Role of Smart Cities in Optimizing Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Opportunities in Nagpur, India
2. Overview of the Smart Cities Concept
“A smart sustainable city is an innovative city that uses ICTs and other means to improve quality of life, efficiency of urban operation and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social, environmental as well as cultural aspects” .
- Greenfield projects (built from the start): Initiated in 2008, Masdar city in Abu Dhabi is a prominent example of a greenfield project. Envisioned to cover an area of 6 square kilometers (km2) in the middle of a desert, the city aims to be the world’s first sustainable ‘smart city’ with no carbon footprint .
- Purpose-driven SC (industrial city, science park, etc.): Initiated in 2002, the Songdo International Business District (South Korea) is one of the world’s largest private development projects. Built from scratch on 600 hectares (6 km2) of reclaimed land, it is conceptualized as the ultimate smart and sustainable city that integrates different dimensions of real estate, utilities, transportation, education, health and government .
- Brownfield projects (by retrofitting existing cities): In 2009, Amsterdam (The Netherlands) became one of the first European cities to launch a smart city program. To achieve a high quality of living, sustainable economic development and efficient use of natural resources, Amsterdam is actively partnering with business, authorities, research institutions and the people .
3. Growing Relevance of Water-Energy-Food Nexus Perspective
Need for Water-Energy-Food Nexus Perspective in Cities
4. Materials and Methods
4.1. Context of India’s Smart Cities Mission
4.2. About Nagpur City in India
4.3. Research Methods
4.3.1. Case Study Analysis: Review of the Nagpur Smart City Action Plan
4.3.2. Literature Analysis: Review of Existing SC Research in the Domain of WEF Systems
- ‘Smart Cities’ AND ‘Water’
- ‘Smart Cities’ AND ‘Energy’
- ‘Smart Cities’ AND ‘Food’
- ‘Smart Cities’ AND ‘Water’ AND ‘Energy’
- ‘Smart Cities’ AND ‘Water’ AND ‘Food’
- ‘Smart Cities’ AND ‘Food’ AND ‘Energy’
- ‘Smart Cities’ AND ‘Water’ AND ‘Energy’ AND ‘Food’
- ‘Smart Cities’ AND ‘Water’ AND ‘Energy’ AND ‘Food’ AND ‘Nexus’
- Number of research documents: Irrespective of the subject area, year of publication, document type or country of origin, the total number of research documents for each of the search equations are noted along with the document type (conference papers, articles, book chapters and others). This step is intended to establish a broader understanding of existing SC research in different directions, as the quantity of publications is an important indicator to study the development trends of scientific research.
- Top 10 keywords: Keywords are nouns or phrases that reflect the core content of any publication. To have a parallel understanding of SC research trends in different directions, the top ten keywords for each of the search equations are noted and tabulated.
- Bibliographic data (Keywords): From the ‘Analyze search results’ tab on Scopus, the author and index keywords for all publications (in each of the search equations) are exported as a CSV file. It should be noted that Scopus imposes download restrictions, as the downloaded files may not contain data for more than 2000 documents. Thus, for search equations with a larger number of documents, the data were downloaded in multiple batches. In reference to Guo et al. , these data are then used to carry out co-keyword (keywords co-occurrence) analysis in VOSviewer (Visualization of Similarities), a free software tool for bibliometric analysis . Through VOSviewer, item density visualization maps are created for visualizing and exploring the research hotspots in different areas of SC research. For the keyword co-occurrence analysis in VOSviewer, the unit of analysis is set as ‘All keywords’, and the counting method is set as ‘Full counting’. The co-occurrence threshold of the keywords is varyingly set, such that around 50 items can be brought into visualization for each of the search equation results.
5.1. Review of Nagpur Smart City Action Plan
Strategic Focus of Nagpur Smart City Action Plan
- Inclusive LivingThe Nagpur smart city aims to provide an ambitious 24 × 7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) water supply to the entire city of Nagpur. The previous experience of local authorities with implementation of a pilot 24 × 7 water supply scheme  through Public-Private-Partnership model is being leveraged to scale up the approach at city level. While achieving this, it also advocates for mitigation measures such as stormwater drainage, sewerage system, etc. In convergence with other projects aimed at improving urban basic infrastructures such as AMRUT, the Nagpur SCP also envisages to improve water use efficiency through smart metering and real-time water quality monitoring.Utilizing the government-owned land resources, the Nagpur SCP also proposes a 100-acre green field development. In order to bring conformity with such development and promote the principle of inclusivity, it also considers slum upgradation and regularization of haphazard developments along the city fringes that are inconsistent with the development plan.
- Poly-Centric CityFor supporting the work and leisure culture of Nagpur, the SCP highlights the creation of sub-clusters of economic and recreational activities at selected key locations. This component also builds on the convergence of the Nag Riverfront Development project being developed under the National River Conservation Project and the Metro Rail project. It calls for restructuring of land use to strike a balance between economic and recreational facilities.
- Safe and Walkable StreetsThe safety of pedestrians and universal accessibility (children, elderly, etc.) have been prioritized for better mobility in Nagpur city. A blueprint for building a smart road network in the ABD area is prepared based on stakeholder discussions and by adopting the TenderSURE (Specifications for Urban Road Execution) concept . In reference to relevant design standards and guidelines, inclusive, walkable and complete streets are proposed to be developed in the ABD area.
- Economic VitalityThe Nagpur SCP focuses on creating infrastructures for enabling skill development, realizing real estate potentials in city fringe areas, and capitalizing on the existing health infrastructure for creating more job opportunities. By projecting Nagpur as an affordable and sustainable investment destination, the proposal also aims to attract high value adding industries and services.
