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Cities are not just going to become smart, the citizens need to be too!

Priyanka Gupta
21st Jul 2016
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We stand at a juncture where our cities will never remain the same. Just as the government is implementing the Smart City initiative in full swing around the country, a lot is being said about the need for bringing in much-needed development in our cities. The first stage of the plan has commenced with the top 20 cities moving towards the makeover. The basic aim of the Smart City project is to leverage the use of internet and communication technologies (ICT) for improved and integrated services. Different facilities or pillars, on which a city stands, like heathcare, infrastructure, education, transport, communication and security, are being redefined to simplify lives.

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Image : Shutterstock

However, it is the people who reside in these cities who form the most integral part of this project. The success of such initiatives solely depends upon the role played by its citizens. By definition, smart citizens are those who act as catalysts in the growth and advancement of their city.

Here are few ways that we, as citizens, can support the Smart City Project.

Showing responsibility and co-operation

As a citizen of any city, state or country, our primary duty is to be law-abiding and co-operative. However, in times like this, when our cities are at the cusp of significant change, our cooperation is now needed more than ever. Such transitions aren’t smooth, so we, as citizens, should stay patient and be supportive of the positive changes that are about to come.

Through entrepreneurial skills

The government is very supportive of citizens leading the project from the forefront. Moreover, a PPP (Public Private Partnership) model is to be followed. So the government is open to ideas and implementations from big corporates as well as small entrepreneurs. Startups are also being encouraged to participate and contribute to the initiative. Private technology developers, too, should come forward to play their part in the project. Skill and motivation is what is needed now to achieve the best results.

Helping in data generation

We can generate data for the government. With the increased use of ICT, a lot of data use would be pre-eminent. As responsible citizens, we should not shy away from providing the data required by authorities to help them serve the city better.

Spreading awareness

As dutiful citizens, we should help each other to adapt to the change of our cities. Spreading awareness is the key to this. Change is never simple, but if we become ambassadors of positive change, we can help create a better society. Helping and educating each other about the need for change can help bring everyone on the same page.

Thinking (and acting) smart

As citizens, we should be smart and efficient. We are required to take smart decisions. The first on the list is to become energy efficient. We should opt for renewable sources of energy and avoid wastage of non-renewable resources. Using solar panels for power will be a good start. We should also constantly strive to use energy-efficient devices. Additionally, we now face a pressing need to become water conservative. We must make efforts to maintain quality of water and not waste it.

The power of the internet and smartphones are already changing our lives through social media and different applications. Remember, it is the people who play the most vital part of such people-centric initiatives that are aimed at revolutionising city governance and standards of living.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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