The recent time has seen the shift in urban planning concerns of our cities, especially second tier cities. The emerging paradigm of SCM is aspired to be moving towards formation of reactive, reflective and knowledge-oriented society. The SCM is expected to move from functional, hierarchical formation of our cities to networked form.
The stated goal of the Smart City Mission is to promote economic opportunity, improve governance, and make cities people friendly. The attempt towards SCM is to bring digital based dissemination of information and knowledge about the city, it is also assumed to have digital based structural and functional operation of city along with controlling, monitoring and integrating critical infrastructures of the city.
Along with the management and dissemination of information about infrastructure, it is also expected to re-configure the spatial formation of urban form, new means of achieving high densities, mobility networking, leisure and occupational necessities. The outcome of such endeavor is expected to influence the areas such as participation, entrepreneurial dimensions so that it brings about an equitable growth to our cities.
In such context, the smart is conceptual model and not technique of planning, where digital data is an asset and important planning tool. It is also envisage in form of being progressive, transparent and information oriented planning process.
Would it be a slightly exaggeration to state that the Cities are being re- engineered with Techno-Utopian discursive construct to promote neoliberal rationalities or is it narrow way of knowing urban phenomena or new planning paradigm based on rational epistemology.
If this questions have unclear answers then the politics, technical and epistemological of smart city initiatives need to be examined & critiqued. How every day is seen in a permanent state of emergency and urgency becomes the paradigm of action or how visual technologies are central to the ontological and practical configuration of cities or how data drives the urban transformation, hierarchies and rearrangement of urban life. These are the some of the fundamental question that urban research needs to focus on for coming years.
Photogrpahs Credit: Manoj Parmar Architects