What connected citizens in the selected Smart Cities of India want?

Efforts and actions by the urban local bodies to engage with citizens on the Smart City initiative

Focused efforts on delivering Swachh Bharat Mission successfully in their city

Ability to easily rate their urban local body on various services ranging from solid waste management to street maintenance

24X7 availability of power and water, effective waste collection and disposal system, efficient public transportation, good air quality and citizen oriented governance amongst the top citizen asks

New Delhi, India, August 27, 2015 – LocalCircles (https://www.localcircles.com/a/), India’s leading Citizen Engagement platform today shared collective insights from citizens of the 70+ selected Smart Cities of India on what they want from the Smart City Mission for their city.

The online citizen communities were enabled for over 160 cities in June 2015 upon the launch of the Smart Cities Mission bringing together citizens in these cities to discuss what it would take for their city to become a smart city on the ground and other local issues related to civic, traffic, law/order, governance, emergency response, health, etc.

While over 5,000 inputs were received across the 70+ selected smart city communities and via the national community, the key takeaways are the following:

Citizen Inputs on Structure of the Smart Cities Mission

1) Indian Smart City definition should be developed in the context of India
2) Citizens have not been consulted in selection of Smart Cities and must be involved in the selection, ratings and evaluation of Swachh Bharat, AMRUT and Smart City initiatives for their city
3) Almost 100% of the Urban Local Bodies today do not have the skills/machinery to execute a Smart City
4) Swachh Bharat and AMRUT delivery is critical before the Smart City funds are released to a City
5) Once Smart City funds are released, all details must be shared with the citizens via a public platform in a timely and transparent manner

Citizen Expectations from what their city should have when it turns into a Smart City

1) 24X7 supply of Power and Water
2) Effective waste collection and disposal system
3) Efficient Public Transportation
4) Good Air Quality
5) Citizen Oriented Governance
6) Smart Policing and very low crime rate
7) Disaster and Emergency Readiness infrastructure
8) Over 75% planned housing and roads
9) Availability of jobs
10) Good education, health and recreation infrastructure

With this exercise, collective citizen insights have been generated on Smart Cities using a bottoms-up approach. Now that citizens are already connected across these 70+ selected Smart Cities (and being connected in the remaining 28 selected Smart Cities), it is incumbent upon their respective urban local body to engage with the citizens.

“In this day and age of technology and social media, connecting with citizens is just a few clicks away, said Sachin Taparia, Chairman and CEO of LocalCircles”. “These local, city level online citizen communities have been set up with the vision that urban local bodies will be able to easily seek citizen inputs on their initiatives, invite them to on the ground events, utilize citizen expertise as fit, update them on progress and challenges and truly make Smart Cities dream a reality with citizen participation”, continued Taparia.

Citizens in many of these online communities are already discussing traffic, civic, safety, infrastructure and many other local governance issues as well as their solutions. Citizens in the communities belong to varied backgrounds ranging from RWA leaders, Senior Citizens, Social Workers, Homemakers, Doctors, Small Business Owners and Professionals, essentially representing a microcosm of the city, accessible on fingertips.

LocalCircles will soon have several other citizen communities in each one of these Smart Cities for other citizen needs like Law & Order, Health, Emergency/Blood Assistance, Consumer Issues and Swachh Bharat.

All citizens who want to join their city’s online local community are welcome to Sign Up on http://www.localcircles.com and Find their respective City Circle. Once they are a member of one circle, they will be invited based on their background and interests to other local circles available.

About LocalCircles

LocalCircles.com takes citizen engagement to the next level and makes it about Communities, Governance and Utility. It enables citizens to connect with communities for most aspects of urban daily life like Neighborhood, Constituency, City, Government, Causes, Interests and Needs, seek information/assistance when needed, come together for various initiatives and improve their urban daily life. LocalCircles is free for citizens and always will be!

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