NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab @ Roundtable on Smart Cities : Enabling Citizen Participation Through Technology

Siddharth Pandit, Chair, NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab, presented at the roundtable hosted by Jaanagraha on “Smart Cities: Enabling Citizen Participation through Technology”.  The roundtable was organized to look at the whole gamut of citizen participation in governance including use of technology, the available digital engagement tools and the challenges in enhancing its usage. The experience of various stakeholders in activating and enhancing citizen participation in governance were shared.

In the presentation titled “Citizens Engagement in Smart Cities Mission”, Siddharth shared the findings about the efforts taken by the 20 Lighthouse Cities and the important differences in the approach to strategic planning the National Smart City Mission is advocating than the traditional top down landuse planning process. As such citizen engagement becomes an important part of organizational culture and decision making for planning bodies and the impacts will be seen over time rather than overnight successes. Yet for lack of previous experience, city agencies have shown the appetite and adaptability to undertake this new approach in urban transformation; the lighthouse cities have exemplified the quality of their proposals by emphasizing citizen engagement. Technology has enabled undoubtedly to jumpstart the collaboration and idea seeking for visioning, area identification and project prioritization. The challenge remains to permeate this process during the implementation and monitoring of the projects as the mission moves forward.

The presentation can be viewed here.