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By Anuj Puri, and Chairman & Country Head, JLL India
Across the world, the stride of migration from rural urban areas is increasing. By 2050, about 70% of the population will be living in cities, and India is no exception. India will need about 500 new cities to accommodate the rapid influx of population into its urban regions.
Interestingly, urbanization in India has for the longest time been viewed as a by-product of failed regional planning. Though this is inevitable, and will only change when the benefits of urbanization overtake the costs involved, it is an opportunity for achieving faster growth.
With increasing urbanization and the load on the land in rural areas, the Indian government has now realized the need for cities that can cope with the inherent challenges of urban living and also be magnets for investment to catalyse the local economies. The announcement of ‘100 smart cities’ falls in line with this vision.
What Is A Smart City?
A ‘smart city’ is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. It is a city with information technology as its principal infrastructure and the very basis for providing essential services to its residents. There are many technological platforms involved, including but not limited to automated sensor networks and data centres. Though this may sound futuristic, it is now likely to become a reality as the