PUBLIC SPACES UNDER THE SMART CITIES PARADIGM IN INDIA
Keywords: Public Spaces, Social Sustainability, Smart City, Equity
Abstract. Rapid urbanization in the emerging economies leads to immense pressure on existing amenities and urban services, and hence the congregation of smart technologies, with efficient data-driven solutions are a desirable requisite for a better quality of life, thus forming the basis of Smart cities. The concept of a smart city is multi-dimensional and is a mix of multiple factors and indicators that constitute the core concept of sustainability. One of the key indicators of a smart city is active public spaces and their consolidated wholesome implications on well-being. Hence, addressing the consequences of smart city initiatives, with respect to the access to the public realm to engage, interact, share, and recreate, through extensive literature review and case-based study seemed of prime importance. This paper attempts to unpack the smart city paradigm in India, in conjunction with aspects of social sustainability, technological interventions, and the on-ground reality while learning about their implications on the quality of life, specifically, in the case of the marginalized groups. The literature review and case-based study of three Indian smart cities, namely New Delhi, Indore, and Bhopal have opened possibilities for the identification of factors responsible for the smartness of public spaces and a realization of the extent to which theoretical concepts translate from paper to ground realities, and their immediate implications on the ‘informal’ aspects and groups of our society.