ESSENTIAL SERVICES IN A SMART CITY
The purpose of the Smart Cities Mission is to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local area development and harnessing technology, especially technology that leads to Smart outcomes.
Following are the most essential services in a smart city:
- Social Infrastructure:
- Inclusive Development:
Globally, the population is increasing at an alarming rate along with citizens’ demands for basic amenities such as infrastructure, energy and clean environment. Inclusive development in a city refers to improvement in the living standards of all residents of the city. The primary goals of inclusive development should be poverty alleviation, affordable housing for the under-privileged, shelters for the homeless, etc.
- Quality Education:
The education system in smart cities must be more innovative, creative, and ahead of time. Quality Education must be available as an equal opportunity to all members of the society. Providing early childhood education must be made mandatory. The curriculum, classroom environment and pedagogical processes must primarily focus on conceptual understanding, creativity and collaborative learning.
- Healthcare (Tele-Medicine):
Advances in Information and Communication Technology can be used to make healthcare services smarter and to improve lives every day. Health monitoring devices have made it possible for physicians to remotely collect patient data to foster diagnostics, preventive care, and measurement of treatment results. They offer residents the convenience of receiving alerts for medication and health checkups. Users can also set up notifications and workflows based on health status so that proactive action can be taken.
- Entertainment and Recreational Facilities:
Open spaces should be preserved and developed. Parks, playgrounds, and recreational spaces should be within easy access and well maintained in order to enhance the quality of life of citizens. Smart cities should also have world class sports and fitness centers and sufficient numbers of play fields, as these are essential to a healthy and fit population.
- Physical Infrastructure:
- Zero Emission: Solid and Liquid Waste
Smart cities should achieve the goal of zero emission through the implementation and integration of high efficiency renewable technologies such as Bio-digestion, Pyro-gasification, etc. The three R’s of the environment: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle must be used effectively throughout to reduce waste and conserve our resources.
- 24 x 7 Uninterrupted Power Supply:
A Smart City would extensively use Information and Communication Technology and uninterrupted power supply is the fuel to it. Uninterrupted Power Supply is a must for the Smart Cities mission to be successful.
- Assured and Metered Water Supply:
Clean and adequate water supply must be available in a smart city. Through recycling and effective use of technology, water sustainability should be achieved to provide and manage water quantity and quality to meet the present needs of humans and environmental ecosystems and also to enable our future generations to do the same.
- Multimodal Public Transport:
The public transport system in a smart city must be convenient, easy to access, affordable, comfortable, providing frequent services, safety and security, rapid transport, customer service and should have an inter-connected network. Different transport modes such as metro, local train, bus, taxi should be connected physically as well as operationally. Information systems should be integrated to provide real-time information to passengers on various modes regarding connectivity options, routes, schedules, and fares. Integrated payment solutions like smart cards would allow seamless access and payment across different modes.
- High-Speed Broadband Connectivity:
Using Information and Communication Technology to enable the high-speed transfer of data is the foundation for Smart City development. Cities are the economic, social and political hubs of the world and high-speed broadband connectivity can help people and businesses communicate more quickly and effectively.
- Institutional Infrastructure:
- E-Governance / Electronic Service Delivery:
Electronic governance or e-governance is the application of information and communication technology (ICT) for delivering government services, exchange of information, integration of various stand-alone systems and services between government-to-citizen (G2C), government-to-business (G2B), government-to-government (G2G) as well as interactions within the entire government framework. Through e-governance, government services will be made available to citizens in a convenient, efficient and transparent manner.
Electronic Service Delivery (ESD) is the key to e-governance. ESD is an excellent way for governments to provide more comprehensive and timely services to citizens. ESD could help citizens to access government services, submit service requests, make payments and track the status of their services/requests. These government services include, but not limited to Licenses and Permits, Registrations, Service Requests, Fines and tickets payment, Billing and collection of taxes and other fees.
- Public Information System:
A Public Information System is a system designed to present information to the public. These systems make use of large display technology such as bill-board sized LED displays and networked display monitors.
For example, in airports and train stations arrival, departure and other related information is presented to the public through Public Information Systems.
A Smart City should have as many of these Public Information Systems installed to provide useful information such as traffic situation or any incidents on motorways, the city’s weather information and forecast, parking space availability information in large office complexes, shopping malls, public parking lots, etc. These systems need to be easy to update and maintained accurately to ensure that the public is viewing the most recent and correct information.