While the 2015 idea of ‘100 Smart Cities Mission’ promised improved standards of living, the reality is that it has forced many people into poverty. Instead of acting as a role model for the tier 2 and tier 3 cities, the governance and financial implications of this urban renewal programme needs to be thoroughly re-examined, according to experts. Besides, this kind of approach is highly centralised, and gives little to no scope for state government intervention, making it highly non-inclusive, and also against the constitutional mandate. Importantly, the project is not in sync with the wider public aspirations. All of these issues were discussed in detail at an online workshop recently on the financial implications of ‘smart cities’ in India and their impact on urban futures. The event was organised by the Environment Support Group in collaboration with Harvard Kennedy School, USA; Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Researcch-UFZ, Germany; and Centre for Financial Accountability, New Delhi.
The full article published in ResidentsWatch can be accessed here.