Smart City Mission changing the approaches of city governments

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Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu has asserted that implementation of Smart City Mission is certainly changing the way the city governments are addressing issues of urban planning and execution. He spoke on various aspects of the development of smart cities in the country at the Knowledge sharing workshop on ‘Smart Cities and Informed Urbanisation,’ organised by NITI Ayog and University of New South Wales, Australia.

Stating that Smart City Mission aims to improve liveability in cities, Naidu said the broad objectives of the Mission are sustainable urban planning and development, management of urban affairs with citizens’ participation, area-based development, resilience to climate change, natural disasters etc. and technology based solutions for better governance and infrastructure management.

The Minister further said that all new urban sector missions launched over the last two years aim at inclusive urban development benefitting all sections.

Vice-Chairman of NITI Ayog Dr Arvind Panagariya said the Government has selected 100 cities for smart city development based on competition without any iota of controversy and was highly laudable. Basic features of a smart city include slum-free city environment, proper delivery of city services including clean water and quality and assured power, affordable housing and meeting the needs of children, women and the aged. He stressed on the need for optimal use of scarce urban land through vertical development.

NITI Ayog Member Dr Vivek Debroy stated that Smart City Mission is not aimed at disbursing public money but to recast urban landscape through other means of resource mobilisation and promoting best urban practices.

Rajiv Gauba, Secretary (Urban Development), said, “Smart City Mission is not a typical project oriented programme but a process driven by the ambition of the citizens for better living and is not limited by time.”