You are not in the race for “excellence” if you are not smart. To run successful institutions, you need smart people, smart colleague and smart office. And you should choose to work out of smart cities.
Smart city has as its life force Internet of Things. Every aspect of the city will have embedded electronics, sensors, and digital connectivity. On a 24×7 basis it will collect data, which is the fuel that will drive the smart city, its traffic, its energy and water supplies.
The information and communication technology, ICT as it’s referred, will ensure delivery of high-quality civic services at reduced costs with minimal use of precious resources. It also ensures e-governance assuring transparency in dealings with civic officials. It will enhance citizen’s engagement. It takes democracy to the very grassroots of society.
Well, I can’t dismiss it as a utopian dream. Techies welcome it. They assure that smart cities will make life more liveable. Information technology will take complications out of our life.
Imagine living in a smart city where you can walk to your office, no traffic snarls, no pollution thanks to efficient urban mobility and public transport, robust IT connectivity, assured supply of quality water and electricity, better sanitation and solid waste management, safety and security and easy engagement with the government.
There will be smart technologies that offer smart solutions to your day-to-day problems. The networked devices from your computer to smartphones will measure and monitor water and energy use while smart parking and intelligent traffic management system will take the drudgery out of our life for ever.
This digitally driven and technology-intensive city administration will surely offer an out of the world quality of living. But behind the silver lining there are some dark clouds that refuse to go away. Sceptics, who are raised on a diet of electronic games or science-fiction novels, may be wary of our over-dependence on technology.
The dangers to our digital life are posed by unknown cyber thieves and hackers. Despite continually upgraded encryption technologies, there is always a challenge in neutralising the digital criminal lurking in the shadow. They sneak into your bank, private life and sometimes bring to a standstill the internet networks. The information infrastructure is under constant attack.
By KS Nayar
(Full text in PTA Dec-Jan issue)