Smart cities in India, can they deliver?

New Delhi, India

Contributor: Will Bugler

New technologies are shaping our cities in ways that we have not seen before. IT systems can help manage energy use, transport flows, water resources any many other functions. But where does climate change fit into smart cities agenda? and how can it be ensured that smart technologies work for the poorest and most vulnerable citizens?

The push towards using IT in urban management has been seen the world over, but few places have adopted the concept so readily as India. There, the government has a dedicated initiative called ‘The Smart Cities Mission’ which aims to “drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local development and harnessing technology as a means to create smart outcomes for citizens”. The scheme has been extended to 98 cities across India including 24 state capitals. There is an expectation that the smart cities agenda can solve many of the development challenges of cities in India, making the cities cleaner, more efficient and more resilient. So what kind of challenges are Indian cities facing? And can ‘smart cities’ deliver?

In this episode of Acclimatise Conversations on Climate Change Adaptation, we speak with Mr GK Bhat, Chairman of TARU Leading Edge. Based in Delhi, TARU is one of India’s leading research organisations focussing on development issues including Disaster Risk Management & Climate Change and Urban Development.


Last year, Taru Leading Edge, released its Road to Resilience book. The book captures many innovations for developing cities that are both ‘smart’ and resilient.Read the book here.

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