The India Smart Cities Challenge Helps Cities Get Smarter, Faster

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.

In the first year, cities competed for funding

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.


JUNE - JULY 2015

States Nominated Cities to Compete

Indian states nominated cities that meet selection criteria to participate in the competition.


Cities Entered the Competition

Cities undertook their Start-to-Smart journeys.


Cities Developed a Bold Vision and Smart Proposals

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.


First Winners Announced

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.

Solutions increase economic opportunity, improve quality of life, and create more responsive government

A Rewarding, Exciting Process For All Competing Cities

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.

an exciting partnership

  • Partnership-1

    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.

  • Partnership-2

    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.

  • Partnership-3

    Visit our FAQs page to learn more about the partnership. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.