Mumbai, Delhi are not really smart cities, says global survey

  • Moushumi Das Gupta
  • Updated: May 31, 2016 12:25 IST

NEW DELHI: The national capital is not “smart”, neither are financial capital Mumbai, information technology hub Bangalore and eastern India’s biggest city Kolkata. They actually wallow at the bottom of a global livability survey of 181 cities.

The 2016 Cities in Motion Index (CIMI), prepared jointly by the Barcelona-based University of Navarrara’s IESE Business School and the Centre for Globalisation and Strategy, found Indian cities floundering on most parameters that defined a smart, livable city.

New Delhi was ranked 174, followed by Bengaluru at 176 and Kolkata at 179. Mumbai was slightly better at 167. Nigeria’s largest city Lagos and Pakistani trading port Karachi brought up the rear at 180 and 181.

Now, the top five most livable or “smartest” cities are New York, London, Paris, San Francisco and Boston.

The surveyors counted 10 parameters to make the report — economy, human capital, technology, environment, international outreach, governance, urban planning, public management, social cohesion, mobility and transportation.

The four Indian cities are among the 33 that were included in the survey for the first time this year. The new cities were selected because of the size of their population and their economic, political or cultural significance.

On individual parameters such as governance, international outreach, mobility and transportation, the Indian cities fared relatively better.

For instance, Delhi is ranked 58 in mobility and transportation and 66 in international outreach, which indicates the number of foreign tourists visiting the city.

But the Capital takes a beating on economy (178), environment (180) and urban planning (179). Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata too fare dismally. The survey report concludes that it is “not enough to be good in only one dimension” and cities should be “capable of reaching acceptable minimums in the dimensions as a whole”.

The advice could come handy as the NDA government has vowed to create 100 smart cities by 2022, which will have living standards comparable to Europe and the US.

“The IESE Cities in Motion platform aims to create awareness and generate innovative tools to achieve smarter government systems,” it says.

IESE Business School, founded in 1958, is one of Europe’s oldest management institutions and has been ranked 16th in the world by the Financial Times in its Global MBA rankings for 2016.

The economy indicators in the survey are GDP, labour productivity, ease of starting business, among others. For human capital, the markers are percentage of population with higher education, number of universities, expenditure on leisure and recreation, etc.

Under the technology head, the number of broadband subscribers and mobile phones per capita are counted. Environment is gauged through emission levels and pollution index while people’s perception about corruption is one of the indicators for governance.

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