Update below.

In the plans and communications of government, smart cities are outposts of miraculous technology that preempt unnecessary pauses in everyday life. “Smart cities are about clustering smart people, smart institutions, and creating an economic model that can evolve with time,” a global strategist at Deutsche Bank told Bloomberg Philanthropies in a promotional video for India’s smart cities campaign.

On Mygov.in, where citizens were asked to send in suggestions for the ideal smart city, people saw these new urban habitats as a chance to fix what regular cities could not. Far from demanding technological solutions, their concerns were rooted in ordinary problems: better walkways, better garbage disposal, more transparency around local governance. Have a look at the comments for Jabalpur.

One wrote, “In a smart city all roads should be broad enough so that at least two cars can cross simultaneously. Unluckily in Jabalpur many road are not even broad enough for a small car to pass through it. Please for the ease and beauty required in a smart city broaden these roads.”

Another wanted the ideal smart city to have a university free of political influence.

A third wanted traffic to be managed “properly without political influence. No Juloos, Baraat, political gathering on roads, whether it’s local [politician], [chief minister] or [prime minister], and no bazaar on road please.”

Read the whole thing.


Update: The Jabalpur page is missing, so the screenshot below should help.