The Government of Sri Lanka has announced their plan to convert Kandy as the first smart city in the country.
The definition of the words “smart city” lies within. Bringing it down to the scale of mobile phones identifies the city as a modern Smartphone. Similar to a Smartphone that allows you to manage all your day to day activities, the smart city will be highly effective in terms of managing the urban services of a city.
The urban area will be equipped with modern technology and the entirety of the city will be connected in order to manage the consumption of resources, governance, economy, health and the environment to name a few.
The idea is to move the maintenance of the city to a more technologically powered system, rather than the traditional process, which makes use of a great deal of paper, cash and phone calls. In addition, attaining any sort of information regarding the city, from population to property ownership, would be much easier since the data is digitized and the connectivity is such that citizens of the town will be able to communicate without a long process as at present.
Hugh van der Kolff, Managing Director of Lamudi Sri Lanka, said: “The move to make Kandy a smart city is definitely a strong choice. With the Internet penetration, mobile usage and electronic means of transactions increasing in Sri Lanka, converting growing cities such as Kandy, Galle and Colombo in the current era makes it beneficial for other related sectors as well; specifically the real estate sector since the demand and value of properties increase”.
Today, Sri Lanka is growing in terms of real estate and technology, both. With Google’s balloons intended to float in the skies of the wonder of Asia, Sri Lanka, more Sri Lankans will be gaining access to internet in the near future. The launch of the smart city at a time as such is rather perfect timing.
What can we expect from the decision? Based on the world’s leading smart cities, Kandy could adopt several habits to become the best smart city in the region. New York City uses smart street lighting and Singapore uses smart traffic management which are both crucial for Kandy because driving in the city of Kandy could be hectic during peak hours and this system could ease the problem. Barcelona and London have scored high on improved environment and open data, respectively.
Although, Colombo would be the best choice for a smart city, the decision to make Kandy the first smart city could be to review the results of the conversion in a smaller but rapidly growing city before moving to a much bigger city such as Colombo. This could be a step towards turning the entire nation into another developed country in the region.