Published On : Mon, Aug 17th, 2015

No Smart Cities please ! , we need Happy Cities

happycityWhy do we need to create newer cities which will be far off and which will take years to develop and decades for People to occupy and start living ? Why don’t we do things to our existing cities which will make them more livable , make the citizens more happy by less waiting on roads , less pollution , no waiting for public transport , help them save money by lower costs , more employment opportunities ?

However much you spend on these new Smart Cities , will they Guarantee that the people who live in them will be Happy ?

Will these cities be :

1) Cheaper to live in

2) Have zero or less traffic problems

3) Have employment for all

4) Have Less Pollution

5) Be Clean

6) Provide Clean Water

7) Round the clock Electricity

8) Be safe and secure for citizens and especially women to walk at anytime on roads

If the answer is still we are not sure or there is no guarantee then I guess we are wasting tax payers money .

The mother of all problems in all cities is that people think that the day is to work and night is to sleep and because of this very approach , all citizens come out on the same time , cause traffic problems , pollution , peak hour electricity consumption , peak hour water consumption etc. etc.

These traffic problems cause people to reach late to Workplaces , Schools , Airports , Railway Stations etc. and makes them unhappy , frustrated and spoils their mood and reduces their efficiency the entire day .

Corporations and Governments are spending huge amount of money to cater to this Peak Hour traffic be it for Water , Electricity , Public Transport etc. and the same is lying unutilized or underutilized during the non peak hours which happen to be almost 70% of the 24 hours .

Why doesn’t someone think of using the existing resources more efficiently rather than raising more money and creating more cities and again create more such problems ?

People think Smart Cities will be like Smart Phones where everything will be Smartly Planned (Design and Looks) , will be about Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy (Battery Life) , Simple , Neat and Clean Roads (Attractive GUI), Less Traffic Jams (Higher Processor Speed) , More Greenery (Ecofriendly Materials) and Better Social Life (Music , Camera , Social Apps , Games etc.) but will it Guarantee lower cost of living ? Will it Guarantee Lower Taxes ? or will it be like mobile phones , more the features more the price of the handset ?

I think the best solution is to efficiently use the existing infrastructures in cities by providing incentives to businesses , offices , establishments , schools , colleges that work from 8 pm to 8 am who can further incentivize their customers by offering discounts or lower pricing for their Goods & Services . Make Public Transport available at discounted rates from 8 pm to 8 am instead of the night charge being currently levied by Auto rickshaws , Taxis etc.

India is a country where Tax incentives work . Businessmen and Corporations have gone to far off places also to set up factories in order to avail Government Tax Incentives so working at night instead of day and get Tax Incentives will be an offer many will surely take up . For Government , it will have to recruit additional manpower such as Police , People Managing Public Transport , Electricity Companies etc. which will further create more jobs and help in reducing unemployment which remains the key problem for every Government .

Some problems which will get solved if working at night is incentivized :

1) More employment opportunities

2) More Production due to More efficiency of People as they will reach on time

3) More Capacities in Schools and Colleges

4) Less burning of Petrol and Diesel on roads due to traffic jams

5) Birth of new businesses as it will open newer time zones worldwide to do business with

6) No parking and towing problems

7) No need to invest heavily to cater to peak hour capacities

8) Safety and Security at night too

Idea should be to make Happy Cities by having Happy Citizens rather than making Smart Cities with citizens paying for the extra expensive investments made by the Government just to handle peak hours in the form of increased Taxes and still making them unhappy and criticize the Government even after investing Billions of Rupees .

IMG_2953by Vijaykumar Harchandani ( Real Estate Developer & Investor , Startup Incubator  )

www.vijaykumarharchandani.com