smart city with homes possessing integrated solar panels, storage batteries, and energy efficient appliances all connected to a smart grid. It shall also be launching smart mobility system in times to come.
10. San Francisco- A city with three whole miles of free Wi-Fi on main road, it is considered to be the leader in smart city projects. Its green and sustainability initiatives can be seen through the mandate for its residents for separating their garbage in three categories –recycling, compost, and landfill waste for a perfect recycle mechanism. Devices also suggest citizens on real time energy consumption and ways to save it thus conserving energy on the go. The city also encourages reducing pollution and carbon emission through provision of 100 charging stations to help recharge electric cars.
is the essence of survival and the sooner governments all over the world realize and start working towards its development, the better it shall be for the world's health and sustainability.