Journal : People's Daily (Chinese) Date : Author : NA Page No. : 22
URL : http://paper.people.com.cn/rmrb/html/2016-02/18/nw.D110000renmrb_20160218_1-22.htm

The first phase of India’s hundred smart cities project was successfully completed a few days ago with the finalisation of the list of the leading 20 smart cities to receive financial support for development over the next five years.

Bhubaneswar, located in the eastern part of India in the state of Orissa, was on top of the list. How did this ancient city compete with modern cities and come out on top? Where does its wisdom come from? This reporter went to Bhubaneswar to get more information.

People oriented model: benchmark of “smartness”

This reporter did not expect to directly reach the Mayor of Bhubaneswar via the number provided on the website, but to his surprise it worked. “Welcome, we are pleased to know that a Chinese journalist wants to visit our city”, said the Bhubaneswar Mayor, Anant Jena, sincerely on the the phone. He simply asked “When will you arrive? Can you first email me the questions about smart cities”?

Walking into the building without having to go through any form of a security check or interrogation was a very unusual feeling for this reporter This was the administrative center of the Orissa Government but the security is not even as good as in New Delhi’s subway stations. However, the reporter was soon relieved as he saw many other people who had prior appointments with the Mayor.

“Among the most important selection components of smart city selection criteria was the use of the internet to handle government affairs and as a common mode of communication by its people”. While waiting to meet the mayor, the reporter was accompanied by Bi Budi (Vibhuti), a reporter from the the Telegraph. Two months ago, he was assigned by the city hall, along with few other journalists, to build a news team and to coordinate the promotion for the smart city project. Bi Budi said, “The city already has the tag of ‘India’s smartest city’ and within a few years Bhubaneswar will be one of the most talked about cities in India. This will push us further towards the urban transformation of this city.”

Already “the smartest”? Or wanting to “become the smartest”? Confronted by this question, both Mayor Jena and Deputy Mayor Kumar replied in unison: It is smart and will be so in future. In the past seven months, cities in contention for selection were evaluated on soft criteria like the degree of digitization in government’s administrative affairs, clarity of the city development plan, degree of effective allocation of municipal funds, government’s success rate in achieving development goals; and hard criterions like public transport network, electricity supply, the standard of waste material management; and evaluation of the proportion of corresponding parameters. Bhubaneswar ranked first with 78.83 points and Pune scored 77.42 in second position. Jaipur, a famous city, which shares old historical ties with New Delhi, scored 73.83 points coming in third place.

On the question of “how to win”, Mayor Jena highlighted their “core competency” which is people-oriented approach. He said, “Bhubaneswar in itself is a medium size city with the population of 100 million, but in the last few months each resident has come together to put in effort and actively participate in the smart city movement. It is through their ideas, suggestions and hard work that the city has become smart. Speaking from this point of view, this is completely in line with Prime Minister Modi’s idea of a smart city, i.e. use smart decisions to improve the life of the people in the city.

Advance planning: the cornerstone of development

February 14, celebrated as Valentines’ day in the West, fell on a Sunday this year. Many Bhubaneswar residents selected a unique way to express their love towards their city. As many as 50,000 residents came together to participate in the 5th “smart living” activity at the Laguerie Avenue located in the downtown market. This comprised of activities like using bicycles instead of cars, thousands of people practicing yoga together and displayed traditional weaving techniques. The common thread in all these activities was that they were all low carbon activities with an intention to protecting the environment and promoting healthy living. In addition to these activities, this city is the base of India’s largest IT Company Infosys which along with other “smart solution” providing companies put up displays and exhibitions.

Kumar told this reporter that the “smart living” movement will make people yearn for a good urban life. The expectations may be diverse but as far as we are concerned, a distinct and clear urban development plan is essential.” In the “smart city” selection process, Bhubaneswar already had a clear five year plan for city transformation. This included: firstly, establishing a 985 hectares large “smart central district” which will require investment of Rs 4095 crore and secondly, a “smart” transformation of the existing urban transportation system, which will cost around Rs 4420 crore. India’s Central and local governments will provide Rs 1000 crore in advance and the rest will be raised from foreign investors.

While visiting Bhubaneswar this reporter discovered that urban planning is not only the future of this city but was also the base of its healthy development in the last 70 years. In 1948 the main Bhubaneswar city was re-planned by a German architect. It resulted in the smooth and wide roads, orderly traffic and high green coverage and clear functioning in the city. With the above mentioned characteristics, it is hardly surprising to see Bhubaneswar among the top ranked Indian cities.

