What is a Smart City?
The concept of smart cities is a powerful indication of a developed economy. Many scientists predict the world’s urban population to double by 2050. Since our whole planet is becoming more urban or at least is striving to become urban, our cities too need to pace up and get smarter.
Although, geographically speaking, a smart city is an urban region, it also signifies that the city is highly advanced in regards to infrastructure development, environmental-friendly real estate projects and advanced digital and information technologies.
As per the document published on the Indian Smart City’s website, the following aspects are included in a city to be smart!
- Efficient urban mobility and public transport,
- Good governance,
- Sustainable environment,
- Affordable housing,
- Safety of citizens,
- Health and education
At present, 31% of India’s population are living in urban cities and these cities also generate 63% of the nation’s economic activities. However, it is predicted that almost half of India’s population projected to live in bigger cities will increase rapidly in the coming years.
Not so unsurprisingly, a smart city will only become smart when its citizens become smart. In other words, the citizens who live and work in these cities should upgrade and update themselves in order to help their city transform into a smart city. Let’s now understand how do we define a smart citizen in the literal context?
Who is a Smart Citizen?
Firstly, a smart citizen is someone who has basic civic sense, in addition to, respect for the law of the country. Secondly, a smart citizen will provide valuable participation in the development of their city. The citizens of a smart city will participate in all aspects, from keeping their city clean to respecting the law.
A smart citizen will be aware of all those smart solutions that their local authorities are investing in. Awareness of smart solutions plays a pivotal role in developing smart citizens of any city. That is where the role of good governance comes in. Good governance requires good decision-making, and good decision-making requires the knowledge and informed views of the citizens. Therefore, participation of smart citizens is fundamental to turn an ordinary city into a smart city!
Smart people need smart cities and likewise. Both are interdependent on each other. Although making policies for a comprehensive growth of the city is important, it is also pertinent to acknowledge that these policies need infinite support of its citizens and local stakeholders for implementation of policies.
Lastly, a smart citizen should be fully involved in the development of the city and should not hesitate in taking responsibilities for his or her actions. Ideally, they should live life and make decisions innovatively and employ a sustainable way of living. It is imperative to make sure that smart citizens are well equipped with skills and experience to face all sorts of challenges that lie ahead in the future.