The relevance of Smart Cities in India is increasing tremendously over time. On June 25th 2015, the Indian Government put forward “The Smart City Mission”. It promises to improve the quality of life in about 100 cities and towns by driving economic growth. Our nation envisions 40% of India’s population living in Smart Cities in India and contributing 75% of GDP by 2030. Although a highly ambitious project, India is working efficiently with various architectural and urban planning firms contributing to its development. Thus, the curation of the Smart Cities in India is done on the basis of design, planning, facilities, management, etc.
1.Amaravati Smart City – Foster + Partners
Amaravati is the new administrative capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is known for the famous Amareswara Temple and Buddhist monasteries. Since the Telangana-Andhra Pradesh split, it has been necessary for the city to have a new identity. Amaravati is working towards a new paradigm of a smart city and has the potential to be the next Singapore. Built along the banks of the River Krishna, the design meets the highest standards of sustainability.
Foster + Partners, the team of Ar. Norman Foster, developed the masterplan for the heart of the new city. The project includes a legislative assembly, the high court complex, and several secretariat buildings. The design takes inspiration from the traditional temple arrangement and incorporates Vastu principles.
2.Port Blair Smart City – Morphogenesis
Port Blair is the capital city of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Bay of Bengal’s union territory. Known for the infamous Cellular Jail and pristine beaches, the city decides to take help from the architecture firm Morphogenesis to revamp it into a smart city.
The prepared master plan would provide vibrant streetscape elements and pedestrian-friendly mobility along two esplanades by the edge of Port Blair. The market redevelopment revitalises commercial areas as the socio-economic heart of Port Blair. The planting of 86 acres of forest and park provides a green connection to the city. Conservation of historical buildings and providing heritage walks link the present to the past. It also involves providing sufficient social infrastructure to foster community development.
3.Dholera Special Investment Region – AECOM
The Dholera Smart City Project is set to become the largest city developments in the country, spanning 2937 sq km. DSIR is one of the many projects of AECOM that is part of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). Currently a small region, the city will develop to hold a population capacity of 2 million by 2050.
The planning of Dholera takes into consideration the 4 A’s: – Accessible, Affordable, Adaptable, and Aspirational. The use of software such as building information modelling (BIM) and geographic information system (GIS) technology is helping to accelerate planning and decision-making for road, water, and sewer networks. The smart and sustainable approach will make Dholera a role model for future Indian cities.
4.Karle Town Centre (Bangalore) – UNStudio
Located in the heart of the thriving Tech Hub of Bangalore, Karle Town Centre (KTC) is an innovation tech campus. The design by UNStudio aims to be the leading example by catering to the rapid growth of Bangalore. It provides a base for the large number of developing tech companies in the city.
KTC stands next to the well-established Manyata Tech Park and will act as a magnet for Bangalore’s tech scene. It is built along the edge of Nagavara Lake and interweaves architecture and landscape. Apart from being a smart city, nature is equally important in the city’s planning. Ultra-durable white paint on the buildings provides a contemporary identity to KTC.
5.Trans Ganga Masterplan (Kanpur) – Studio Symbiosis
Kanpur, along the banks of the Ganga, spans 1156 acres and envisions a self-sufficient, sustainable city. Considered the most sacred river among the Hindus in India, the river is also severely polluted and requires intervention. Thus, Studio Symbiosis prepared a master plan that understood the Ganga’s significance by studying the digital simulation density patterns.
The incorporation of sustainability in the smart city can be seen on two levels. Firstly, it is done at the macro level by incorporating sustainable design elements into the master plan. Secondly, there is micro-level planning done through proposed earth cooling, a green roof, solar panels, waste management, and groundwater recharge. Commercial, mixed-use, residential, industrial, and public amenities are part of the master plan.
6.Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) Project – Pentaspace
GIFT is an upcoming integrated city between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad that will provide world-class infrastructure, technology, connectivity, and a legal framework. It will emerge as a business platform and develop as a new city with modern infrastructure. Major companies like Reliance have set up offices here, which will be home to the first world trade centre in Gujarat.
The building’s orientation is along the sun’s path, with a central courtyard and chamfered corners for cross ventilation and natural light. The concept of the courtyard takes the shape of a funnel to maintain a pleasant temperature year-round. Sky gardens will be plentiful to encourage social gathering and create a sense of communal neighbourhood.
7.Guwahati Smart City – Oasis Designs
Guwahati is one of the 98 cities selected for the Smart City Mission launched in 2015. The main focus was to improve the quality of people’s lives and drive economic growth. This is done through the development of the local area and harnessing smart technology. It aims to be a hub for the entire North-eastern part of India by leveraging the unique locational advantage of the city.
The master plan for Guwahati aims to generate a sustainable urban renewal model that takes advantage of the newly proposed Metro corridor. Sustainable integration of land and transport planning is done through transit-oriented development (TOD). Citizens will have access to open areas and public spaces, along with efficient transit facilities.
8.Pune Smart City Vision Plan – Swapnil Patil + Partners
Popularly known as “Envision Pune”, the smart city projects explore Pune’s growth patterns. Under the Smart City Pro-bono initiative, it is among the first of its kind to be a PPP model development. The 15,000-acre master plan will cater to a predicted population growth of 90 lakh in the next fifteen years.
The studies will address fundamental questions such as effective metroline interconnection and environmental protection. It also questions the efficient use of natural resources and areas that will cater to the ever-expanding city. Designed by Swapnil Patil + Partners, it will include ring roads, riverfront development, a central business district, and downtowns. It will also include transit-oriented smart townships and the redevelopment of public lands.
9.Rajkot Smart City – INI Design Studio Pvt. Ltd.
Rajkot is one of the fastest-developing cities in the world and has ambitious visions for the future. The project involves 930 acres of Greenfield Area and envisages a world-class smart infrastructure with environmentally friendly and sustainable utilities. Designed by INI Design Studio, it emphasises developing pedestrian-friendly localities that promote multi-modal transport networks.
Rajkot is one of the few cities in India that offers an expansive greenfield area. It has various existing assets, such as water bodies, greenbelts, and public spaces, that will provide a holistic environment. It will have five distinct districts covering the city: institutional, recreational, sports, convention, mixed use, and central.
10.Bhubaneswar Smart City Plan – Arcadis IBI Group
The Bhubaneswar Smart City Plan by IBI Group is an award-winning strategy designed for the city of Bhubaneswar in 2015. It will become the nerve centre of a pan-city technology plan that coexists in harmony with nature. Bhubaneswar aims to develop through participatory decision-making, responsible governance, and open access to information and technology for all.
It envisions a transit-oriented city that permits active, interconnected, and sustainable mobility services. It will also provide a diverse range of housing, educational, and recreational opportunities that will enhance its diverse heritage, arts, and traditional communities. Bhubaneswar will become a child-friendly city that is safe and inclusive.
Smart Cities in India are a necessity for the growth of the country. One-quarter of the population in India lives in urban areas. However, a wide range of issues pull down the intended development, thus slowing down the overall growth of the country. Examples include the necessity for urban local government officers and staff to participate in training programmes or the lack of proper drainage systems. Thus, it is important to identify the deep-rooted issues and improve lives by catalysing economic development in these areas. Although it may be a slow process, but we are moving on the right path of sustainability, accessibility, and progress.
Text By: Gopika Pramod
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