India has been making waves in the International front with economic and infrastructural growth over the past few decades. Post RERA and GST, the Indian real estate sector has shaped up well with transparent and hassle-free transactions benefitting both buyers and sellers. Another remarkable measure taken up by the government to mark an Indian stamp in the global space is the introduction of the concept of Smart Cities in June 2015, by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This initiative was taken up to speed up the urbanisation of India so it can soon be listed as one of the most developed nations in the world. So what exactly is a smart city and how will we benefit from this conceptualization? Let’s find out.
What is a Smart City?
A Smart City is a locality which is highly developed in nature with excellent infrastructure and a booming real estate market. It is also digitally connected with brilliant information technology and is known for its technological advancements in engineering and applied science. The core elements that categorise a region as a smart city include sufficient water supply, adequate electricity, good sanitation, excellent roadways and public transportation, well-established health and education centres and much more. Apart from these basic factors, a Smart City also features:
- A good waste management system
- Affordable housing schemes
- Citizen friendly governance
- Developed open spaces and environmental programs
The Smart City Initiative
The objective behind the concept of Smart Cities is to identify the vigorously developing regions in India and fund them immensely to become extremely urban and developed localities. This will, in turn, help in developing the next batch of emerging Smart Cities and will lead to the overall development and industrialisation of the Indian subcontinent.
The concept originated during the World Economic Crisis of 2008 when IBM brought this notion to light to kindle the Smarter Planet initiative. Due to its global success, many other countries like South Korea, China and the UAE began taking up this initiative, by the beginning of 2009, and since then, there has been no looking back.
By January 2016, India had recognised 20 regions as Smart Cities out of the original 98 localities that were suggested. These cities have already received funds from the government, and the process of transforming them into smart cities is in place. The next batch of cities which will be focused on for urbanisation will be released after a period of two years with each batch containing 40 and 38 regions respectively. The 98 localities which are going to be altered into developed Smart Cities consist of:
- Capital cities
- Industrial and business centres
- Areas which are highly-influenced by the tourism industry
- Port cities
- Health and education hubs
As per the ranking of the cities identified as potential Smart Cities, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have struck gold with the highest number of cities short-listed. Uttar Pradesh has taken up a good chunk of the lot with 13 potential smart cities followed by Tamil Nadu which is short-listed with 12 cities. The 20 cities which are undergoing rapid urbanisation to resurface as India's first batch of smart cities ultimately are:
- New Delhi
At the Brigade Group, we have already listed Smart Cities as part of a larger agenda. Since a sustainable real estate market plays a crucial role in categorising a region as a Smart City, investing in these cities is a guaranteed way to enjoy profound returns in the near future.
With such robust procedures and pre-established deadlines, it is safe to say that the Smart City initiative is one of the most ambitious measures taken by the Central Government to urbanise India and help it get recognised as one of the most developed nations in the World.