BHUBANESWAR: After the drubbing in Swachh Survekshan 2018, here is some news to cheer for the Capital’s residents. Bhubaneswar has notched the 32nd place in Top-50 Smart City Governments in the world leaving behind many developed cities like Paris, Dubai, Jakarta, Toronto and Rio de Janeiro. A recent study conducted by Singapore-based Eden Strategy Institute in collaboration with ONG & ONG Experience Design (OXD) reveals that London topped the list with 33.5 points while New Delhi occupied the 23rd spot with 27 points and Bhubaneswar stood at 32nd spot with 25.3 points.
Billed as the first-ofits- kind independent ranking, the study examined how effective different strategies can be in creating a smart city and analysed the diverse approaches towards developing smart cities around the world. After screening 140 cities on their commitment to building a smart city, the institute ranked the best-performing 50 Smart City Governments based on 10 vectors - vision, leadership, budget, financial incentives, support programmes, talent readiness, people centricity, innovation ecosystems, smart policies and track record.
Six Indian cities have made it to the Top-50 where smart city plans were co-created with citizens and supported by systematically- planned and mobilised budgets from the Central Government since 2015. While there is a tie between Bhubaneswar and Ahmedabad, cities like Jaipur and Pune lag behind. The study found that co-creation more often involves offline and physical interactions with citizens in areas where online access is less available or when beneficiaries have very specific needs. “The Smart City Office of Bhubaneswar promotes socially smart initiatives by engaging with youth to develop youth-centric and youth led social interventions.
As a result, several peer leaders have been trained to take leadership at the community level,” it said. The first leadership model has been illustrated by cities such as Amsterdam, Bhubaneswar, Dubai, London, Singapore and Taipei, which have dedicated officials or departments driving the smart city vision. In developing the Smart City plan, Odisha capital has launched a ‘Citizen Connect’ initiative to collaboratively develop smart city i m p l e m e n t a t i o n roadmaps. “Bhubaneswar has a unique focus on citizen safety and youth involvement.
Socially Smart Bhubaneswar, a strategic pillar of the smart city plan, involves youth in surfacing issues, sharing ideas and devising smart city interventions,” the study report underlined. In March, UK-based digital market research and consulting agency Juniper Research, had ranked Bhubaneswar at 19th position in the Top-20 list of best performing smart cities in the world. The study was conducted taking into considerations four key indices - mobility, healthcare, public safety and productivity.