involvement in smart city development stressed
suggests settings up ‘BRICS Human Smart Cities Institute’
urban governance emphasised to mobilise resources needed for infrastructure
Pradesh highlights use of ICT in governance; says Rs.53,000 cr needed for urban
infrastructure in next four years
makers and experts from BRICS countries today emphasised the need to focus more
on bringing people in urban areas together by ending social exclusion while
developing smart cities using technology only as a tool. Participating in a
Plenary Session on ‘BRICS Smart Cities conclave in Visakhapatnam,Andhra Pradesh’,
they stressed that adoption of technology can’t be the ultimate goal of smart
city development and it should be used as a tool to meet the aspirations of the
concern over growing social exclusion in cities, Prof. D Alvaro de Oliveira,
representing Brazil stressed the need to give primacy to the human aspect of
smart city development. Expressing concern over rising isolation of different
social groups in urban areas, smart cities should aim at integrating people. He
cited the examples of initiatives taken in Brazil to end social conflicts by
creating integrated neighbourhoods in Brazil’s capital Rio de Janiero and
Portugese city of Lisbon. He also stressed on using technology only as a tool
and for bringing social and behavioural transformation.
Oliveira suggested setting up a ‘BRICS Human Smart Cities Institute’ to mount
collective efforts for socially and economically integrated urban development
in the context of growing emphasis on smart city development.
Pradipta Banerjee, Director, IIT, Roorkie also noted that smart city
development is not all about technology but it is about meeting the needs of
people. He said that urban development approaches should address trust deficit
between the people and governance institutions. He favoured development of
‘connected smart city regions rather than smart cities including improvement in
quality of rural areas’.
Africa’s Philip Harrison cautioned BRICS nations to ensure that urban
development with focus on smart cities should not further increase existing
inequalities in urban areas and governance should not be allowed to become more
technocratic and less responsive.
Karikal Valaven, Principle Secretary (Urban Development), Government of Andhra
Pradesh who chaired the session said that under the Smart City Mission of
Government of India, said that well considered efforts are being to integrate
physical, digital and human systems to enable economically productive,
inclusive and prosperous urban areas. He stressed that technology is being used
to serve the objective of improving governance and enhancing the efficiency of
use of urban infrastructure.
of China, Mr.Lie Tie said that given huge mobile and internet penetration in
his country, the government is making ‘internet’ the corner stone of enhancing
the efficacy of municipal governance and employment generation.
Antsev of Russia gave an account of the technology based initiatives being
taken in Russia to effectively respond to the consequences of natural
disasters to provide immediate relief to the people in quick time. Stating that
about 80% of the world’s population live along the coast, he said that efforts
are in progress to make water vessels that can travel at a speed of over 500 km
per hour to provide relief to disaster victims.
a discussion on ‘Financing Urban Infrastructure’, the experts referred to the
strong correlation between inequality in access to infrastructure and
inequality in incomes in urban areas. They stressed on the need to ensure
effective urban governance supported by a strong political leadership and
vision to enable cities attract huge investments required for building
participants stressed on the need to make urban local bodies self-reliant through
enhanced resource streams including issuing of Municipal Bonds for which cities
have to become creditworthy. They expressed concern over investments in urban
infrastructure not resulting in adequate returns to ensure repayment and called
for effective measures in this regars.
was noted that in South Africa, the leading 8 metropolitan cities mobilise 45%
of required finances through Municipal Bonds.
the need for effective municipal governance, representatives of member
countries urged the New Development Bank set up by BRICS to support development
of governance institutions.
Prakash Gaur, CEO of Andhra Pradesh Urban Infrastructure and Asset Management
Limited said that a per capita investment of Rs.10,000 per year in urban areas
is required in the State to improve infrastructure and an investment of
Rs.53,000 cr is required over the next four years.