(GIST OF YOJANA) Multi-Pronged Approach
to Urban Transformation


Multi-Pronged Approach to Urban Transformation

Mains Paper 3: Economy

Prelims level: Smart Cities

Mains level: Infrastructure, roads, ports, railways


  •  India’s urban population was over 31 per cent in 2011 census.
  •  This is expected to rise to 40 percent by 2030 and 50 per cent by
    2050, i.e., it will cross 800 million.
  •  As per 2011 census, urban India contributed 63 percent to the GDP;
    it is projected to grow over 75 percent by 2030.
  •  Challenges to Urban India the Prime Minister saw the challenges of
    urbanization as opportunities to drive the economy forward investments in
    infrastructure will create jobs, improve ease of living and employ citizens
    to best of their abilities in the service of the nation

Three-level strategy

  1. At the first level, poverty alleviation, affordable housing and
    sanitation were the three biggest challenges. Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana-National
    Urban Livelihood Mission (DAY-NULM), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U)
    and Swachh Bharat Mission- Urban (SBM-U) implemented in all the urban local
    bodies (ULBs).
  2. At the second level, basic infrastructure like water supply, sewage/septage
    projects and green parks became the focus.These sectors required economies
    of scale and are being implemented in 500 cities, with 1,00,000 and above
    population through Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).This
    covers over 60 per cent of urban population.
  3. Finally at the third level, 100 cities are being developed under Smart
    Cities Mission (SCM) to address the issue of ease of living by evolving new
    paradigms of urban governance with communities at the core and increased use
    of digital technology to improve the urban infrastructure, services and
    utilization of resources.

What do we mean by Smart Cities?

  1. More from Less: Being conscious of resource constraints, they have to
    generate more impact/outcomes from use of less resources- energy, finance
    and others;
  2. Cooperative and Competitive Federalism: Cities are selected through
    competition in two stage challenges at State and Central levels
  3. Integration, Innovation, Sustainability: It is not merely about the use
    of technology, but creation of integrated infrastructure and services.
  4. Technology is the Means, and Not the Goal: Careful selection of
    technologies, relevant to the context of particular cities, built around
    specific needs of their communities is important for the cities to work out
    solutions; and
  5. Inclusiveness is a Guiding Philosophy: Cities are for the people and
    hence they have to be built around the principles of inclusiveness. Broadly,
    Smart Cities address three core issues: Live-ability, Economic-ability and

Smart Cities Mission Strategy

  •  Smart Cities Mission was launched on
  •  Broadly, the Mission tries to meet the June 25, 2015 by the Prime
    Minister of major goals hi hlighted earlier t hrough India. a two- fold
    strat egy:
  •  Smart cities in common parlance are  understood to be cities
    that use 1. Area Based Development, which appropriate technologies for
    improving quality of lives of their citizens.
  1. Citizen at the Core: Citizens and the communities are at the centre of
    development; focuses on development of world class localities within cities
    to act as replicable models through redevelopment, retrofitting or green
    development; and
  2. Pan City development, wherein cities identify few key areas of
    intervention with use of digital technologies to create impacts on basic
    infrastructure and services with an intent to improve quality of life for
    their citizens.

Smart Cities Mission Evolution

  •  100 Smart Cities have been selected across all States and Union
    Territories of India. The selection of these 100 cities was done in four
    different rounds. Technology as a Means, and not the End
  •  Technology as mentioned earlier, is a means to an end.
  •  This is quite evident from the experience of Smart Cities Mission.
  •  Every Smart City under the Mission will have a Smart City Centre
    (also referred to as Integrated Command and Control Centre).
  •  This is and will be the city’s brain and nervous system where
    digital technologies are integrated to social, physical and environmental
    aspects of the city to provide centralised monitoring and decision making.
  •  Place-making project: Pune has transformed neglected urban spaces
    into social hubs thereby creating active neighbourhoods.

Quality of Life und Economy: Impact

  •  Smart cities’ projects are not only promoting sustainable
    development but also helping create vibrant, inclusive, healthy and
    collaborative cities, thus enhancing quality of life.
  •  The Mission promotes mixed land-use in area-based developments ns
    proximity and density reduce the per capita costs of providing and
    maintaining infrastructure und services, while creating knowledge spillovers
    and specialization that hugely enhance the urban productivity.
  •  Smart Cities are implementing projects with a strong focus on
    economic returns.
  •  The primary focus of initiatives relating to local economic
    development is on commercial and retail activities, with a strong focus on
    market redevelopment projects and the new construction of offices, homes and
    allied institutions such as convention centres, etc., as part of mixed-use
  •  Few other project interventions being implemented by Smart Cities
    include setting up of skill development centres, incubation centres and
    vending zones.

