Ideas Camp 'Puts Cities In A Better Position To Win' Smart City Status : Urban Development Minister

Today, nearly 300 city leaders and public officials began Smart Cities Ideas Camp - a two-day workshop designed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the Ministry of Urban Development, to help cities in the development of bold Smart Cities proposals and to inspire creativity. Ideas Camp is the first element of a program of support developed to help municipal leaders learn from each other and to connect with leading urban practitioners and experts in India and around the world. The participating 98 cities must submit their Smart Cities Proposal to the Ministry of Urban Development by December 2015 to compete for funding.

Drawing from experience hosting similar Ideas Camp sessions in the United States and European Mayors Challenges, Bloomberg Philanthropies have crafted India’s camp to inspire cities to engage citizens in powerful ways to develop ‘smarter’ proposals. The sessions are also designed to emphasize the importance of learning from models that have worked in other cities, and to promote the use of data to increase accountability and transparency. During the workshop, city representatives will share their early ideas for driving economic growth and improving quality of life in India’s cities alongside municipal commissioners, mayors and key state officials.

In partnership with the Ministry of Urban Development, the foundation delivered an interactive program that included access to urban practitioners from around the globe, innovation leaders and current and former public officials. Speakers include former Mayor of Washington DC Anthony Williams and former Lord Mayor of Adelaide Stephen Yarwood sharing their experiences of leading cities. Former Planning Director for Medellin Alejandro Echeverri and former Chief Architect for Barcelona Vicente Guallart will also be sharing their expertise, along with a host of Indian specialists including Sanjeev Sanyal (Global Strategist, Deutsche Bank), Reuben Abraham (CEO, IDFC Institute) and Gaurav Dwivedi (CEO, MyGov).

“We are delighted that Cities have been given the chance to work with urban experts from both India and around the world. This work, coupled with the plans for broader support in the coming weeks and months, puts cities in a strong position to win the Smart Cities Challenge if they engage with citizens and implement the lessons they have learned to develop their Smart City Proposals”, said Minister Venkaiah Naidu emphasizing the value of cities having the opportunity at Ideas Camp to develop and improve their plans.

Bloomberg Philanthropies is the official knowledge partner of the Ministry of Urban Development’s

Smart Cities Challenge. The foundation is leveraging both its expertise in designing large scale competitions for cities and its deep urban policy expertise and network to support the success of the Smart Cities Mission. The collaboration for the Smart Cities Challenge is a result of discussions between Prime Minister Modi and Michael Bloomberg.

“Bloomberg Philanthropies is committed to support Prime Minister Modi’s ambitious urban development program to improve quality of life in India’s fast-growing urban centers,” said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation Programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Over the next few months we’ll deliver a program of support that supports cities in preparing stronger proposals that draw on best practices, and help them engage citizens along the way.”

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