A Dialogue on Smart Cities in India

Thematic Roundtable and Institute Working Lunch


During Indian Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Canada in April 2015, and following the announcement of the Indian government’s plan to create 100 smart cities, the collaborative opportunities for Indian and Canadian bilateral partnerships became clear. According to the Indian government, this cooperation will rely heavily on the provision of: “…Canadian expertise in a number of relevant fields including, public private partnerships, intelligent transportation systems, civil engineering and urban planning, water and wastewater management, pre-cast and wood construction, energy technology and efficiency and affordable housing.”

This transformative and sweeping initiative has generated significant media attention, both supportive and critical and definitions and policy frameworks for smart cities are still evolving.


According to Global Cities Institute (GCI) Senior Fellow, Om Prakash Mathur:


“There are no established methodologies for defining, conceptualizing and implementing [smart cities].  Smart cities in most countries are on the drawing board.”


On June 29, 2015, the Global Cities Institute hosted a Thematic Roundtable and Institute Working Lunch titled, A Dialogue on Smart Cities in India.  H.E. Mr. Akhilesh Mishra, Consul General of India to Toronto provided opening remarks and an introduction to the Indian Smart Cities Agenda.  Representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI), the City of Toronto, and the University of Toronto were present to discuss their involvement in the Smart Cities in India discussion.


The roundtable was the beginning of a dialogue between interested Indian and Canadian stakeholders, with the goal of creating partnerships and new discussion based on mutual interests and goals.


The GCI is currently developing a new ISO standard on Smart Cities, following the launch of ISO 37120 in May 2014. This unprecedented international standard will help provide baseline data for the Indian government and cities to benchmark investment success and measure progress against their smart city targets.


In Autumn 2015, the GCI will be undertaking a mission to India, building upon its current networks and meeting with both public and private sector partners, as well as key Indian cities involved in Prime Minister Modi’s Smart City initiative.


Agenda - A Dialogue on Smart Cities in India



Briefing on the Upcoming GCI mission to India - Palakh Chhabria, Global Cities Institute


Open Data, the new ISO Standard on Smart Cities, Infrastructure and Governance - Matthew Lynch, Global City Indicators Facility/World Council on City Data


The National Guidelines for Smart Cities in India - Dr. Bharat Punjabi, Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG)


Debriefing on the recent University of Toronto mission to India - Vinitha Gengatharan, Office of International, Government and Institutional Relations, University of Toronto


Smart Cities: More Than Just Gigabytes - Carl Bodimeade, Hatch Mott MacDonald



Report of the Smart Cities in India Thematic Roundtable: “A Dialogue on Smart Cities in India”