Smart City as a concept is not bound by fixed, rigid definition. It varies from city to city, based on its tradition, culture, demography, economic and social factors. To successfully implement a broad and exhaustive program like Smart Cities, it is important for some goals and objectives to be defined.

Smartness deals in doing more with less. The Indian Cities have been ever growing since independence and will exponentially continue to do so. The cities were planned in the initial stages of growth and with increasing population, it further demands sustainable planning, inclusiveness in societies, robust infrastructure and livability for citizens. The natural resources of cities are depleting year on year. There is need to protect the resources and use them efficiently, rather “Smartly”.

It is also important that a city aligns all the built and available resources to deliver desired outcome based on predefined goals and objectives. This vision requires collaborative efforts amongst different stakeholders involved in providing day to day support for the city.

The use of information and communication technology, internet of things and urban informatics also play a vital role in optimizing the efficiency of city operations and services. 

The cities should aim to achieve benchmarks in following essential features to classify under globally accepted Smart City norms: -

  • Citizen participation: Constantly adapting strategies that incorporate views of its citizens to bring maximum benefit for all.
  • Identity and culture: Unique identity for distinguishing it from all other cities, based on some key aspect: location or climate; leading industry, cultural heritage, local culture or cuisine, or other factors.
  • Economy and employment: A robust and resilient economic base and growth strategy that helps in creating large-scale employment and increasing opportunities for the majority of its citizens.
  • Health: Providing access to healthcare for all citizens.
  • Education: Schooling and educational opportunities for all children in the city.
  • Mixed use: Different kinds of land uses in the same places; such as offices, housing, and shops, clustered together.
  • Compactness: Encouraging development to be compact and dense i.e. buildings within a 10-minute walk of public transportation and located close together to form concentrated neighborhoods and centers of activity around commerce and services.
  • Open Space: Sufficient and usable public open spaces, promoting exercise and outdoor recreation for all age groups. Public open spaces of a range of sizes dispersed throughout the City so all citizens can have access.
  • Housing and inclusiveness: Sufficient housing for all income groups and promoting integration among social groups.
  • Transportation & Mobility: No requirement of an automobile to get around; short distances, buildings accessible from the sidewalk, plenty transit options and attractive to people of all income levels.
  • Walkable: Designing roads equally for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles; overriding road safety and sidewalks to street design. Shops, restaurants, building entrances and trees line the sidewalk for encouraging walking and ample lighting so the pedestrian feels safe day and night.
  • IT connectivity: Robust internet network allowing high-speed connections to all offices and dwellings as desired.
  • Intelligent government services: Enabling easy interaction (including through online and telephone services) with its citizens, eliminating delays and frustrations in interactions with government.
  • Energy supply: Reliable 24/7 electricity supply with no delays in requested hookups.
  • Energy source: At least 10% of electricity generated by renewables.
  • Water supply: Reliable 24/7 supply of water meeting national and global health standards.
  • Waste water management: Advanced water management programs, including wastewater recycling, smart meters, rainwater harvesting, and green infrastructure for managing storm water runoff.
  • Water quality: Treating all of its sewage to prevent the polluting of water bodies and aquifers.
  • Air quality: Air quality meeting international safety standards.
  • Energy Efficiency: Promoting state-of-the-art energy efficiency practices in buildings, street lights, and transit systems.
  • Underground electric wiring: Underground electric wiring system for reducing blackouts due to storms and eliminate unsightliness.
  • Sanitation: No open defecation, a full supply of toilets based on the population.
  • Waste management: Removing household and commercial garbage and disposing it in an environmentally and economically sound manner.
  • Safety: High levels of public safety, especially focused on women, children and the elderly; citizen of all ages feeling safe on the streets at all hours.