‘What is a Smart City?’, is the idea of a city being ‘smart’ in every sense of the word. The term has been around for some time now and a study by C-STEP (Center for Study of Science, Technology & Policy) shows that there are dozens of ways to define a smart city. But the Indian Smart City Mission induces the concept through a competition to outline their idea of ‘smart’ and the pathway to achieve it.
The varying needs of different cities makes it impossible to propose a fixed model for every city. This results in inadvertent effects. One size doesn’t fit all, so it calls for a broader framework to persuade locally variating factors. So, a ‘loose-fit, light touch’ agenda was agreed upon and a competition method is followed to highlight the local needs and priorities.
In the mind of the city inhabitant, the image of a Smart City contains a wish-list of infrastructure and facilities that depicts the occupants’ degree of goal. Accommodating necessities of residents, urban planners in a perfect world intend to build the segments of the urban eco-framework. This framework is represented by the four mainstays of comprehensive development – institutional, physical, social and financial development. This is a long-haul objective for all urban communities. They progress in the direction of it by following the procedures valued in the four-fold framework.
The four-fold framework includes:
- Basic requirements of a city like adequate water and electricity supply, along with sanitation, education, healthcare and others.
- Information & Communication Technology (IC&T) applied to basic infrastructure and governance to make it better.
- All facilities are developed in a specific area and then replicated to all other areas in the city. The area-based development lets the whole city develop over a period of time.
- Retrofitting, Redevelopment and Greenfield. Retrofitting- an existing area upgraded without changing the street network, layout or plot sizes. Redevelopment- an area completely given a make-over after removing buildings and redrawing the layout. Greenfield- developments usually done wherever land is available.
Cities need not follow the four ways in a steady progression. In view of their beginning stages and aspiration levels, cities are allowed to pick their objective level and work towards the equivalent. They can jump a few creases or execute two folds, all the while. This will rely upon the degree of advancement of the city, its ability to change and assets accessible in the city and the desires of its occupants.
The transformation of the pilgrimage city of Nashik to a planned Smart City is rather interesting and rapid. The speedy urbanization of the city Nashik in recent years owes a great deal to its flourishing skill-based manufacturing industries. These industries include sectors capital and consumer goods, textile, engineering, automotive, and sectors like biotechnology, IT and ITeS.
Connected through major national highways – NH160 (Mumbai) and NH60 (Pune), Nashik is located at approximately 200 kms from the two major cities. The fast-growing trade corridor of India creates the ‘Golden Triangle’ inclusive of the cities Nashik, Mumbai and Pune. The favorable climate throughout the year favors the trade within the city. Nashik is also well-served by a decent social infrastructure. This makes the city the epicenter of outstanding facilities and a Smart City in every sense.
Making Nashik ‘Smart’
The Ministry of Urban Development has selected the lively city of Nashik to partake in the “Smart City Challenge”. As the city adapts to urbanization and industrialization, the Smart City Mission acts as a catalyst. It peserves the cultural heritage. The definition of the mission ‘Smart City’ is subjective to the city and depends on its interpretation. Nevertheless, the core of this mission is in the utilization of technology in improving the life of the inhabitants. Towards this effort, the city Nashik has to prepare a ‘Smart City Proposal’ (SCP) in the exactness of smart urban solutions. In sewerage, transport, water and allied sectors and better livability and governance, in a direction to make the city robust, sustainable and people friendly.
From the city of pilgrimage and being the ‘Mantra City’ to a trade and industrially affluent, a ‘Yantra City’. Nashik is embracing technology and innovation.
Key elements of strategic focus
- Nashik, a city of cultural and religious importance. The remarkable ‘Trimakeshwar Simhastha’, is also famously known as the ‘Trimbak Kumbha Mela‘. The cultural heritage produces direct economic benefits, jobs, revive old city areas and tourism. The cultural activities in the city, improves quality of life and fortifies the cultural identity of the city.
- The Wine Capital of India- is evolving on the global tourism map for wine tourism. Nashik holds 80% of the wine production in the country. The city offers an exclusive proposal which further needs to be developed.
- The city Of Nashik, created by merging 3 municipal councils, still holds the feature of three city centers. It has about 40% of green lands which are strategically-located around the three centers. City of Nashik needs to be a compressed city with solid development of three city centers.
- Managed by a receptive management, Nashik is very skillful in implementation of technology in providing facilities.
