Excerpt: Across India, especially in states like North-Eastern states, Odisha , Kerala the ‘bottom-up’ have helped these states to navigate through the epidemic related crisis.
In recent times, as the entire human race is facing an unprecedented crisis, reinventing the cities have through innovations in urbanization has emerged as one of the solutions in the post crisis scenario.
The classical wok in urban planning entitled ‘ The Death and Life of Great American Cities’ by Jane Jacob and published in 1961 speaks about the elements of spirit behind the cities.
Now, in 2020, the imprint of technology over the physical infrastructure of the cities have emerged as the new elements of spirit of the cities.
Cities have remained as the forefront of big changes since the advent of civilization. The integration of physical and digital world.
The recent innovation by Google by its Sidewalk Labs in Toronto named ‘Quayside’ has certainly caught the imagination of urban administrators, urban planners and public policy implementers in urban areas.
‘Quayside’ has more relevance in terms intelligent waste management.
Country like India having huge urban areas can take advantage in integrating both the urban infrastructure and innovative technological infrastructure.
The Smart City Mission initiative by Government of India which aims at urban service delivery more effective and efficient through application of technology.
India certainly remains ahead of the curve in this direction, however greater involvement of citizens in the city management holds the key.
In 2019, a group of citizens in Pune had released an ‘Environment Manifesto’ which demanded policy framework involving citizens and fixing responsibility of generators of waste.
Here, the citizens need to be ‘Cityzens’ where they can act as catalyst for urban management.
The ‘Cityzens’ are empowered residents of any city with a high degree of decision making in the city management process.
The ‘Cityzens’ enjoy the shared resposnisbilities in urban governance and management.
The ‘Cityzens’ can also be part of the increased interface between physical infrastructure of the city and the technological innovations in the city.
This is the focal point where the cities could be revitalized through technological innovations.
For a long period of time, the ‘top-down’ approach has been the guiding principle in public policy in India.
But, in the current crisis situation and post-crisis situation, the urban management requires the ‘bottom up’ approach.
Across India, especially in states like North-Eastern states, Odisha , Kerala the ‘bottom-up’ have helped these states to navigate through the epidemic related crisis.
The same approach with incentivisation and empowerment will help manage the solid waste management in a better and efficient way.
In addition, the application of technological innovations like Urban Innovation System developed with multidimensional data will help intelligent solid waste management in Indian cities.
A policy recalibration in the Smart Cities in the initial phase can be started and based on the experiences gained from Smart cities, the model can be implemented in all cities across India.
The key too efficient urban governance lies in making the future cities as responsive cities and citizen centric cities.
Technological innovations and successful implementation through empowered citizens or ‘cityzens’ has the potential to revatilise the cities in the days to come; especially in the post-crisis situation.
The author is a public policy analyst and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and +91-9868766705