Smart City Technologies: An Oversell Product of Global Technology Companies or the Ultimate Solution to the Challenges Persisting in Urban India

Introduction

More than half of the world's population is now living in cities (UN-HABITAT 2013), while according to the latest population projections, three countries alone, namely India, China, and Nigeria, will be the home of 37% of urban dwellers at a global level (United Nations 2014). The McKinsey Global Institute has predicted that by 2030, the urban population in India will reach 590 million. To accommodate the demands of such huge numbers of people, 1.2 trillion USD will be required to invest in a mass rapid transport system, affordable housing, employment generation, construction of roads and sewers, health and education, and many other amenities and infrastructure (Sankhe et al. 2010).

Obviously, planning and management of such a huge number of urban dwellers in India will not be an easy job; many more cities will be needed to address the rapid urbanization and population growth while urban policy makers and planners will be in exigent need for a dynamic, efficient, capable, and competent tool to do so.

In the past two or more decades, however, urban scientists and thinkers have been observing a transitory urban boom, passing through a period of time where information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been profoundly transforming the character, construct, and commands of city planning, functioning, management, infrastructure, and almost every component of day-to-day life.

Arguably, ICT-infused solutions to city planning, management, and other operations are widely acknowledged as smart city technologies in general.

 
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