Urban Planning

Not so smart idea

Print edition : August 22, 2014

A view of the Lavasa project near Pune. At the core of a city are the people who harness their energies, creativity, intelligence and requirements to build the city with the bottom-up approach. But under the smart city concept, the pyramid is upturned, where first the infrastructure is built and then people are invited to come and adapt to those spaces.

A line of chalets at Aamby Valley near Pune. Photo: PAUL NORONHA

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The Budget has earmarked Rs.7,060 crore to brainstorm the creation of a 100 “'new”' smart cities. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

At Gujarat International Finance Tec-City(GIFT) near Ahmedabad on January 10, 2013, Chief Minister Narendra Modi after inaugurating a 28-floor, 122-metre high-rise, the tallest in the State. Most of the smart cities in India are being envisaged as business and IT hubs. Photo: Ajit Solanki/AP

Songdo in South Korea.

A view of PlanIT Valley in Portugal.

A view of Barcelona. Cisco plans to develop Barcelona into a smart city that will be a global benchmark.

The smart city, a 100 of which the NDA government has planned, is a utopian concept that excludes completely the urban poor and promises infrastructure systems to control urban living and that has the capitalist rather than the state as the custodian of citizens.
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