- Last three years have seen improvements in road infrastructure that have alleviated the rate of congestion. But for justifiable solutions, infrastructure enhancements need to be packaged with placement of technology and developments in non-motorized infrastructure.
DEVELOP NASHIK’S CULTURAL HERITAGE
The aim is to develop Nashik as a tourist destination by focusing on its cultural heritage. The focus points include developing,
- Godavari Waterfront and public spaces around it to beautify through improved landscaping.
- Historic sites like Sarkar Wada and other iconic temples of tourist interest.
- Market and promote heritage of Nashik by conducting Annual Nashik Festival and other cultural activities.
- Pathways to improve walkability of identified streets.
- Old city area traffic management and increasing the width of the roads.
- Service levels of water supply to 24×7.
- 100% collection and transportation of solid waste.
- Cluster development for dilapidated structures.
DEVELOP NASHIK’S TOURISM
To promote Nashik as the wine capital of the country to attract more tourists which will reinforce premier position globally.
- Skill developments and production related activities to be amplified with the help of technology.
- The goal here is to increase tourist inflow to 10 lakhs from the current level of 3 lakhs annually, in the next ten years.
DEVELOP NASHIK AS A COMPACT CITY
With this aim to make Nashik a walkable and compact city, strategies are to be placed that covers:
- Developing open lands adjacent to the three centers and along the identified corridors through land pooling and redistribution mechanism to ensure mix use of land.
- Ensure supply of affordable housing stock to prevent commonness of slums.
- Planned development of Godavari waterfront to allow optimum use of public places for recreation and maintain its encroachment-free status.
- Developed and planned infrastructure to be future-proof and calibrated to population growth.
- Plan for transit-oriented development.
- Encourage cluster development leading to wider roads, improved facades in congested old city areas in the long term.
MARKET NASHIK AS AN INVESTMENT
To improve the economic status of the city, following phases are proposed:
- Improve air connectivity to major metros by starting regular commercial flights.
- Improve Nashik-Pune highway to ensure all the three vertices of the Golden Triangle are well-connected thereby spurring economic activity and therefore increasing inter-dependency. The four-lane work of Nashik-Pune highway will facilitate in Nashik-Pune corridor growth.
- Nashik is currently home to Internationally renowned brands like Sula. For robust future growth in this sector, Nashik needs to attract other internationally renowned brands to make wine locally which will raise the stature of Nashik to a global tourist destination.
- Increase the number of jobs related to wine tourism from 12000 to 50000 and increase wine exports further.
ADOPT SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES
To efficiently manage the space and its utilization for traffic management:
- Utilize technological solutions to establish efficient traffic management system that makes the traffic movement organized.
- Regulate on-street parking to reduce congestion on roads.
- Promote a walking and cycling lifestyle.
- Continuous surveillance to enforce traffic rules and identify and fine violators through e-challans.
OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE AND RESPONSIVE GOVERNANCE
To govern effectively is to increase awareness and accountability and with full disclosure amidst the residents and improve serviceability. To create a smart city, the citizens need to be aware too and this can be achieved with the following:
- Engage citizens with responsible disclosures and transparency in service delivery.
- Continuous monitoring and evaluation to improve services.
- Ensure sustainability of services: resource, financial and social.
- Accountable to citizens through an effective citizen grievance and redressal mechanism.
- Create a department for business promotion and local economic development. This promotes Nashik as an investor-friendly city and work with strategic business stakeholders including Wine Association of India.
The Nashik Municipal Smart City Development Corporation (NMSCDCL) has mapped out every strategy. Beginning with a world class transformation of Nashik to a ‘Smart City’. It is already on its way to onboard digital technologies to make this a reality. The uninterrupted high-speed data and technology, facilitate the project and will speed up ‘Nashik Smart City’. It is needless to say that Nashik is all set for the urban transformation to a ‘Smart City’.
Nashik has a blend of culture and modernization, and as it endeavors to be one of the leading cities in India. It has taken up the challenge of being a ‘Smart City’. The city provides quality life and convenience with everything including public transport, safe and sustainable civic services and an approachable local government. The city strives elects to preserve its natural heritage while it strives to create a sustainable future. The technology adoption will make this dream come true in the near future
Nashik Smart City, Indian Smart City Mission Nashik is written by santosh sarang for emxcelsolutions.com