The Government of India has initiated the Smart Cities Challenge, where they let the states nominate cities that meet the necessary criteria. Among the different entries submitted, 98 cities were shortlisted for the challenge.
Between August and October 2015, the selected cities will further develop their proposals for the final round. It is interesting to see the different approaches being adopted by the cities in this round, while one consistent theme being online modes of citizen engagement. The city councils are planning to interact with citizens in various ways to get feedback about the kind of smart cities they desire.
While cities like Trichy and Vishakapatnam have prepared a questionnaire to share with citizens, but I couldn’t find the links, not sure where they are hidden. Nagpur, on the other hand, wants to go door-to-door and interact with citizens for smart city concepts. Rajkot came up with a unique concept of wanting to paint graffiti on city walls with ‘social messages’; which is a lot of work for artists, says our in-house artist Kshiraja. Agra Municipal Corporation invited intellectuals, social workers, doctors, businessmen and other dignitaries of the city to discuss the smart city project; it does seem to leave out large sections of the general population. Hubli-Dharwad distributed 2 lakh leaflets to its citizens, but I do wonder how that would translate to collecting the citizens’ opinions. Indore on the other hand, has its own website. IMC launched a social media campaign to get feedback and suggestions from residents. The Mangaluru City Corporation organised essay writing competitions for students and general public about smart cities. Kakinada City is quite active on Facebook and they opted to use the digital route to collect data and suggestions from citizens.
|City||Modes of Engagement with Citizens|
|Nagpur||Door to Door Citizen Engagement|
|Rajkot||Wall Painting Competition|
|Agra||Agra Municipal Corporation invited intellectuals, social workers, doctors, businessmen and other dignitaries of the city to discuss the smart city project|
|Indore||Social media campaign to invite suggestions from residents on smart city project, www.smartcityindore.org|
|Mangalore||The Mangaluru City Corporation has organised essay writing competitions for students|
|Udaipur||Udaipur sets up 100 booths asking citizens’ priorities for smart city|
|Bubhaneshwar||Children Voice Opinions on Smart City|
It’s really interesting to see how every city has got its own approach in reaching out to public for their opinions and suggestions. Bhubhaneshwar engaged with children and they got some interesting feedback about transportation, waste management and also how elders need to change their behaviour toward children. One step closer to being a child friendly city!
Here is the link of 98 nominated cities, every city page has got its own feedback link where you can share your opinion and suggestions.