Piecing the “Smart City” Puzzle

Integrative Thinking for winning business & creating impact

The Smart Cities Mission, as envisioned by the Ministry of Urban Development, has been underpinned by ideas of Design Thinking and Systems Thinking – to bring a new, innovative, interlinked way of approaching the planning and implementation of urban development.

Cities have always been epicenters where people congregate for commercial, administrative or sociocultural reasons. But cities in India have evolved almost organically - by happenchance, by extension – building layer upon layer, often without any master planning. While there have been pockets of planned development in India over the past century, they have focused on smaller neighborhood based geographies such as Lutyen’s Delhi, Corbousier’s Chandigarh, or Hiranandani in Powai. Even then, they haven’t brought together every element of urban living – from the basic civil infrastructure to real estate to smartness together.

The scale and scope of India’s Smart Cities Mission is unprecedented. It encompasses initiatives across the spectrum of city functions and services, across the range of smart and non-smart solutions and aims to touch the lives of citizens from every walk of life. 67 of the 102 cities have received approval for their strategic plans, and are now moving into the detailed planning or implementation phases. New tenders are coming out daily – for work that shall be carried out through the next decade.

The breadth of this challenge will require a lot of integration. Urban planners and architects will need to understand communications and IT technologies. Communicators and community awareness organizations will need to understand urban planning. Communications and IT experts will need to understand new age digital, internet of things and automation technologies. New age urban tech companies will need to understand design and finance. Financiers, venture capitalists and investors must understand not just long term structured finance but also the changing regulatory norms around new technologies that could influence their investment decisions in the future.

Understanding the macro level ecosystem and the interdependencies between functions, services, technologies, and initiatives is essential for specialists to improve the impact and scope of the smart cities projects they undertake.

Bombay Stock Exchange Institutes and Gaia Smart Cities bring a unique masterclass for executives looking to participate in the smart cities ecosystem. Bringing together multiple perspectives and integrating interdisciplinary approaches, this course will empower professionals and organizations and allow them to win businesses and create long term impact on urban environments.