The India Smart Cities Challenge is designed to inspire greater creativity from municipal officials and their partners, more involvement and inspiration from citizens, and the development of proposals that will produce concrete benefits in people’s lives.
As a first step, all states used standardized criteria to pick their cities for the competition. Every state was guaranteed at least one city in the competition.
Of the 97 cities that submitted their proposals, 20 cities with high-quality proposals received funding. Twenty-three of the remaining cities now enter a fast-track program to upgrade their proposals and receive funding, and the rest have the chance to compete again next year in Competition Cycle Two.
Indian states nominated cities that meet selection criteria to participate in the competition.
Cities undertook their Start-to-Smart journeys.
Each city formulated its own unique vision, mission, and plan for a “Smart City.” Their concepts reflected the city’s local context, resources, and priorities of citizens. Each city developed a pan-city and area-based proposal.
An initial number of 20 cities were named winners. A group of 23 cities entered a fast-track phase to upgrade their proposals and compete again for funding. The remaining cities will have the chance to compete in the next competition cycle.
The Challenge required municipal leaders and their partners to consult the public to develop proposals that were both sound and had a high likelihood of being implemented. Proposed solutions had to strengthen the city’s governance or its physical, social, or economic infrastructure.
A Bold Vision: Each city conveyed its own unique vision that reflected local context, its resources, and the priorities and aspirations of its citizens.
A Pan-City Initiative: Cities drew inspiration from smart solutions that incorporated the use of technology, information and data to improve services or results for citizens. The pan-city initiative had to touch the lives of many, or potentially all, of its citizens.
An Area-Based Development Plan: This plan aimed to transform an existing place within each city, creating an exemplar for other areas in the city, or across the country, to follow. Depending on local circumstances, cities chose one of three approaches: retrofitting, redevelopment, or greenfield development.
Municipal leaders downloaded the application from the Apply section of the ministry website.
Tools, resources, tips, and instructions for developing the application were available for each phase of the application process.
The Challenge process included support for local leaders – helping them define challenges and opportunities, learn from experts worldwide, and draw from the evidence on what’s worked to help them get smarter.
The robust program of skills building and technical assistance created a rewarding, exciting process for all participating cities. By participating in the Challenge, all cities gained new skills and built their networks.
As the Challenge got underway, teams from the 100 nominated cities came together to learn about the Challenge process, engage with world-leading experts, and get inspired for their work ahead.
As city teams went through the Challenge process, they accessed various resources to support their efforts. These included practical tools to engage citizens in the design and development of their proposals.
Municipal leaders for the 23 fast-track cities will be invited to join a program of support to enhance their skills and knowledge and accelerate their Smart Cities efforts.
The Ministry of Urban development selected Bloomberg Philanthropies as their official Knowledge Partner for the Smart Cities Challenge. Through the partnership, Bloomberg Philanthropies will lend its experience implementing city challenges in the U.S. and Europe to generate innovation, build capacity, and test new ideas with the potential to spread.
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation, and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving.