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Monitoring the Smart Cities Mission

Following the 2015 launch of the Smart Cities Mission, this project aims to create a framework for monitoring and evaluating smart city projects across India for their transparency, accountability and participatory inclusion of citizen views and concerns.

In 2015, the government announced that 100 cities had been shortlisted to compete for funds under a new urban development initiative called the Smart Cities Mission  (SCM). Since then, 20ncities have won the first round of funds based on their proposals for an area based project and city wide plan. The goal of the SCM is to create cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to their citizens as well as a clean and sustainable environment and the application of “smart “solutions. However, the guidelines, structure, and implementation of the smart cities projects raises concerns over the inclusivity and transparency of these projects as well as the ability of citizens to hold those responsible for the projects to account.

This project will research methods for monitoring accountability and transparency and explore ways of monitoring and creating authentic public participation. Additionally, it will evaluate currently proposed projects specifically focused on their efforts to engage with and reflect citizen needs and concerns.

This project aims to create a framework for monitoring smart cities programs for their citizen participation, transparency, and accountability. This framework will be broad enough to be used across the country, but also capture the intricacies of each city and project.

Does the Smart City SPV undermine the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act?

The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be created by each city to implement the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) at the city level. The SPV will be in charge of planning, appraising, approving, releasing funds, implementing, managing, operating, monitoring and evaluating the projects in their city. The States will ensure that there is a dedicated revenue stream for the SPV and the SPV should evolve its...know more

Questioning Development: Reflections From a Field Visit to Ponneri

Ponneri is currently a small town located north of Chennai which lies in the middle of lush fields and numerous water bodies. However, all of this will soon change. Last Saturday a colleague and I were able to go visit some of the areas around the planned smart city of Ponneri and envision the drastic changes that this area will undergo if the development plan goes through.  The Japan...know more

Citizen Engagement, Inclusivity, and the Smart Cities Mission

In 2015,the Modi government announced that 100 cities had been shortlisted to compete for funds under a new urban development initiative called the Smart Cities Mission. Since then, 20 cities, including Chennai, have won the first round of funds based on their proposals for smart projects in their city.  The idea of a smart city is a global idea with no universally accepted definition. How...know more

(Re)prioritising Citizenship: Setting a new agenda for smart cities governance

A report on various aspects of Indian and international experience with smart cities governance. know more

Re-prioritising citizenship

CAG hosted a panel discussion to discuss various dangers that policies such as Smart Cities and other ICT initiatives are fraught with. Satyarupa Shekhar writes about discussions on issues of social injustice, privacy, digital divides and lack of institutional capacity in the context of the smart cities agenda and their implications for citizenship. know more

(Re)prioritising citizenship in smart cities governance

The Indian Smart Cities Mission sets out to address India’s urbanisation challenge by promoting “cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to their citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and the application of ‘smart’ solutions. However, the design and structure for implementation of smart cities projects raise concerns about urban exclusion amidst the...know more