The Smart Cities Mission, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched the ‘Smart Cities and Academia Towards Action & Research (SAAR)’ program. The move was a part of the Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav.
SAAR is a joint initiative of MoHUA, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and leading Indian academic institutions of the country. Under the program, 15 premier architecture & planning institutes of the country will be working with Smart Cities to document landmark projects undertaken by the Smart Cities Mission. The documents will capture the learnings from best practices, provide opportunities for engagement on urban development projects to students and enable real-time information flow between urban practitioners and academia.
The Smart Cities Mission’s urban projects are lighthouse projects to other aspiring cities. Since the start of the Mission in 2015, the 100 smart cities have been developing a total of 5,151 projects with an investment of Rs 2,05,018 crore. The first activity envisaged under SAAR is to prepare a compendium of 75 landmark urban projects in India under the Smart City Mission. These 75 urban projects are innovative, multi-sectoral and have been implemented across geographies. The program marks the 75th anniversary of India’s independence with the idea to showcase the country’s best practices and on-ground achievements.
The compendium will act as the first point of reference for future research in the field, help disseminate learnings from projects under the Mission, act as a repository for Urban Projects and contribute to the dissemination of best practices and peer-to-peer learning. The 75 projects covered in the compendium are distributed across 47 Smart Cities. The partner institutes documenting the projects include inter alia Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, Center for Environment Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad, Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi, and School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal.
SAAR Process Flow
MoHUA and NIUA will facilitate linkages between the institutions and smart cities for specific landmark projects that are to be documented under the program. The institutes will document the outcomes of these projects on how they are impacting the lives of urban citizens. Team of students, mentors from these premier institutions will be visiting these 47 smart cities to understand/document these projects in the month of January/February 2022.
The workflow of the compendium being prepared by SAAR will include field investigation, data analysis & documentation, national research methodology workshop for the participating students, peer review of the first draft, final submission by research students to their respective institutions, institutional submission of research to NIUA and leading to the launch of compendium of 75 urban projects by June 2022.
(With inputs from PIB)