With the smart cities mission in India, the creation of these types of urban areas is encouraged and funded by government programs.
Whether it’s tourism, heritage, business, or education, each city has its own distinct qualities. All of these factors make the creation of a smart city difficult.
In February 2022, the national ministry of housing and urban affairs selected the ten smart cities listed below. They are the cities that have completed the most ambitious projects while also improving the lives of their residents.
10 Smartest Cities In India 2022
What Makes A Good Smart City?
Successful smart cities must provide excellent infrastructure and services to create a sustainable urban area in every aspect: environmental, social, and economic.
A strong connectivity and communication network must be in place at the heart of the entire system. This comprises sensors that give data for a working Internet of Things (IoT), as well as the widespread use of smartphones by the general population to access a variety of city activities. In order to handle such a massive volume of data, a central control and monitoring facility is also required.
A citizens-first approach is necessary to have a truly succeeding smart city. This means including people in decision making on local topics and problems. It also includes the implementation of online public services, easy access to healthcare and education, as well as incentives for entrepreneurship. Many smart cities nowadays create incubation hubs and new business districts to boost the economy and create much-needed jobs.
Lastly, another pillar of a smart city is its transportation network. Promoting sustainable public transport and shared mobility is necessary to improve the access to citizens. Also, by using smart traffic and parking systems, congestion can be reduced and thus improve the quality of life and environmental performance.
Let’s now take a look at how the top 10 smart cities in India were able to succeed and meet up with these mentioned standards.
The Top 10 Smart Cities In India 2022
1 | Bhopal
The smart city Bhopal was placed first in the recent 2022 ranking of the union ministry of housing and urban affairs. It is the capital of the state Madhya Pradesh and has a population of approximately 2.5 million people. Furthermore, it is also considered one of the greenest cities in India. They have received around ₹700 crores in funding and already completed 68 projects for the smart city initiative.
To become the leading smart city in 2022, Bhopal has implemented significant changes and solutions to its urban area. This includes improved connectivity through solar-powered LED poles with wifi, the Bhopal Plus App to assist citizens, and a geoportal that helps navigate through the city.
A large number of surveillance cameras have also been installed to increase security and traffic monitoring. GPS sensors have been installed in public transportation to track their location in real-time and improve their use. In addition, a bicycle-sharing system has been established to promote environmentally friendly transportation and a healthy lifestyle.
Greenery is added to neighbourhoods, and new central business districts are developed to enhance the economy. This contributes to Bhopal’s overall sustainability. Solar panels on various roofs and the construction of a biowaste factory are two more key steps. Furthermore, to cut energy consumption, the local government encourages the use of LED lights in private houses.
A control and command centre, built with the help of HP’s IoT platform, supports the smart city of Bhopal. An incubation centre for businesses and entrepreneurs was established to further develop the city in the future.
By Deepak sankat – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52609368
2 | Indore
In second place of the smart city ranking is Indore, the most populated city in Madhya Pradesh. In 2022, around 3.2 million people live here and it has become a large financial and educational hub in the state.
By focusing on transportation, energy-saving measures, education, and innovation, the city was able to achieve this success. Automated traffic management systems have been installed in Indore to enhance the traffic condition. Furthermore, real-time traffic and parking management aims to reduce congestion even more. A bicycle-sharing programme has also been established, similar to that in Bhopal. Smart roads provide real-time data via sensors and an extensive control centre to support the entire traffic network.
The security of this smart city has improved significantly thanks to night vision CCTV cameras, enhanced public lighting, and an improved fire safety system.
Smart classrooms for schools with WIFI connectivity, renewable energy sources such as solar panels, air quality monitoring systems, and substantial redevelopments of obsolete structures around Indore are some of the other solutions that have been or will be implemented.
3 | Udaipur
Udaipur has ranked third in the nationwide smart city comparison. The historic capital which is now located in the state of Rajasthan has approximately 590,000 inhabitants. It is characterized by cultural heritage, history, and beautiful landscapes, thus attracting many tourists. With their growing economy, this makes it a particularly interesting candidate for a smart city.
Because of the mentioned history, preserving heritage is an important aspect for Udaipur. Their smart heritage conservation program has the goal of carefully adopting modern technology in-line with historic buildings and sites.
To improve environmental sustainability, the smart city Udaipur has implemented solutions for energy-, waste-, and water management. They consist of energy-efficient smart buildings with smart metering technology, renewable energy sources, recycling programs, waste management facilities, and water quality monitoring systems.
Udaipur also encourages citizen participation through mobile apps and e-governance services. Furthermore, the smart city aims to implement tele-health and -education programs. This allows citizens to more easily access these important facilities from a distance and in a shorter amount of time.
In order to expand their economy and provide new innovative solutions for the city, the local government wants to create trade facilitation and skill development centres.
4 | Ranchi
The fourth best smart city in India, in 2022, is Ranchi. The 1.5 million inhabitant city in Jharkhand is famous for its landscape, including a number of waterfalls. It also is one of eastern India’s industrial hubs and is in the so-called “Ruhr of India” region.
Smart city Ranchi wants to develop its infrastructure in four dimensions: physical, social, economic, and institutional.
The physical part includes a widely available and stable internet connection. It is also important for the city to have a 24/7 availability of water supply, supported by smart technologies. Furthermore, as in every other smart city, transportation is a major factor for their success. This is why Ranchi has implemented new public transport methods and created more bicycle-friendly streets.
Social sustainability is improved with new residential developments and a focus on improved healthcare, as well as education services.
Ranchi wants to expand its economy with new incubation, commercial, and financial centres. It also created skill development places that built on the improved educational system.
