Bloomberg Philanthropies: INDIA SMART CITIES MISSION

Oct 24, 2016 4:35 PM ET

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Urbanization in India is occurring at a breakneck pace. Its cities are expected to grow from 340 million people in 2008 to 590 million by 2030. The speed of growth in cities poses huge challenges, but also offers big opportunities.

In response to the growing size and influence of cities, the Indian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has set a bold and ambitious urban development agenda. The Prime Minister’s signature program is called the Smart Cities Mission, which aims to improve the quality of life in 109 of India’s fast-growing urban centers. The central government has allocated an estimated $7.5 billion to the Mission.

In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies partnered with the Ministry of Urban Development to support the Mission through the design and delivery of the India Smart Cities Challenge. The Challenge, in which Indian cities compete for central government funding, marks the first time the Government of India has used a competitive framework to advance a major urban development mission and allocate funding.

After helping to design the Challenge, Bloomberg Philanthropies supported the competing cities as they developed their proposals, with a special emphasis on engaging citizens. Bloomberg Philanthropies hosted Ideas Camp – which gathered leaders from India’s cities with global experts in urban innovation under one roof. We also conducted expert webinars, which helped cities learn from international best practices and identify transformative solutions for their applications during the first round of the competition.

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