Bi Budi said that the north-west of Bhubaneswar has the “information city” which houses Information Technology companies, Science and Engineering colleges and many management schools. It can be looked upon as the source of “smartness” within the smart city. The south-west part has hundreds of temples and considered to be the spiritual center of the city. The city center is the business and administrative area, where the municipal complex and business center is located.

Use local methods to make the city colourful

Is it comparable to a big city? Can a medium sized city like Bhubaneswar easily transform into a “smart” city? How to explain big cities like New Delhi, Chennai and other big cities which have populations in the millions?

Danesh, Head of the Industry research, CII, told this reporter, “earlier, Bhubaneswar was only looked upon as a temple city while also famous for its beach turtles. But it is this foundation that led them to their smart city plan. The next step is to look for funds and partners to help the city move in the direction of healthy development. This shows that there is no uniform template for India’s smart cities. Each city must find its own unique path of development. The central government can only provide basic framework and a share of funds. How will a smart city look like? The final decision is in the hands of that city and its residents.

According to statistics, 31% of the Indian population lives in cities and their total contribution to the national economy is 68%. This number is rapidly increasing. By 2030, half of the Indian population will live in cities. Prime Minister Modi came to power in 2014 and started the 100 “smart cities” project. His aim is to rapidly but sustainably improve the quality of life in Indian cities. Presently, the first 20 smart cities will get government funds for development, next year another 40 will be selected for financial aid and the remaining candidate cities will receive funding in the year after.

As far as the reputation of Bhubaneswar is concerned, the implementation of projects is far more important. Kumar told this reporter, “Competition is over. Now is the time to test implementation. Bhubaneswar’s development requires support in all aspects including funds, knowledge and technology from China. We have to set up an “express train” team which is responsible for contacting special overseas companies which are interested in participating in the smart city project.” He also emphasized, “Buddhism flourished in Orissa, where Bhubaneswar is located, for thousands of years. Tang dynasty monk Xuanzang also came here. I believe that our ancient history and present opportunities will bind us together.”

Original Text

印度小城何以最智慧

印度打造百座“智慧城市”计划日前取得阶段性成果,综合评分领先的20座城市成为今后5年印度城市发展首批资助对象。

位于印度东部奥里萨邦的布巴内斯瓦尔市在本次评选中排名第一,这座千年古城何以在这场颇具现代感的比拼中脱颖而出?它的“智慧”体现在哪?本报记者近日到布巴内斯瓦尔进行了采访。

以人为本,塑造智慧标杆

能直接拨通市长的电话令记者有些始料不及,这个挂在布巴内斯瓦尔市政府网站上的手机号看来并不是摆设。“欢迎,我们很高兴能有中国记者来到我们的城市”,电话那头诚恳的男中音来自布巴内斯瓦尔市市长阿南塔·简纳,“你什么时候到?能否把你对智慧城市的疑问先通过邮件发给我?

没有安检,无需盘问,记者走进布巴内斯瓦尔市市政府大楼的一刻有些不适应。这里是奥里萨邦首府的行政中心,怎么安保级别还不如新德里的地铁站?不过记者很快释然,这里不少看似来“上访”的群众都井然有序,他们都是来见市长的,和记者一样,有约在先。

“政务处理是否网络化,与市民是否建立起常态化的沟通机制,这是中央政府划定的’智慧城市评选纲要’中的重要组成部分”。陪同记者等待市长接见的是印度《电讯报》记者毕布迪,他和十几位当地媒体同行两个月前调至市政府筹建的新闻工作组,负责协调“智慧城市”的推广工作。毕布迪说:“接下来几年里,布巴内斯瓦尔将成为印度最受关注的城市之一,它已经被贴上了‘印度最智慧的城市’的标签,这迫使我们进一步完善城市改造工作。”

已经“最智慧”?还是将要“变智慧”?面对这一问题,无论市长简纳还是执行市长库马尔,他们都给出统一答案:现在是,将来也会是。从过去7个月的印度百座智慧城市评选中,候选城市的政务处理网络化程度、城市发展规划清晰度、市政资金有效利用率、政府承诺的实现率等软性指标,以及城市交通便利度、不间断供电时长、废物处理是否达标等硬性指标均被列入考评范围,并以相应比例核算为评比参数,最终布巴内斯瓦尔市以78.83分位列第一,印度西部与孟买毗邻的浦那市77.42分得次席,与新德里相隔不远的历史文化名城斋浦尔得到73.83分成为第三名。

