Urbanization | VOL. 16, ISSUE 95, March-April 2016

Smart Cities through the Gender Lens

The latest buzz with urban planners is the concept of smart cities. However, no concrete definition of what constitutes a smart city is available. According to the government official document, ‘the conceptualisation of smart city varies from city to city and country to country, depending on the level of development, willingness to change and reform, resources and aspirations of city residents. A smart city would have a different connotation in India as compared to say, Europe. Even in India, there is no one way of defining a smart city’ (GoI, 2015). The Smart City Mission statement (GoI, 2015) identifies adequate and assured water and electricity supply, sanitation including solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, affordable housing especially for the poor, robust IT connectivity and digitalisation, good governance especially e-Governance and citizen participation, sustainable environment, safety and security of citizens particularly for women, children and the elderly, health and education as the core concerns of a smart city. https://www.geographyandyou.com/population/urbanization/hyderabad-smart-city/ https://www.geographyandyou.com/population/urbanization/smart-cities-framework-digital-india/ Smart cities are thus imagined essentially in terms of infrastructural facilities and ‘e-amenities’ through heavy reliance on technology, capital and investment. Although the improvement in overall governance and quality of life through these means is a welcome gesture, it is also worth asking as to whether smart cities would really be considered smart and modern if their residents continue to be bound by...

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