The general theme of World Cities Day is to maintain a Better City, Better Life, while each year a different sub-theme is selected, to either promote successes of urbanization, or address specific challenges resulting from urbanization.
This year, the United Nations has selected the theme “Changing the world: innovations and better life for future generations” to discuss how urbanization can be used to achieve sustainable development. It aims to promote the international community’s interest in implementing the New Urban Agenda globally and in enhancing cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization in cities.
Over half the world’s population now live in cities. With the number expected to double by 2050, urbanization is one of the world’s most transformative trends. Urbanization poses several sustainability challenges related to housing, environment, climate change, infrastructure, basic services, food security, health, education, decent jobs, safety, and natural resources. Urbanization can also present great opportunities and is a critical tool for sustainable development if it is done right.
As the Cities have always been drivers and incubators of innovation, industry, technology, entrepreneurship, and creativity; creating prosperity, enhancing social development and providing employment. It is often said that the battle for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will be won or lost in cities. For this to happen, cities will have to continue to drive innovation in ground-breaking ways to achieve a lasting impact in communities and to ensure that “no one and no place” is left behind. At the same time, innovation can contribute to inequality and needs to be accompanied by appropriate economic and social regulatory policies. Youth and women need the opportunity to participate and contribute more fully to innovation in cities.
The new digital economy, sometimes called ‘the fourth industrial revolution’ is built on data, reduced transaction costs and sharing platforms and already has a profound effect in many cities. Innovations in mobility, including autonomous transport, electric vehicles and drones will require fundamentally different approaches to urban planning. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual, augmented and mixed reality and the internet of things present efficiency and communications opportunities requiring new governance frameworks. This rapid rate of innovation also puts pressure on urban policymakers and managers to strengthen their capacity when it comes to understanding, procuring and regulating new technologies.
The main goals of World Cities Day 2019 are to:
- Increase awareness of how digital innovations can be used for urban service delivery to enhance the quality of life and improve the urban environment.
- Show new frontier technologies that can create more inclusive cities.
- Present opportunities for renewable energy generation in cities.
- Explore how frontier technologies can promote social inclusion in cities.
In this occasion of World Cities Day Indian Inc are in-line with the government’s smart cities mission and are contributing towards creating a better future for the newer generations.
Sumeet Walia, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Tata Communications says, “With a young and rapidly growing population, India is headed towards mass urbanisation. Today, India has one of the most recognised smart city programmes – cities which will drive technological innovation to usher in economic development and citizen engagement. Core to these smart cities is a network of solution providers who are not just looking at new market opportunities, but are committed to building smart solutions to improve the quality of citizen life. Within this, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become a promising technology for addressing social challenges and enabling big data analytics for creating intelligent ecosystems worldwide.
At Tata Communications, we believe in a framework where efficient public and commercial services are delivered to individuals by and through a range of connected devices and things to make these services more accessible, reduce environmental impact, and empower communities. We understand and appreciate the nuances around digital transformation. We have worked with thousands of global customers on their digitisation journeys and we are honoured to play a pivotal role in the co-creation of critical Government e-initiatives like the Government e-Marketplace and smart city projects, ensuring citizens benefits from the digital transformation wave”
Rajesh Uttamchandani, Director, Syska Group spoke on, “The Government of India is on a mission to transform Indian cities into smart cities with an aim to improve the standard for living of all citizens and create a better tomorrow for future generations. This is being initiated through the promotion of not just new and innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence & internet of things, but also through sustainable solutions that help protect the environment. We at Syska have been at the forefront of introducing innovative products such as LED lighting which not only consume less energy but are also more efficient. This World Cities Day, let us all pledge to promote the production and consumption of energy efficient and sustainable solutions that contribute towards achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals.”
Kishan Jain, Director, Goldmedal Electricals expressed on , “The Government of India’s smart cities mission aims to create 100 cities with state-of-the-art infrastructure that includes intelligent lighting & Wi-Fi access points and to continually improve the quality of life of every citizen while building efficient living spaces for future generations. Smart technologies such as LED lighting, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence and others are all playing their part in building a sustainable environment for our country’s citizens. As a company, Goldmedal has been striving towards developing technology-driven, energy-efficient and affordable solutions that positively impact the lives of our customers. With India heading towards mass urbanisation, we are aligned towards promoting sustainability, enhancing social development and creating new employment opportunities through rapid digital innovations.”