Innovation as Key Driver

  •  The Smart Cities Mission aspires to build the right partnerships
    and networks, create enabling environments for engagement, and put in place
    an ecosystem which breeds innovation.
  •  Recognizing the role of Start-ups, the Smart Cities Mission will

Impact on Sustainability

  • percent of the Smart Cities energy requirement coming from Solar Energy.
  •  Diu has become the first city to completely switch over to solar
    power during the day-time. Many other cities have executed projects on
    renewable energy including solar and wind energy.
  •  Smart Cities have identified initiatives to strengthen their
    distribution systems through Smart Metering.
  •  Promotion of energy efficient green buildings and green transport
    options to reduce need for electricity are some other initiatives taken up
    by Smart Cities.

Key Enablers

  •  Smart Governance, improved urban finance, capacity building und
    technology driven innovation ore key enablers in the performance of the
    smart cities. These are discussed in following paras.

Pre General Studies Study Material

Smart Governance

  •  Smart Cities leverage ICT based technologies and digitalisation to
    make governance citizen-friendly and cost effective; bring about
    accountability and transparency; provide services without having to go to
    municipal offices; form e-groups to listen to people and obtain feedback;
    and use online monitoring of programs and activities with the aid of online
  •  By now, 13 Smart Cities have operationalised ICCCs; and work is in
    progress in another 49.
  •  Smart Cities Mission aims to address barriers in data driven
    governance through ‘Data Smart Cities’, an evolving policy framework on data
    for smart cities, which aims to be a catalyst for the entire ecosystem
    comprising of people, processes and technology.
  •  Making ULBs financially self-sufficient is very important for
    sustainable development.
  •  Capacity Building and Knowledge Management:
  •  The Ministry has launched the Cities Investment To Innovate,
    Integrate and Sustain (CITIIS)
  •  Challenge in collaboration with the French Development Bank (AFD).
  •  AFD will provide investment support of EUR 100 million to selected
    cities in key sectors of Sustainable Mobility, Public Open Spaces, Urban
    Governance & ICT and Social and Organization Innovation in Low Income
    Settlements. The Mission would select at least 15 projects through CITIES
  •  India Smart Cities Fellowship & Internship Program has been
    launched to engage brilliant youth with the Mission.
  •  This will promote knowledge management within the Mission and
    provide young professionals with an opportunity to experience various
    aspects of urban planning and governance.
  •  SmartNet is an initiative to support the development or cities
    across India and  to create a resource rich ecosystem of learning,
    sharing and disseminating for city managers and primary stakeholders in the
    urban transformation of India.

National Urban Innovation Hub

  •  A new entity titled the ‘National Urban Innovation Hub’ (NUIH) is
    being proposed at the national level to consolidate existing resources and
    to expand the footprint of innovation development and capacity building for
    the urban sector.
  •  NUIH would catalyse the creation of an enabling ecosystem for
    transformation of the urban sector through a culture of continuous and
    comprehensive innovation.
  •  NUIH will anchor the National Smart Cities Capacity Building
    Program to produce empowered functionaries and stronger institutions.
  •  NUIH will be powered by the National Urban Innovation Stack (NUIH).
  •  The NUIH is envisaged to provide the foundational components that
    are required across various urban programs.
  •  NUIH is a nationally shared digital infrastructure usable by the
    Governments, both at Centre and States and across public and private

Way Forward

  •  At the start of the mission, one of the biggest challenges was to
    create an institutional framework at city level.
  •  It is for the first time that city level SPVs have been created
    for comprehensive urban development in India.
  •  Now, these cities have to build capacity at city level to take up
    innovative technology solutions.
  •  A major challenge is to build urban finance capacities in order
    for cities to be able to leverage grants being provided by the governments.
  • Innovative financing models like issuance of municipal bonds, developing
    PPP projects and formulating land value capture finance (VCF) policies are
    required. The cities have taken the first step by leveraging the government
    grant by 2 – 2.5 times (average) in their Smart City Proposals (SCPs).
  •  The importance of standardization in the context of development of
    Smart Cities cannot be ignored.
  •  Lack of standards results In problem of vendor lock-in and
    solution silos The Mission is closely working with Bureau of Indian
    Standards (BIS) an effort to come up with smart ICT INFRASTRUCTURE standards
    and they are hopeful that they should be able to release the first version
    of these standards around mid-2019.

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