Tag Archives: Smart City in India

Enthusiasm low with 20 aspirants of smart city case study

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The level of enthusiasm has gone down with smart city project as 20 initial aspirants finalised for case study.

Smart City in India, Indian smart cities list, India real estate news, Indian property market, NRI investment, Track2RealtyWhen the idea of smart city was first floated in India, the boardrooms of global IT giants like IBM and CISCO got into business opportunity analysis. In a technology starved urban management zone like India this sounds the very idea of technology driven smart urban management sounds like a great business proposition for these companies.

Within a span of less than two years when the list of 20 initial aspirants of the very same smart city concept is released the level of enthusiasm has definitely not been as high as it has been in 2014. Many of these IT companies are increasingly realizing that Indian cities are yet not ready for smart urban management. It is a too small and too slow development in this part of the world.

Within the built environment of Indian urban management in general and real estate in particular a debate is gaining ground as to whether the smart city in its holistic essence will work in India. The government has nevertheless release the list of 20 cities for the same. These are: Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Vishakhapatnam, Solapur, Devangere, Indore, New Delhi (NDMC), Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belgaum, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana and Bhopal.

A section of analysts are bullish on the prospects of smart cities in India. Anshuman Magazine, CMD, CBRE South Asia calls it a welcome step towards the government’s urban renewal mission. According to him, while this initiative will involve large-scale retrofitting as well as redevelopment; these cities could become showcases of urban infrastructure development, encouraging others to follow suit.

“Going forward the success will rest on the effective implementation of the development of these smart cities,” says Magazine.

Of course, the fingers are crossed on the effective implementation as smart urban management is a long drawn programme in a country where earlier such attempts, most notably with GIFT City Gujarat, have not given the desired results.

Nikhil Hawelia, Managing Director of Hawelia Group says the success looks doubtful keeping in mind the complex nature of urban governance in these Indian cities. He says even though the idea is laudable yet there has hardly been proper consultative sessions to make the participants, including the citizens, understand the nitty gritty details of smart governance and the use of technology.

“To the best of my knowledge 18 out of the 20 cities have opted for retrofitting model. I don’t think only one model can work and we need to have a composite of retrofitting, redevelopment and green development. Only one model of urbanization in some selected locations of a given city might not be India’s answer to smart city,” says Hawelia.

Then there are other pressing issues like inviting the investment and make the PPP model work. Arun Lakhani, CMD, Vishvaraj Infrastructure says the announcement of smart cities will give the required boost to initiatives but significant amount of private capital is essential to realise the goal.

“As per estimates, approximately $45 billion would be required. Water sector PPPs are in early stage and face challenges like non-availability of base line data, willingness to charge/pay. Inadequate tariffs leading to questions on revenue security from and for the client etc. These issues need to be addressed as we move forward,” says Lakhani.

Kishor Pate, CMD of Amit Enterprises Housing says smart cities are those that have taken extensive and determined preventive measures against these known side-effects effects of economic growth. Smart growth is always an outcome of a strategic and well-planned approach.

“While planning a city, it is essential to keep the needs and demands of its population, now and in the future, first and foremost in mind. Offering tax breaks to tempt newcomers into the city are all very well, but if such initiatives are not accompanied by measures such as pollution control, a forward-looking infrastructure support and timely technological interventions, the city will grow economically but fail as an inhabitable area,” says Pate.

So, even though the list of initial 20 smart cities has been announced, there is no clear definition of what would be smart quotient of these given cities. It seems every city will have its own trial & error method before a case study of smart city is made in India.

Guy Perry joins Essel Infraprojects as head of its smart city business

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Perry’s appointment to help build cross disciplinary teams for building integrated, inclusive and sustainable cities.

Guy Perry, Essel Infraprojects, Smart City, India real estate news, Indian property news, NRI investment, Smart City in India, Track2RealtyEssel Infraprojects Limited has appointed Guy Perry, President – Cities & Strategy, Essel Infraprojects Ltd.  Perry will drive EIL’s agenda for smart city business which is poised to grow by leaps and bound with Government of India’s 100 smart cities programme gaining momentum across the country.

EIL values natural resources and the importance of using them in a sustainable fashion. And with Green at the core, EIL offers solutions which protect our environment and thus contribute to the overall welfare of our citizens.  These values form the core of EIL’s vision for smart cities.

Welcoming Perry on board, Essel Infraprojects Limited’s Chief Executive Officer Ashok Agarwal said, “Mr. Perry’s joining the company, clearly highlights EIL’s commitment towards acquiring new talent both in domestic and global markets across domain expertise.  Mr. Perry’s expertise and vision will further enhance the capabilities of the company for conceptualising and executing the smart city projects in India.”

Commenting on his decision to come to India and join Essel Infra Perry said, “With the Indian Government announcing it’s mission to build 100 smart cities, I see exciting times ahead for professionals like me, who has been working in the field of building sustainable cities around the globe for almost three decades.   I am particularly delighted to join a forward looking company like EIL which is India’s only integrated smart city developer and has the vision and demonstrated capabilities to develop sustainable smart cities of the future. I not only want to bring best practices from around the world to India, but to make Indian cities a globally leading model for human focused sustainable development.”

Perry has 3 decades of experience in urban planning, designing and developing smart cities across the globe and has a long exposure to Asia-Pacific market.  Prior to joining EIL, Mr. Perry worked as an Executive Director, Asia-Pacific, at AECOM, one of world’s leading fully integrated technical service firm which designs, builds, finances and operates infrastructure projects across the globe.

Perry has practiced in Asia, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Brazil and North America.  Projects he has led include; the smart ARQ district development strategy in Hong Kong, the 250 hectare Miasteczko Wilanow district in Warsaw, the Corvin Promenade urban regeneration in Budapest and an award winning conservation strategy for 8,000 Km2 of the Amazon Rainforest. He was the lead international consultant for the winning Clark Green City strategy in the Philippines and for two of the first round qualifying Indian Smart City projects.

He has also played the key role in the creation of Porto Montenegro, the re-development of the Gdansk Solidarity Shipyard site and in establishing a regeneration strategy for historic Shantou, China.  He began his career planning and designing key components of the Barcelona Olympics

Perry lays particular emphasis on creating cross disciplinary teams for building environmentally sustainable cities which include planners, architects, engineers, scientists and management and construction services professionals and has redefined standards for providing sustainable solutions with integrated services for large, complex and multidisciplinary projects. He combines design and development expertise to create economically viable, sustainable, human health focused environments.

Perry who has earned the top honors from the Urban Land Institute (ULI), ISOCARP, FIABCI and the International Academy of Design and Health. He received distinctions from Architecture Review and the Guangzhou Awards for Urban Innovation, has also coordinated an Emmy Award winning Smithsonian film on Japanese Gardens. Perry was the head of the Jury for the coastal master planning extension of Shantou, China and has organized multi-disciplinary urban design exercises for his students at MIT, Harvard and the University of Hong Kong, throughout the world, including in India.

Perry holds two master degrees from Harvard University where he graduated with distinction. He has received fellowships from the Urban Land Institute, the Skidmore, Owings and Merrill Foundation. Mr. Perry first traveled to India in 1988 with a Harvard – Druker Fellowship.