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Economic planning a must for smart cities

real-estate Updated: Oct 13, 2016 16:07 IST
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cities have to transform, they need leadership and governance at the city level. (IStock)

It is important for job creation to be part of city planning. For that, city agencies need to be empowered, say experts. In most cities around the globe, powerful mayors have been effective changemakers. In India, cities are governed by states, which have other priorities. Ideally, mayors should be empowered to decide on the economic planning of a city.

As urbanisation increases, we need to empower institutions at the local level. “If cities have to transform, they need leadership and governance at the city level. Once you empower the right quality of leadership comes in right at the city level and only that leadership can bring about change,” says Amit Bhatt, strategy head - urban transport, EMBARQ.

Hudson Yard in the US is a great example of smart city planning combined with economic vision. The area is a brand new neighbourhood located on the western side of New York City. The idea for developing this 28-acre area was conceived by Related Company’s billionaire developer Stephen Ross. As per estimates, the development is expected to add about $19 billion annually to New York City’s gross domestic product. The area has also been given tax breaks.

Developments coming up in the area include 8 million square feet of office space, a 1 million square-foot mall, shops, restaurants and 4,000 residences and 14 acres of open space. Estimates suggest that in 2025, about 125,000 people, including residents and workers will visit the area every day. Currently, a 1BHK in the area is priced at $1.95 million and the average price per sq ft is around $3,300.