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Over 5,700 projects representing innovations in public-private partnerships to be completed under the Smart Cities Mission:

Over 5,700 projects representing innovations in public-private partnerships to be completed under the Smart Cities Mission: Jagan Shah, CEO of Infravision Foundation and former Director of the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA)

 

NEW DELHI. June 06, 2024: Ayodhya Development Authority and Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) jointly secured the top spot in the Smart Infrastructure category of FICCI’s 5th Smart Urban Innovation Awards organised alongside the FICCI Conference on Business-Friendly Cities. The winners were recognised for the city beautification and tourist facility project in Ayodhya City, and the redevelopment project in Bhendi Bazaar, Mumbai, respectively.

 

The fifth edition of the Smart Urban Innovation Awards received a remarkable 98 entries, setting a new record for the event. These awards are unique in their distinction as they focus on the contributions made by industry players in collaboration with cities to improve liveability, business friendliness, economic sustainability, safety, and disaster resilience. The awards’ evaluation process involved quantifiable and qualitative parameters, with the jury assessing each case’s progressiveness and convincingness, particularly in terms of scalability and applicability.

 

Speaking on occasion, Mr Jagan Shah, CEO of Infravision Foundation and former Director of the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), highlighted the success of the Smart Cities Mission in shifting the focus from urban problems to urban solutions over the past decade. “The Smart Cities Mission has contributed significantly to promoting local sustainability and self-sufficiency,” Shah noted. “For the first time, cities were asked to imagine what they would like to do across various areas, from healthcare and transportation to air quality management and education, rather than simply being asked to install basic infrastructure.”

 

Shah emphasised the entrepreneurial nature of the mission, which provided funding to cities on a competitive basis, encouraging them to develop innovative visions for urban transformation. This approach has led to over 5,700 projects, each representing innovations in public-private partnerships, localised technology incubation, and solutions tailored to the needs of individual cities.

 

Mr JVS Ramakrishna, Co-Chairman, FICCI Committee on Urban Development and Real Estate & Global BU Head – Sustainable Smart World, L&T Technology Services, also emphasised the importance of holistic approach and collaboration in creating sustainable urban spaces. “Building business-friendly cities requires a holistic approach, not just in terms of infrastructure, but also technology, policies, sustainability, inclusivity, and innovation,” Ramakrishna stated. “It demands collaboration between the public and private sectors, especially in long-term planning and investments.”

 

In addition, Mr SK Pathak, Secretary General, FICCI, underlined that business-friendly cities should be a top priority for the new government in the next five years. He cited the example of business-friendly cities like Ahmedabad and Surat, which offer a more conducive business environment.

 

Mr Pathak stressed the importance of efficient urban governance and innovation in attracting investment and talent, as cities are set to double in size by 2044. “FICCI member businesses look forward to more business-friendly cities in India.  A business-friendly city enables competitiveness and talent retention. This should be one of the top priorities of our country. The future of our youth depends on how well we run our business-friendly cities and how well we innovate,” he said.

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