article banner

Smart Cities – What’s in it for Business

Implementation of the Smart City Mission of the Government of India is under process. While there has been no universally accepted definition for a smart city, the Smart City Mission’s objective is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and provide quality life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions. As part of the mission’s strategy “it is necessary that all the city residents feel there is something in it for them also”.

In the present context it is evident that urbanisation is driven by migration of people from rural areas for better employment opportunities and economic prospects . While provision of infrastructure is important to ensure quality of life, the sustainability of the economic driver of the city cannot be over emphasised. The Smart city programme with such a holistic approach and foresight is essential for the country. The programme should complement the local competitiveness factors that shall eventually sustain the prime reason for urbanization. It is therefore essential that the core economic profile of the city should take center stage when planning a smart city, hence, ‘The PIVOT’.

GOI Smart City Mission has considered city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city extension (greenfield development) as strategic components of area-based development. Even when an urban planner designs the retrofitting plan/redevelopment plan of a city the focus remains, on addressing the requirements pertaining to adequate water supply, assured electricity supply, sanitation, including solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport along with affordable housing. The process of retrofitting and redevelopment are generally in response to city growth which could be based on an organic growth model or an inorganic growth model.

It is noticed that in an effort to respond to the demands of the city standard plans are made and implemented. Due to this, all cities seem mirror images of each other and the same has led to the core economic activity or ‘The Pivot’ being ignored.

In this report we have tried to give an introduction to the Smart City concept, conventional developmental models and the pivotal developmental model. Our report aims to give the reader an understanding of the pivotal developmental model and at the same time discuss the various pivots.

The take away from this report, is that all stakeholders should work together to identify ‘The Pivot’ of their city, as it isthe core economic activity of the city, makes business sense and affects multiple livelihoods in a city. All infrastructure up-gradation, skill development programs, institutional set up should therefore converge to support the pivot of the city.

In the process of drafting this report we have referred to secondary resources for data, had multiple interactions with members from the business community and also stakeholders from industry, MSME cluster, urban planning institutes.

Should you have any clarification in regards to ‘The pivotal developmental model’ or seek to undertake a study on identification of ‘The Pivot’ for your city; we shall be glad to work with you.