在“何以胜出”的问题上,市长简纳把城市的“核心竞争力”归纳为人的因素。他说:“布巴内斯瓦尔是一个人口只有100多万的中型城市,但各个市民群体在过去几个月中有了共同的努力目标,即积极融入建设智慧城市的运动中。正是他们的设想、建议和行动使这个城市变得更智慧。从这一点讲,它完全符合莫迪总理对智慧城市的总体设想,那就是用智慧的解决方案提升城市居民的生活质量。”

规划为先,奠定发展基石

2月14日是西方的情人节,今年的这一天恰逢周日,布巴内斯瓦尔的不少居民选择以一种健康的生活方式表达他们对这座城市的爱。在市中心的拉格里大道上,共约5万名市民共同参与第五次“智慧生活”行动。这包括用自行车代替机动车出行、千人同练瑜伽、传统纺织技术展示等多种活动,其共同点是低碳环保,阳光健康。另外以这座城市为基地的印度最大的信息技术公司“印孚瑟斯”以及多家智慧城市解决方案提供商都在这一天进行宣传展示活动。

库马尔向记者介绍,“‘智慧生活’行动是为唤起各界对美好城市生活的向往,这种向往可能是多样的,但对我们来说,清晰而明确的城市发展规划是必不可少的。”在参与“智慧城市”评选时,布巴内斯瓦尔市已明确今后5年城市改造的两个重心,一是985公顷“智慧中心区”的设立,该项目总投资约409.5亿卢比(1元人民币约合10.5卢比),二是现有城市交通体系的智能化改造项目,预计花费44.2亿卢比。印度中央及地方政府将先期拨款100亿卢比,剩下的布巴内斯瓦尔城市发展局将向海外及私人投资者筹措。

记者在走访布巴内斯瓦尔市时发现,规划不仅是面向这座城市的未来,更是建立在这座城市过去近70年的健康发展基础之上。布巴内斯瓦尔市主城区1948年由德国设计师重新规划。这表现在道路宽阔平整,交通井然有序,绿化覆盖率高,城市功能区明确等方面。毫不夸张地说,仅上述特点就足以使其在印度城市景观评比中名列前茅。

毕布迪介绍说,布巴内斯瓦尔市的西北部建有“信息城”,信息技术公司、理工类高校、各类管理学院汇聚于此,该地区可以被看作“智慧城市”的智力资源库。而西南部则云集着上百座宗教寺院,那里仍然是市民精神生活的中心。城市中心是商业和行政区域,那里坐落着标志性的市政综合大楼及商贸中心。

因地制宜,打造多彩城市

是不是与大城市相比,布巴内斯瓦尔这样的中等规模城市更容易变得“智慧”?如何解释新德里、金奈等千万人口级别的大城市同样入选“智慧城市”前20名?

印度工业联合会产业政策部主管达内什对本报记者说:“布巴内斯瓦尔此前只被看作寺庙之城,另外布满海滩的海龟也很有名,但它们依据自身条件找到了通向智慧城市生活的方案,接下来要做的是寻求资金支持和合作伙伴,帮助城市向更健康的方向发展。这说明印度的智慧城市并没有统一的模板,每个有志于此的城市都必须找到一条适合自身发展的道路,中央政府只会设立基本框架并提供部分扶助资金,智慧城市最终会是什么样子,决定权在各自城市和市民手中。”

据统计,印度31%的人口生活在城市,贡献了63%的国民经济总量,而且这一数字还在迅速增长中,预计到2030年,印度将有一半的人口居住在城市。总理莫迪2014年就任伊始便提出打造印度百座“智慧城市”计划,其目的是让印度的城市生活质量得到快速并具有可持续性的提高。目前“智慧城市”评比排名前20的城市已得到政府拨款,明年另40座排名靠前的城市也将得到资助,剩余候选城市将在后年纳入资助范围。

对于名声在外的布巴内斯瓦尔市来说,接下来的项目落实显得更重要,库马尔对记者说:“评比已经结束,考验执行力的时候到了,布巴内斯瓦尔的发展需要各方面的支持,包括中国的资金、技术和智慧。对此我们已设立‘特别快车’团队,专门负责接洽有意于共同参与智慧城市建设的海外实体。”他还强调,“布巴内斯瓦尔所在的奥里萨邦有上千年的佛教兴盛史,唐朝玄奘也来过此地,相信古老的历史和现在的机遇都会把我们联系在一起。”

print
Share now