Simi Mehta, Athar Imam Raza, Arjun Kumar and Radu Carciumaru

Despite Challenges, Ranchi is Committed to Become a Smart City

A two-day Indo-German Workshop on Smart Cities: Sustainable Urban Development was held on November 19-20, 2018 at Hotel Radisson Blu in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand.

This international Workshop event was jointly organized by Heidelberg University, Germany (Branch office, New Delhi) and Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI) in collaboration with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), School of Planning and Architect (SPA), Council for Social Development (CSD) and Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC).

The Urban Development and Housing Department, Government of Jharkhand and Ranchi Smart City Corporation Limited (RSCCL) as well as Central University of Jharkhand (CUJ) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ranchi, acted as local partners of the Workshop.

The event was supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF). This Workshop was held in continuation of similar initiatives previously organized in Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Kochi, Kolkata, New Delhi, Pune, Shimla and Aizawl since 2016, and continue beyond 2018.

The Ranchi Workshop was the first of a kind organized in Jharkhand that brought together scholars, students, policy makers, bureaucrats, government authorities, civil society representatives from both national and the state levels. The workshop was attended by over 140 participants.

The concept of “smart cities” is an area of extensive research, policy formulation, practice, and implementation, it encompasses the adoption of a variety of approaches. The idea of ‘smart cities’ cannot be realized without inter-disciplinary inputs and collective ideation.

Towards this, the workshops intended to not only openly discuss opportunities and benefits of smart cities mission, but also critically look at the challenges that may arise. Consequently, the Workshop sought a look at urban challenges from an integrated, holistic and inclusive perspective, to foster sustainability and to explore the opportunities that Information and Communication Technology, as well as active participation and involvement of civil society, offer.

Respectively, the Workshop had technical sessions on ‘Governance and Inclusive Cities’, ‘Infrastructure’, ‘Resources Management’ and ‘Mobility’. The participants committed for the advancement of Ranchi and Jharkhand into a progressive city and state, respectively. A report containing the findings and recommendations of the workshop will be published and circulated to all relevant stakeholders, at national, state and local levels.

The event report by Observer Research Foundation can be found here.