One thing which many citizens would question all smart city initiatives is – what is in it for me?. The way governments or organizations involved in smart city initiatives tackle this question determines how successful this tranformation will be. Keeping it aside, we still have questions which many citizens are not aware of. To name three of them
What is a smart city exactly?
Does technically equipping the city makes a city smart city?
Do I really have a role to play in smart city initiatives?

For the time being I will write my through on the above three questions. If you have any additional questions to ask, do comment, will be happy to answer.

What is a smart city exactly?
Just like we all have different perspectives of seeing things, Smart City is a loose term which has many definitions. For me, it is living in such a way that we respect environment, live healthily, lead sustainable lives and create clean and safer communities. It doesn’t matter what methods you use to achieve it.

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Does technically equipping the city makes a city smart?
This again depends on two things – one what new technologies are being implemented and how are they being used. Yes if properly used technology has a crucial role in saving our resources and making communities safer, that is the reason why smart city is so closely related to technology. A few ways is which technology is aleady being used elsewhere in the world are:
a. Traffic monitoring and management
b. Security surveillance
c. Issue reporting to government officials
d. Realtime monitoring of parking facility, bike charging stations, construction activity in urban areas, weather etc.
e. Use augmented reality to enrich the experience of tourists
These are just a few I am aware, the list goes on and the possibilities are endless. The possibilities are as limitless as the human thinking ability.

Now we come to the most important question
Do I really have a role to play in smart city initiatives?
Yes, every citizen have a crucial role in all smart city initiatives. Unless there is no involvement of citizens most of the smart city initiatives won’t be successful. Imagine a city government develops an issue reporting facility and none of the citizens use it, government construct public toliets and none uses it or use them improperly. Any smart city initiative is related directly or indirectly with citizen involvement. These initiaitves also give more power to citizens to express themselves and have a say in decisions. Indeed it is very important that whatever be the initiatives, it would be best to involve citizens from the beginning, to make it as much productive and as successful as possible.

I hence would urge each and every citizen to know more about the smart city initiatives in you area, start discussing about it, explore the possibilities, participate more and build a clean, green and sustainable society for the coming generations.

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