Smart cities: Concept of new urbanization in India
Across the world, the stride of migration from rural to urban areas is increasing. By 2050, about 70 percent of the population will be living in cities, and India is no exception. It will need about 500 new cities to accommodate the influx. While the urban population is currently around 31% of the total population, it contributes over 60% of India’s GDP. It is projected that urban India will contribute nearly 75% of the national GDP in the next 15 years. The government has now realized the need for cities that can cope with the challenges of urban living and also be magnets for investment. The announcement of ‘100 smart cities’ falls in line with this vision. A 'smart city' is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. Under the Smart Cities Mission, each selected city would get central assistance of Rs.100 crore per year for five years. Smart City aspirants will be selected through a ‘City Challenge Competition’ intended to link financing with the ability of the cities to perform to achieve the mission objectives. The strategic components of Area-based development in the Smart Cities Mission are city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city extension (Greenfield development) plus a Pan-city initiative in which Smart Solutions are applied covering larger parts of the city.