Smart, in India, is the new way of being. From phones, TVs, cars, homes and now cities, everything is going the ‘smart’ way. However, the smart city isn’t a new concept, especially in the West. In cities like Los Angeles, Information and Communications Technology-based (ICT) data capture and analysis has improved the efficiency of services and planning since the 1960s.
It is now clear that the Indian smart cities are not all about data, information and intelligence, but rather in the absence of a comprehensive urbanisation policy, a continuation of the legacy of ad-hoc urban programming of subsequent governments.
The previous UPA government set the ball rolling with the JNNURM for creating world-class infrastructure, redeveloping slums and ushering in a culture of planned urban development along with governance reforms within urban local bodies.