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TMCNet:  Building 'smarter' cities [DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India)]

[July 11, 2014]

Building 'smarter' cities [DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India)]

(DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) "Bangalore: Global estimates suggest that over the next 20 years, about $41 trillion will be spent on smart city projects worldwide.

Back home, not just is there a pressing need to create 'smarter' cities, but the growing urbanisation, population, and reduction in IT infrastructure costs is creating an effective scenario for implementing such projects quicker and faster.

In fact, the population growth seems to be the foremost reason for having smart cities, to mainly erase accompanying problems like traffic jams, burden on infrastructure, poor access to healthcare and education etc.

Global data shows that today there are 23 cities worldwide having more than 10 million residents. Of these 23 cities, 8 are in India, like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad.

And moving simultaneously ahead with the population growth is the increase in number of internet users. Estimates by Cisco state that by 2017, India will have around 300-350 million internet users, making it the second largest base in the world, after China. Thus by 2020, each Indian would be owning 1.2 devices. And since smarter cities require devices to be interconnected with each other, the greater usage of internet will prove to be beneficial.

Moreover, experts say computing, storage and bandwidth costs have declined considerably since the last decade and half. With this decline, the need to insert information and communications technology (ICT) in cities is even more.

"There is a need to look at the future, 20-30 years hence. A smart city is one that not only uses sustainable resources and ICT effectively, but is one which is more livable. Where there is lot more collaboration with citizens, and which is people friendly," says Rahul Sharma, executive director and partner, Global Business service IBM-India/South Asia.

Angshik Chaudhuri, chief of staff, smart +connected communities, and executive director for globalisation, Cisco in India, says smart cities can be worked into a reality across India in the time to come.

Experts say the smart cities that are to come up in India will be a combination of existing cities converted by digitisation into smart cities, and cities build entirely from scratch into smart cities.

And alongside making water management, healthcare and education smarter, by introducing smart solutions like tracking of water level and quality of water, e-healthcare, e-education, IP based video surveillance has become a necessity.

"Video surveillance solutions can be used to track traffic, crime identification, left baggage identification. Surveillance cameras can be installed everywhere like retail outlets, workspaces, bus-stands, hospitals. And in a centrally networked surveillance system, smart analytics can help in detecting and tracking movements of criminals and receive automated alerts," says Sudhindra Holla, country manager, Axis Communications India.

IBM engaged with building smart city on the outskirts of Mumbai IBM is in a partnership to build and manage the smart city infrastructure at Palava, which is located at the junction of Navi Mumbai and Dombivli. Spanning over 4,000 acres, this smart city will incorporate IBM's smarter cities technology using advanced data driven systems to integrate information from all city operations into a single system for improving efficiency.

The MNC is helping build the smart city in partnership with the Lodha Group. IBM Intelligent Operations will serve as the backbone of city infrastructure and centralise key city functions through real-time monitoring and advanced analytics. According to Dhamodaran Ramakrishnan, director, smarter planet solutions, IBM India/South, recent projections show India's urban population soaring from 340 million in 2008, to 590 million in 2030, which may lead to tremendous strain on urban resources in India. "This makes the proliferation of practical and proven smart city interventions into existing and future cities essential," said Ramakrishnan."" Cisco to make Electonics City smart Cisco has entered into an agreement with Electronics City Industrial Association (ELCIA) to transform Electronics City into a smart city. Under the 'strategic agreement', Cisco will help in making the place as Asia's first end-to-end internet of things (IoT) innovation hub. Under the agreement, Cisco will also help provide network infrastructure and expertise for testing and production of electronic product prototypes for an IoT enabled smart city environment. Startups will also be allowed to use Electronics City as 'living labs' to test and build solutions for city infrastructure management, said Aruna Newton, President of ELCIA.

Among other things, Electronics City will see smart parking, smart Closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance, smart street lighting, smart water management and leak detection and community messaging. The project will be built on Cisco's smart+connected city WiFi solution.

Cisco Map, Cisco-Connected Cafe, Cisco HealthPresence, Personal Virtual Office are some of the features that will be offered""What exactly constitutes a smart city? Smart parking It basically means that one has the ability to figure out the parking vacancies in a particular  area before physically venturing out Smart street lighting One can mount censors on street lights which can then be connected to neart wireless hotspot Smart location analytics Every area will have one or two kiosk which basically acts like a micro map of that particular area Smart grid Uses digital sensors, advanced communication network and sophisticated analytics to help utilities understand demand in real-time Smart water management One gets to know how much water one consumes on a daily basis Smart healthcare Since it is not always possible to have access of doctors everywhere, smart healthcare addresses this issue. Basic medical equipment and a paramedic  will be provided " Credit:Priyanka Golikeri & Suparna Goswami Bhattacharya (c) 2014 @ 2014 DILIGENT MEDIA CORPORATION LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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