Will it be a smart race?

As 98 cities across India vie with each other during the last leg of their race to be in the first 20 smart cities, Chandrashekar Hariharan of the Responsible Cities Foundation ( and the co-author of the IGBC Residential Green Guidelines, expands on the challenge that lies before the City Commissioners even as they brace up to meet the November 27 deadline for presenting their SmartCity Proposal. Which city will be amongst the chosen lot, after being shortlisted in the first hundred, from the 472 cities that were first on the landscape?

Mr. Hariharan insists that city authorities be prepared for bringing management into city administration for going SMART…having goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based.

Here are excerpts from a conversation with The Hindu PropertyPlus:

What should the chosen cities concentrate on?

Cities should have to give attention to picking low-cost, high-visibility projects to ensure that the efforts of the elected and appointed administration establish citizen confidence. This could be followed up with high-investment projects for bagging accountability, rather than when they become part of city expenditure budgets. Smart cities have to bring interventions across the board on compliance from government agencies and from citizens which is the key challenge for city commissioners.

What each smart city should not neglect is the humane side of the small entrepreneur, the shopkeeper, the footpath vendor, the kirana store owner, or even the farmer on the city periphery in a largely agrarian economy. These don’t attract big money and need smart thinking.

How can a city be one amongst the first 20? What does it take to win the race?

The ‘brains trust’ in each city has to show much more eagerness than they have ever done before. Reports from most cities show that commissioners are toiling for long hours - doubling as they have to between their regular job as commissioners of the city corporations and the new role of steering the SmartCity Proposals, until such time as the CEO for the special purpose vehicle is appointed in each city. If cities fail to reach the tape, nothing is lost. They must keep up the pace. The second year will see the next 40 cities picked.

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 10:34:01 PM |

Next Story