India–UK Workshop on Smart Cities in India

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Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, FICCI jointly with UK India Business Council organized a one day “India–UK Workshop on Smart Cities in India”. The workshop focused on Funding & Financing Models, Technical Standards and Integrated implementation of planning & delivery across sectors for smart cities development in India.

In his introductory remarks, St. John Gould, Director, UK Trade, Investment and Prosperity – India mentioned the UK government’s agenda on smart cities and said that United Kingdom is a leader in providing advanced technologies, designers and engineers in the urban development space. He further said that the smart cities agenda is a great opportunity for businesses, both in India and UK.

Pradeep Puri, Co-Chair, India-UK, Joint Working Group on “Smart Cities”, Chairman, FICCI, Urban Infrastructure & Smart Cities Committee & Chairman, IL&FS Water Ltd. in his remarks highlighted the urban challenges being faced in our country and gave an overview of the opportunities available in the urban infrastructure sector in India.

He emphasised on sharing of technical expertise to help identify solutions to various urban challenges being faced in India and suggested that there are significant opportunities for collaboration around the governance and regulatory structures and financing mechanisms.

In her remarks, Rt. Hon. Patricia Hewitt, Chair, UK India Business Council said that the India-UK Joint Working Group on smart cities comprises fantastic and highly expert private sector players from both India and UK from across the full range of sectors – construction, infrastructure financing, urban transport, housing, planning, academia and ICT. These companies, who are global leaders in their fields and can play a significant role in not just the Indian government’s smart cities initiative, but also the UK’s urban development plans.

David Whittleton, Co-Chair, India-UK, Joint Working Group on “Smart Cities” & Deputy Chairman, Arup, chaired a session on “Integrated implementation of planning and delivery across sectors” in this workshop and highlighted the importance of planning & sectors integration for sustainable urban development.

A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI welcoming the participants at the workshop said “Government of India’s 100 Smart cities initiative will provide an impetus to the development of urban infrastructure and upgrade of urban services which is much required in Indian cities.”

He emphasized that this initiative is an indicator that we want dispersed development rather than concentrated. He mentioned that India offers huge opportunities for collaborations with foreign companies in the urban development arena. Collaborating with foreign companies that offer urban solutions customized to the Indian requirements in the smart cities area is an effective way to achieve the Government’s vision of developing 100 smart cities in India.