HYDERABAD: Smart cities can only be successful when the citizens are given the maximum priority and everything else next, Foundation for Futuristic Cities president Karuna Gopal has said.
Delivering the Yarlagadda Sreeramulu 11th endowment lecture on ‘Smart Cities for India: How to Realize the Vision’ here on Monday, she said, “This is perhaps the best and the most opportune time for India to build smart cities. India had never really liked the idea of urbanisation. It was only after the East Asian Miracle in the 80s that our country realised its importance. After going in for urbanisation, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand have their respective GDPs growing while ours has not not.”
Karuna Gopal said technology played a big role in development of smart cities and, at the same time, cautioned that it should not be forced on people. “The German government, while shifting to a smart grid infrastructure, urged all the people to purchase smart grid meters. While many of them went for it, there were a few who protested because they did not know how it would benefit them. Before thrusting technology on people, the government should tell them the benefits.