Smart Cities: New-age urbanisation

New-age urbanisation

Rohit Purushottam, VP – Enterprise Sales, D-Link (India) Limited

In recent times, smart city has become a buzzword owing to the ambitious reform policies of governments concerning infrastructure development in the country.  Developing a smart city essentially involves urban planning for the future with technology-based infrastructure that can support efficient policy implementations, optimally utilise resources, and drive economic growth. Technology is a key enabler in driving smart city projects, since it helps resolve major problems through modern management and facilitates greater interaction between citizens and institutions/ city stakeholders to achieve a better quality of life.

Today, 31 per cent of the Indian population resides in cities. By 2030, 40 per cent of the country’s population, or 600 million people, will reside in cities. These statistics highlight the growing need and importance of urban development in India. Our present government is cognisant of the growing needs of urbanisation and has taken concrete steps to make smart cities a reality. In 2015, the government launched one of the most ambitious and futuristic urbanisation projects with India’s 100 Smart Cities Mission. The objective of this programme is to promote cities that provide a core infrastructure, a clean and sustainable environment and smart solutions. The Smart City Mission is a bold initiative meant to set example, which can be replicated in various regions and parts of the country.

Networking technology for smart cities

A smart city is a technologically advanced urban region that is supported by various heterogeneous technologies such as cyber-physical systems, internet of things, wireless sensor networks, cloud computing, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Information and communication technology (ICT) remains crucial to any smart city project as it helps gather information and real-time data for an improved understanding of the city’s functioning in terms of resources consumption, services and lifestyles. Networking technology remains at the forefront of a smart city project. Networking technology essentially enables connectivity and data transfer between various elements in smart city environments.

Public Wi-fi provides citizens and tourists with easy access to the internet along with other perks like enhanced city management, and helps bridge the digital divide. In fact, in today’s digital economy, public Wi-Fi is the foundation layer of a smart city. However, all the key aspects of a smart city are backed and supported by the networking technology. A smart city project is often an amalgamation of multiple networking technologies, as it needs a strong communication infrastructure to connect people, devices and networks. Without the right network, it will be hard for a smart city to become efficient, sustainable and safe for its citizens.

D-Link Smart City Solution is built with a vision to provide customised network solutions that will enable the government, city administrators, local businesses, and citizens with complete digitisation. D-Link Smart City Solution can transform the way cities are designed, built and renewed to ensure economic, social and environment sustainability. The company’s solution for smart cities encompasses wireless technology, data communication, city surveillance, structure cabling, cloud infrastructure, etc. D-Link is essentially a one-stop shop for reliable network solutions.

D-Link has been closely working with the government on a couple of smart city projects across India. Some of the key components of a smart city like surveillance system, Wi-Fi system, optical network, edge and distribution architecture, and data centre switching are being offered by the company.

Role of smart cities in nation building

As statistics clearly indicate, a large part of the Indian population is likely to shift to the urban ecosystem in search for better employment opportunities, an improved standard of living and socio-economic prosperity. Hence, investment in infrastructure projects that are citizen-centric, sustainable and future-ready becomes imperative. The Smart Cities Mission aims to provide a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment with the application of smart solutions. The focus is on providing sustainable and inclusive development through habitable cities that attract talents, innovation and economic prosperity.