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You are living in a dumb city.

More people live in cities now than at any other point in history. This trend is projected to accelerate in decades to come. Governments are now scrambling to build smarter cities in view of the many challenges already plaguing city life today.

Have you ever stared at a traffic intersection and thought to yourself “This was very poorly planned”? Chances are, you are living in a dumb city. Luckily, the future will be smarter, at least that is the goal of the new project initiated by the Nordic Embassies in India.

There is no universally accepted definition of smart cities, but it usually encapsulates solutions that take advantage of new technology to improve the lives of city residents. This could be constructing buildings that create more energy than they consume, using data to analyse and optimize traffic patterns, installing water efficient appliances or growing vegetables in high-rise buildings.

Nordic countries are considered to be the leading countries in the burgeoning smart city movement. A number of Nordic companies have developed solutions that could be of interest to Indian cities as well. Therefore, the Nordic Embassies have established a project for partnering with a handful of Indian cities to take advantage of this expertise in integrating smarter city solutions.

To kick start the project, the Nordic Embassies recently organised a Sustainable Cities Workshop for the Mayor, Municipal Commissioners and Councilors of Ghaziabad City. The workshop discussed challenges facing Ghaziabad and other Indian cities, while also looking towards Nordic solutions that the countries can contribute with, in the journey towards creating smarter cities. Another workshop in underway in Panaji today with the local officials, discussing Indian cities and potential Nordic solutions.