This breakout session was moderated by Jeby Cherian from IBM along with Namrata Mehta and Ekta Ohri from CKS. They aimed to articulate a common understanding of the components of a ‘Smart City’, specifically in the Indian context. The session began with a brief presentation by Jeby on how IBM views the idea of Smart Cities, where he articulated the need for a collaborative, user-generation information system that uses technologies to coordinate between all the different systems that are necessary in am urban space.
This was followed by a fascinating game designed by Urban Initiatives, presented by Darshana Chauhan. The game was designed as a means to plan intelligent design of cities so that all the various needs of the different stakeholders are taken into consideration whenever an urban area is expanded or made denser.
The group went on to talk about the kinds of collaborations that would be necessary to even attempt to realize the vision of redesigning our Indian cities to be ‘smart’. Necessary alignments of needs, interests and actionables would need to be visioned and defined, taking every arm of the city’s activity into account. Participants split up further into three smaller groups to try and create a vision of the kind of collaborative platform necessary. Each of these focused on a specific challenge area, spanning civic pride, inclusiveness, sustainability, mobility and information flow and accountability. What emerged was an interesting network of systems, wherein the city was configured as an almost organic entity, with all these systems operating in sync with one another much like the human body. This very poetic concept was articulated in much greater detail and will soon be shared.