New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on March 18 reviewed progress on various urban development programmers. These include addressing of gaps in core physical infrastructure across 500 cities, and steps of operationalization of the Smart Cities initiative. Noting that towns and cities are emerging as key drivers of economic growth, the Prime Minister emphasized that the economic growth model of a city should form an essential part of its smart city vision. The Prime Minister suggested that the next few years till 2019 could be observed as “urban theme years,” with a different theme or aspect of urban development being addressed each year. He emphasized the need for capacity building in urban administration, and urban planning. He called for initiating discussions in towns and cities, especially among youth, to generate best ideas for smart cities. He called for special attention to creating “children friendly cities.” Narendra Modi said concepts and themes such as green cities, zero waste, optical fiber networks, gas grids, and mobile governance should form part of the smart city concept. He also said a City Museum should be an integral part of every smart city.
Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu, and senior officers from the PMO and Ministries of Finance and Urban Development were present on the occasion.