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Global smart cities – Benchmark for Smart City India project

When it comes to the term smart city India is at a nascent stage and so far only the selection of the probable smart cities has been proposed. But across the globe, unlike India, there are several cities which have been successfully implementing various smart services and projects. Although none of the cities can be categorized as a fully-fledged smart city most of them are very close to becoming ones. Following are the few global cities to which the rest of the world look upon as smart cities:



The capital city of Netherlands is on a mission to turn itself into the world’s smartest city. The city is known for its smart urban planning and transportation services. Some of the key smart features of the city are:

  • Smart parking and Smart traffic management
  • Smart street lighting
  • Smart energy meters at households
  • Free Wi-Fi access points and devices everywhere in the city



The Spanish city Barcelona can be considered as an ideal smart city. The city has implemented a lot of smart features which no other city has. Following are the smart projects the city is currently running:

  • Smart traffic light
  • GPS and traffic management software
  • Smart electronic transport bus network(solar operated touch screens and bus shelters)
  • Smart waste management systems
  • Smart street lights
  • Sensor technology for irrigation
  • Smart solar energy systems for water heating
  • Smart urban mobility using mobile apps(for navigating in the city)



Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and is considered as one of the world’s most fibre connected cities. The Stockholm’s fibre network is being provided and maintained by Stokab. It is a company which is owned by the City Council of Stockholm. Some of the smart city features which the city has implemented are as follows:

  • Green IT strategy
  • Smart traffic monitoring
  • e-services (minimizing paper usage)
  • Most connected city (fibre network everywhere for computer traffic, TV, telephony etc.)


New York

New York is said to be a city of innovative solutions. Traffic once used to be a major challenge for the city with about 3,774 deaths on New York City Streets Between 2001 and 2009. The Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) of the city of New York made use of smart techniques of data modeling to analyze and monitor patterns of traffic and pedestrian as well as for managing traffic efficiently. Other smart features in the city are also focused on improving its citizens’ lifestyle and safety and are as follows:

  • Smart traffic management
  • Smart meters
  • Building automation and control solutions(security, fire safety, alarms, lighting, gas and smoke detection
  • Smart energy management(Smart grid, smart water meters, smart solar energy solutions, smart electricity meters)
  • Free public Wi-Fi network
  • GHG emissions tracking



The city of Toronto has also focused on providing smart solutions to ensure public convenience and safety. The major smart features of the city are:

  • Smart water meters
  • Building energy efficiency
  • GHG emissions tracking
  • Public safety module using CCTV and real-time sensors
  • Smart traffic management systems



Singapore has been named very recently by the market research firm Juniper Research as the world’s smartest city. The city has scored most in its public transportation systems. The smart features of the city are:

  • Smart transportation
  • Smart parking
  • Smart traffic management
  • Sensors and camera for smart waste management
  • High speed wireless connectivity and smart mobility
  • Fibre connectivity



Auckland is one of the major cities in New Zealand. It has a huge problem of traffic and also parking. Auckland is one of New Zealand’s largest urbanized city and therefore faces challenges for providing enough space and in keeping the busy traffic moving. Services offered:

  • Smart traffic management
  • Smart governance
  • Smart lighting
  • Smart environment
  • Smart Airways



The Dubai Municipality and the Dubai Smart Government are working round the clock to realize the vision of transforming Dubai into a complete Smart City. Dubai’s roadmap from five main aspects towards achieving the smart city includes corporate framework, scientific research, development, awareness, and stimulus program. Services offered:

  • Smart transportation system (by deploying traffic sensors, launching mobile traffic apps, and also looking at the introduction of driverless vehicles in the city’s ecosystem)
  • Smart urban landscape project.
  • Smart energy grid
  • Smart government e-services



Oslo is the capital of Norway, it also has the largest population. The Oslo region is one of the fastest growing regions in Europe. For such a growing city, it requires the implementation of many smart solutions to deal with challenges and create exciting opportunities for its citizens. Services offered:

  • Smart street lighting system
  • Smart decarburization
  • Smart parking
  • Smart LED lighting
  • Broad sensing network for monitoring traffic levels
  • Smart grid system


Hong Kong

In recent years, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has been ensuring the development of Hong Kong as a regional data centre with initiatives to establish an Internet exchange centre and assume a leading position in cloud computing service in the region, thus laying the foundation for Hong Kong to develop into a regional Internet hub. Services offered:

  • Smart mobility
  • Smart environment
  • Smart governance



Considered as one of the biggest cities in Europe, London implements smart solutions to meet its challenges using its robust and unmatchable communication, transport, and business connections. Smart London is all about making the capital function better and making its citizens grow with innovative ideas. Services offered:

  • Smart enterprise(Government of UK)
  • Smart safety
  • Smart health(Government of UK)
  • Smart transport
  • Smart environment


San Francisco

San Francisco has been very much a part of the International Network of Smart Cities since 2011. The city has also been sharing its best practices with sister cities like Paris and Barcelona. The government of San Francisco has leveraged technology to expand transportation system, devise more efficient building operations, reduce energy usage and streamline waste management system for achieving objectives of greening the city while ensuring better mobility. Services offered:

  • Smart shipyard implementation using GPS enabled technology
  • Smart building
  • Smart governance
  • Smart waste management


India as the 2nd most populous country and almost always inundated with huge religious/social/sectoral diversities has not been able to demonstrate its potential in terms of quality of living in the world. Any kind of development that has taken place in the country is dwarfed by the ever growing need and demands of this mammoth population. Though India is developing fast, it still needs to tackle the issue of urbanization on a wider scale. Failed attempts in urbanization will pose serious impediments to the growth of our economy and will possibly turn away investment opportunities as well. Seemingly distant, but the creation of smart cities can create an eco-system facilitating good quality of life for residents, reliable opportunities for residents in education, healthcare, transportation, governance etc and favorable financial model for service providers.



-Prof. Yatin Jog

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