Bolstering the Basics: Building up the Smart City Dream from Foundations

SmartCity-Event Report
A roundtable discussion on the aforesaid theme being led by Raghav Mittal, Managing Editor, Elets Technomedia at Expo Mart Greater Noida

While the unfurling of the Smart City Narrative is being seen as something which would catapult the destiny of this billion plus nation to intended highs, the fact of the matter remains that the creation of this grand edifice would require a resilient Back to Basics approach.

The digitization of the innumerable assets which a city possesses would get intractable if not approached from a tactical and futuristic perspective into consideration, which shall involve the key stakeholders at the local level, something which gets overlooked in the awe and grandeur of the Smart City vision. It’s only when the basics are put in right, an entire edifice of smarter and sophisticated solutions can be overlaid creating a never ending maze of mesmerizing experiences.

It’s with this intent, we called upon a wide array of stakeholders having a profound say in the Smart City narrative, to capture the 360 degree perspective of What’s going on? What should go on? Where are we lacking? Here are the quick snippets of the hour long intense discussion.

Pratap Padode Founder and Director, Smart Cities Council of India


Pratap Padode, Founder and Director, Smart Cities Council of India

A Smart City Movement is in the offing. Cities are to get smarter and adapt to changing settings to meet the citizen aspirations. Resources would be needed to develop the smart precincts. The participation of the private sector would be important for the requisite finance to be available. The mindset of designing cities would have to change from an enhanced sense of authority to that of citizen convenience. The role of City Leaders has to further intensify in the eventual accomplishment of the Smart City dream.


David Hickman, Head, International Business Development – Government, Thomson Reuters

Running and operating a city needs money. Smart City is an experience which arrives with a sequence of Smart Decisions which needs the setting of self sufficient, cross-functional systems & processes in place. In order to augment the livability of smart habitations, an unimpeachable process of information dissemination has to be put in place to take a series of smart decisions. People have to be enabled to think for their own habitations and participate in the overall design & delivery of Smart Cities.


Bharti Sinha, Executive Director, Association of Geospatial Industries

It’s all about Smart Systems where Governance is at the core of it all. Geospatial systems have graduated into Governance Information Systems. For the very first time, it seems that the intent of the Smart City narrative is on the right track and it shall set the roadmap for the augmentation of urban habitations under AMRUT as well. Cities need to learn from the best systems created by each other.


Prashant Pillai, Country Head – Tax & Accounting Business and Market Development, South Asia, Thomson Reuters

The Foundational Processes are imperative to evoke conversation between Cross Functional Agencies. The cool technologies can only succeed the deployment of foundational ones. The strong Programme Management Unit set up for the Smart City Mission give ample hope that the project shall make the intended impact. In order to create a sustainable revenue base for cities, bold and out of the box solutions would have to be worked out taking cue from global best practices. The existing revenue base can be augmented by a set of smart systems in place.


Rohan Verma, Director, MapmyIndia

By integrating with the existing technologies, the Smart City narrative can leapfrog instead of inventing everything from scratch. The due adoption of Smart Devices & Platforms can facilitate the triad of Safety, Efficiency & Design of Smart Cities.


Sunil Makkena, Senior VP, Data and Operations, Cyient

The Bifurcated Focus of Smart City need to be integrated into smart dashboards for a cogent understanding. A lot is going on but in a siloed manner.

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