India is undergoing a massive urban transformation

Jul 08 2013, 02:52 IST
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SummaryEvery minute during the next 20 years, 30 Indians will leave rural India for urban areas.

Every minute during the next 20 years, 30 Indians will leave rural India for urban areas. At this rate, India will need some 500 new cities in the next two decades, says Rahul Sharma, partner and executive-director, Global Business Services, IBM India & South Asia. Rahul is the leader for the Smarter Cities and travel & transportation industry verticals for IBM Global Business Services in the India & South Asia region. He has been responsible for setting up and driving large deals for IBM in his industry segments. He tells Sudhir Chowdhary that technology can help us create an intelligent, interconnected environment that

enhances efficiencies and sponsors effective decision making across departments. Excerpts:

How can cities optimise their systems to serve as engines of growth?

As cities grow in both numbers and population, they are taking their place on the world’s centrestage, with more economic, political and technological power than ever before. Economically, they are becoming the hubs of a globally integrated, services-based society.

Every city is unique, but their leaders face many similar challenges—most of which call for exceptional creativity and innovation to resolve. Cities are perfect for promoting change, and renewable energies. Cities can serve as innovation platforms, creating clusters of business around green energy. Driving sustainable growth and prosperity through the strategic use of technology recognises the challenges that city leaders face. Proven solutions and new technologies for

data management and resource coordination can help transform city systems to make best use of funds and talent.

How can cities serve as platforms of innovation?

Cities are complex interconnected network of system of systems, and an integrated and holistic approach can enable city leaders to look at the big picture and improve efficiencies across all citizen services. By doing this they can harness a city’s finite

resources in a smarter way, and boost innovation, a key factor underpinning competitiveness and economic growth.

Consider this: Smart metering in Malta helps citizens pay only for the energy they use. Predictive analytics helped slash Richmond’s crime rate significantly in one year. In Taiwan, almost all of the trains run on time. Data analytics helped cut crime in New York City. In downtown Stockholm smart traffic systems helped reduce gridlock.

How is IBM helping transform cities and quality of living across India and the world?

A smarter city is one that uses technology to transform its core systems and optimise the return from largely finite resources. Investment in smarter

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