Homes and gardens

Smart City indicators are here

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has issued the indicators for the proposed ‘Smart Cities’ to be raised in India. The Document (CED-59) 10,000 WC has been placed in the public domain for eliciting opinion till November 29, 2016. The Bureau has stated that it had been guided by ‘ISO 37120:2014-Sustainable Development of Communities: Indicators for city services and quality of life’ ’ while preparing the Standards.

The Bureau says elements of aspirations for cities must be factored into consideration while measuring the delivery of services. For instance, a city would like to remain a ‘Heritage City’, a cultural hub, an industrial city, a business city or a tourism city in the course of its development. There must be scope for these features to remain at the core of its planning and growth.


The Smart Cities are encouraged to develop their own databases for measuring their efficiency and competitiveness as bodies such as Registrar General of India, Central Statistical Organisation, National Crime Records Bureau, Central Pollution Control Board and various ministries operate at national or State level. Most indicators chosen for the current purpose are conventional such as infant mortality, survival rate of students till completion of primary or secondary education, suicides per one lakh persons, per capita GHG emissions, noise pollution or per capita GDP for the city.

However, it requires the Smart City administrations to digitise their services in order to know the growth in real time. For instance, if births or deaths could be registered online, the city’s population could be known at any point of time. Similarly, online issuance of Occupancy Certificates (OC) would keep updating the data on residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

Social Health Indices

The number of businesses per 100,000 population can inform a city’s level of economic activity and economic performance. It provides one indication of the overall business climate in a jurisdiction, and attitudes towards entrepreneurship.

The Gini index will be used to measure inequality between incomes of people. The unemployment rate will be measured by taking the unutilised labour supply and track business cycles. It will be measured in terms of working-age city residents who during the survey period were not in paid employment or self employment and were seeking work divided by the total labour force.

It will be multiplied by 100 and expressed as a percentage. Proportion of enrolment in both public and private schools and teacher-student ratios will be taken into consideration.

Evaluating interruptions

Total residential electrical energy used per capita shall be calculated as the total residential electrical usage of a city in kilowatt hours(kWh). In order to indicate sustainable growth, the Smart Cities would be required to keep record of energy produced (and consumed) from renewable energy sources. Average number of electrical interruptions will also be documented to track and benchmark reliability performance in electric utility services. Similar interruptions in water supply too are recommended.

Cities are also required to develop databases of trained firefighters, health workforce, hospital beds (all on the basis of one lakh people) as well as fatalities by fire, road accidents and natural disasters. These vital statistics help build the investment environment.


The cities gain strength by the transparency and accountability of the people at the helm and their openness, honesty and leadership.

A Bloomberg (New York) or Livingstone (London) has added value to the city’s worth across the world. The Smart Cities will maintain their own records of voters, people who exercised their franchise, number of women elected to city-level offices, and positions held by them. Similar would be the requirement on the corruption front. The number of convictions for corruption/bribery can reflect the extent to which governance adheres to core principles.


The sanitation front will see reckoning of sanitary toilet facilities availed of by the people and community toilet facilities provided at public places at the rate of 10 people per seat.

Share of primary, secondary or tertiary treatment of wastewater (or no treatment) will provide ranking in matters of wastewater handling. As for solid waste management, disposal by biodigestion, landfills, burning or recycling will lend the Smart Cities their place in the ranking.

It has elaborate recommendations to keep track of transport facilities such as high capacity public transport (Metros, suburban rails, etc) and light passenger transport (which may include light rail streetcars, trams, monorail, etc ). The results will be expressed in km per one lakh population, annual number of public transport trips per capita and ridership of public transport.

Similarly, kilometers of bicycle lane per one lakh population will describe the status of non-motorised vehicles.

Per capita water consumption in litres per day will be arrived at by calculating water supplied by the authorities and metered usage in homes, excluding the industrial and commercial usage. Water leakage and pilferage and distribution losses too would go into accounting.

The full document is available at:


This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 13, 2021 3:52:07 PM |

Next Story