Lastly, to improve its institutional dimension, the city wants to encourage citizen participation and make it easier to start a business. Furthermore, they want to improve the security throughout Ranchi and create an efficient disaster management strategy.
The city also wants to develop 656 acres of land to create new business districts with a direct connection to the existing city centre.
5 | Surat
Surat is number five in this ranking. The city has completed a total of 70 projects so far, for the smart cities mission. It is the eighth largest city in India with an approximate population of 7.2 million people and also one of the biggest urban areas. Surat is an economic center thanks to its strong textile and diamond industry.
Out of the 70 completed projects, there are a number of solutions that had a particularly big impact on the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of Surat.
The main control point of the smart city Surat is its SMAC or “SMArt City” center. By using the Internet of Things, this facility is collecting important information about the city in real time. With automation systems and employees on site, this center is going to help different departments to respond to emergencies and unforeseen situations.
Another similar institution has been created to track traffic information. It uses data about public transport systems and citizens to coordinate the flow of vehicles on the street. An efficient management system will be able to reduce congestion and thus improve living quality.
In order to pay for public services, the smart city Surat has implemented a payment system for citizens, similar to a bank card. It enables people to easily pay for transportation, healthcare, education, and housing.
Another step towards a more efficient urban area is the incubation hub. This has been seen in most of the top smart cities in India as it significantly helps to grow the economy and provide new smart city solutions.
6 | Varanasi
In place number six, there is Varanasi. The city is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh and has around 1.7 million inhabitants. 92 smart city projects have been completed so far and 106 are in the work order stage.
To become one of the leading smart cities in India, Varanasi has the vision of creating a socially and economically sustainable urban area with a large focus on heritage, culture, and tourism. Their main goal is to create a smart city that is in-line with religion and history.
Technologies and solutions that are set to be implemented are a central control system, extensive video surveillance, IoT devices to analyze traffic, pollution, as well as weather conditions, and an improved efficiency of administrative services.
7 | Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar is in seventh place of the smart city ranking in India 2022. The capital of Odisha houses a bit more than 1.2 million people and has become a centre for education and business in the state.
The city chose a citizen-centred approach that aims to make the area more livable, enjoyable, and sustainable.
To improve transportation, dedicated bike lanes and footpaths have been created that ensure safety, as well as provide new methods of transport. Also, new methods of waste collection and recycling have been implemented for a cleaner city.
As a growing hub for trade and business, the smart city Bhubaneswar created new incubation centres and business districts that have the aim to further increase economic growth in the area.
8 | Agra
The top 8 smartest city in India is Agra, which is located in Uttar Pradesh and has around 2.3 million inhabitants. The city is famous for its historic buildings which include the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort.
Agra Smart City Ltd, the company behind the project, has laid out a very detailed strategic plan to reach its ambitious aims. It consists of 9 major goals, 42 sub-goals, and 89 initiatives.
To improve social sustainability, Agra wants to make education and healthcare more accessible to its citizens. They also aim to improve the situation of slums by redeveloping these areas and creating better infrastructure for them.
By implementing an efficient waste recycling and water management system, the smart city Agra is enhancing its environmental sustainability. This also includes the expansion of green areas, using a higher proportion of renewable energy, and providing 10% of the total water demand through rainwater.
The city is also working on a large-scale real estate and infrastructure development program that provides new residential and commercial districts, as well as a reliable transportation network.
All these measures should be conforming with their tourism and heritage conservation strategy.
9 | Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad is the top nine smart city in India. It is one of the most populated cities in the country with nearly 8.5 million citizens. This makes it an ideal candidate to adopt smart city technologies and solutions, as it is very complex to create a sustainable urban area at such a large scale. Currently, 54 projects have been completed for the smart city mission.
There are numerous projects that show why Ahmedabad has received such a high ranking. The city has implemented a card payment system for public services that is available to its citizens and makes it easier to use certain services. To improve the tourism in Ahmedabad, a smart heritage app was created. It uses augmented reality, virtual reality, and QR codes to make heritage sites more interactive and easier to understand.
Regarding transportation, the city has started a number of projects. This includes electric vehicle charging stations, shared bicycles, smart parking systems, and smart street lights.
10 | Visakhapatnam
Visakhapatnam has made it to place number ten in the smart city ranking for India in 2022. The largest city in Andhra Pradesh with about 2.3 million people is a famous tourist destination thanks to its many beaches and nature sights. It also houses one of the busiest cargo ports in India, thus having an impressively growing economy.
Some programs the city has used in their smart strategy regarding environmental sustainability are the installation of solar panels, smart energy grids, smart waste management, expansion of urban parks, and new green spaces.
The local government wants to improve transportation by reevaluating the performance of their airport and by creating a new mass transit link to it. Furthermore, they want to improve streets and highways, create smart streets, make public transport more electric, and upgrade public transport.
Lastly, to achieve social sustainability, the smart city Visakhapatnam is making healthcare services more accessible and efficient. They also implement a workforce skill training platform to help workers become more educated in certain fields. To improve cultural activity, Visakhapatnam is creating a festival promotion program at their coastline.
By Av9 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40501935
The top 10 smart cities in India 2022 have all shown significant progress in creating a more environmental, social, and economically sustainable city. Transportation often plays an important role in success but also social initiatives have a high priority. This includes easier access to healthcare, education, and homes. Also, the economy has seen improvements thanks to new skill development facilities and incubation hubs for businesses.
Some of these cities have special needs such as cultural heritage and religion, that must be protected while implementing these new technologies. Even though these challenges exist, they have successfully shown how to improve sustainability and life.
If you want to learn more about smart cities, smart buildings, PropTech, sustainability and commercial real estate, feel free to take a look at our other articles.