Smart neighborhoods lead to sustainable living and smart cities
In today’s fast paced lives where there is no time to travel for recreation, no time to drive down few kilometers to catch up with a friend for a cup of coffee and no time to go to a fitness club, we are opting for all this in our neighborhood. There are various studies done on the impact of neighborhood on our lives. It’s time that we start developing smart neighborhoods which are sustainable. People in urban India are becoming aware about the concept of smart neighborhood living and how it impacts our lives. People are choosing their neighborhoods and not just houses. India is growing at a fast pace and in next two decades we see requirement of 500 new cities which can provide sustainable living. All the tier 1 cities are completely saturated and this calls for development of cities which are in and around metros and offer good connectivity. We may create intelligent cities which are well planned but a bigger challenge is to ensure that these cities are sustainable. We are in an era where the way cities grow is dependent on people’s skills, creativity, and the outlook to absorb innovation. We all are talking about Smart cities and Digital India. To accomplish this, a people-centric approach is required leading to solutions for providing sustainable living conditions. Developing chunks of lands in sections and making them intrinsically wholesome in the form of integrated townships provides for smart neighborhood. Where one chooses to live comprises of unique social elements that influence our lives every day and contributes in the holistic development of an individual.
Smart neighborhood comprises of systems which can help combat everyday challenges by providing innovative solutions in addition to a culture which offers fine work and life balance. Community living is becoming the first choice for people as it gives one an opportunity to celebrate special occasions, work together for a social cause, feel secured, live a socially connected life and enjoy the benefits of Smart neighborhood. Under the “India Smart Cities Challenge” the best example set under citizen-initiated projects which emphasizes the benefits of Smart neighborhood was redevelopment of Shantinagar area in Bengaluru taken up by a local NGO which enabled residents to come together, online and offline, to create a community vision for the redevelopment of their neighborhood. The project named Next Bengaluru, used new technologies to engage local residents in urban planning and tapped into their knowledge of the area to actualize their vision of reshaping their neighborhood. In a short span of December 2014 and March 2015, over 1,200 neighbors and residents visited the on-site community space, and the team crowd sourced more than 600 ideas for redevelopment and planning.
Smart neighborhood comprises of all the facilities in reachable vicinity like schools, medical facilities, amenities for recreation, smart building control, community intelligence, technology with stronger sustainability. Smart neighborhood offers combined benefits to make pragmatic changes which can greatly impact the future generations.