- Transit-Oriented DevelopmentFollowing up with the success stories of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) approach across global cities, the Nagpur SCP contemplates its application to generate more vibrancy in the land-use planning and real estate sector. Some major transformations in the land use and land management are postulated along the Metro routes considering the application of the TOD concept.
- Connect Places and Move PeopleTo create multi-modal mobility options, the Nagpur SCP envisions creation of walkable and bicycle-friendly promenades around water bodies. To encourage people to shift to public transportation, the Nagpur SCP emphasizes on creating multiple and affordable mobility options. Further, dedicated cycle tracks and public bike sharing systems are also proposed to be developed.
- Urban Regeneration with walk-to-workThe Nagpur SCP promotes the walk-to-work principle by creating self-sufficient neighborhoods. This approach is more suitable for the old city areas, which are observed to be having mixed land use, dense urban forms, and increasing vehicular population.
- Carbon Neutral and Sustainable HabitatThe Nagpur SCP has put up ambitious plans to reduce conventional energy demand and carbon emissions at the city as well as neighborhood levels. It plans to introduce ‘green buses’ and replace all streetlights with LED (light-emitting diodes)-based lights. At neighborhood level, it promotes bio methanation plants and rooftop solar energy systems. Further, to create a clean and green ecosystem, the SCP encourages green buildings, energy efficiency, rainwater harvesting, etc.
- Swatch NagpurIn convergence with the ongoing nationwide program for getting rid of open defecation , the Nagpur SCP plans to build toilets for every household level, particularly in slums and city-periphery areas. It also aims to enhance wastewater treatment, solid waste collection and re-engineering solid and liquid waste management by adopting newer technologies.
- Urban GreensNagpur is recognized as one of the greenest cities in India , but these green patches exist mainly over the institutional campuses, in lake catchments and pristine hill forests, which have restricted access to the citizens. In view of that, the Nagpur’s SCP aims to create more inclusive, accessible, and attractive open spaces through landscape designs and increasing the green cover in the city. It also proposes to establish an urban forest in one of the lake catchment areas.
- Digital, Efficient and Transparent governanceIn Nagpur’s SCP, a citywide ICT backbone called NCCN is proposed to be established. The UOCCC connected with CCTV cameras at critical junctions across the city has already been established, which has strengthened the traffic management and social safety monitoring (Unpublished Impact Assessment Study by VNIT, Nagpur, 2019). The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system and quality sensors are also proposed in Nagpur’s SCP to improve the monitoring of water supply and sewerage systems.
- Revive Nagpur’s image as the regional economic center and boost job creationTo bring economic vibrancy and improve the viability of various SC initiatives, the Nagpur’s SCP aims to develop a strategic roadmap. Through multi-stakeholder and innovation partnerships with education and research institutions, it also aims to create a framework for promoting incubation centers, start-ups, and youth entrepreneurship centers. A shift in policy environment is also considered for encouraging trading and allied investments to foster economic growth.
5.2. Existing SC Research in the Domain of WEF Systems
5.2.1. Smart Cities and Water
5.2.2. Smart Cities and Energy
5.2.3. Smart Cities and Food
5.2.4. Smart Cities and Interlinked Water-Energy-Food Systems
6.1. Smart Water Systems—An Entry Point to Optimizing the Water-Energy-Food Nexus
6.2. Improved Understanding of Food Systems at Regional Level
6.3. Enabling Multi-Stakeholder Engagement for Transboundary Cooperation
6.4. Coordinated Development of Nagpur Smart City and the Adjacent Wadoda ‘Rurban’ Cluster
Conflicts of Interest
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|Transformation Agendas||Focus Areas||Key Goals|
|Smart Living||1. Inclusive Living **||(i) Create basic infrastructure of water supply, sewerage system, storm water drainage and electricity, all with ‘24 × 7′ availability|
|2. Poly-Centric City *|
|3. Safe and Walkable Streets||(ii) Create ‘hubs’ of education, health, logistics, etc. for building economic avenues|
|4. Economic Vitality|
|Smart Mobility||5. Transit-Oriented Development||(i) Create multi-modal mobility options for enabling smooth flow of people|
|6. Connect Places and Move People *||(ii) Develop strategic nodes along the metro corridors|
|7. Urban Regeneration with walk-to-work||(iii) Revitalize old-city areas with improved walkability|
|Smart Environment||8. Carbon Neutral and Sustainable Habitat **||(i) Promote energy efficiency in building and transportation sectors, and enhance the use of non-conventional energy|
|9. Swatch Nagpur **|
|10. Urban Greens *||(ii) Rejuvenate rivers, promote rainwater harvesting and urban forestry|
|Smart Governance||11. Digital, Efficient and Transparent Governance **||(i) Explore alternate means of service delivery for improving efficiency and transparency by leveraging various ICT platforms|
|12. Revive Nagpur’s image as the regional economic center and boost job creation|
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Sukhwani, V.; Shaw, R.; Deshkar, S.; Mitra, B.K.; Yan, W. Role of Smart Cities in Optimizing Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Opportunities in Nagpur, India. Smart Cities 2020, 3, 1266-1292. https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities3040062
Sukhwani V, Shaw R, Deshkar S, Mitra BK, Yan W. Role of Smart Cities in Optimizing Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Opportunities in Nagpur, India. Smart Cities. 2020; 3(4):1266-1292. https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities3040062Chicago/Turabian Style
Sukhwani, Vibhas, Rajib Shaw, Sameer Deshkar, Bijon Kumer Mitra, and Wanglin Yan. 2020. "Role of Smart Cities in Optimizing Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Opportunities in Nagpur, India" Smart Cities 3, no. 4: 1266-1292. https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities3040062