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Urban world is at a pedestal of change and transformation since over a decade. The unprecedented urban growth world over has necessitated and be held a surge in embracing the information technology infrastructures. Recent trends point towards that the present decade will be a windfall transformative period in building applications, designed to be disseminated across through the public cloud and operational environments with a set of consistent artificial intelligence(AI) driven services operational at any place, offering flexibility and scalability. As a matter of fact, artificial intelligence is fast evolving as an inseparable part of urban governance, service delivery system and manner in which cities/towns would function in future. In this era of pervasive digitalization, cities and towns are progressively turning into data driven landscapes with every constituent of city and public life, getting gradually quantified, evaluated and responded.

This is a profound makeover with tremendous implications on urban planning, sustainability, urban development, social justice and capability of people to ensure that their and the city’s/town’s basic needs and essentials are viewed seriously and fulfilled too. In an attempt to understand, intent, strategies and design for the basic requirements of urbanites, urban information/data is key prerequisite for evolving urban policies and practices that would enrich and stimulate the living, well-being and urban community structure. In the process with the massive urbanization all over the world and the consequent growing of demands, cities/towns operations and responsibilities that urban agencies are obligated to perform, have to develop ever more efficiently, smartly and robustly and has to be powered by process of automation and artificial intelligence. In this AI has to act as a catalyst and contribute to the speedy optimization of operational efficiencies aiding urban administrators, urban planners, policy makers, executing agencies and eventually urban dwellers byway of the revitalized, revamped and responsive service delivery and urban management system. The judicious use of the AI in urban governance and efficient service delivery and linkages can further be enabled and strengthened by AI-powered colloquial interface between urban agencies and citizens at various levels.

With a clear perspective, having an appropriate infrastructure and data creation mechanism in place, urban areas are expected to embrace digital transformation and benefits of cloud computing, Internet of Things, new operating models that nurtures an integration among inter-dependent departmental services and automated operations for promotion of better quality of services, response, effectiveness and efficiency. The city platform now provides a wide variety of smart initiatives connected and integrated to city plans with household details, services, assets and dependencies, online dashboards, customized reports and a Digital Twin. This enables management of a digital ecosystem of more diverse service partners, allowing predictive management through event correlation and data analytics, and assisting in decision-making and urban policy planning.

AI in Urban J&K

Srinagar and Jammu cities under Smart City Mission have been working on this front ison roads to transformation of data generation on various fronts which would be ultimately used as vital information for strategic decisions that for shaping the cities. This will help the two cities to improve hugely the urban governance and efficiency of the city ultimately infuse transparency in decision making by urban agencies. It has also encouraged AI-enabled urban operations in these two cities though it is still in formative stage. It has also started to demonstrate faster responses and improvement in services. This system needs to be strengthened along with improving the capacities of manpower engaged in urban development authorities for leveraging advantages of AI generated big data analytics. and machine learning supports urban areas to comprehend well what is happening and to adjust to an endlessly changing environment, thus, permitting for faster responses to emerging challenges. AI-enabled operations use information from multiple sensors and devices, so that integration prevents breakdowns, and faults or detecting a fault the moment the system goes down and puts it right faster and automatically. Additionally, the city assesses its data and is always learning and responding to the needs and changing habits of their stakeholders (for example with a new bus lane or bicycle lane) and also receives service requests and suggestions from them. Data from interconnected platforms, devices and AI-driven applications is cas toff with analytics and for visualization processing to appreciate what is going on in various towns and cities. Prognostic methods can be utilized to help recognize the potential locations and interims for certain eventualities and to support retorts bylaw enforcement agencies. For example, traffic and transportation intelligence and proof of identity, envisages vehicle counts, model split and traffic flows, identifies the vehicles running in wrong direction, ascertains vehicles of interest, and so on. Crowd observing facilitates the cities/towns to notify the police department when crowd numbers touch saturation limits or differ ominously from forecasts. AI in selected smart cities is facilitating computerization of urban local body activities, procedures and operations on a macro-level, plummeting the reiteration of efforts and refines the efficiency and effectiveness. It transmutes the pattern in which cities/towns function and deliver amenities, services, utilities creating efficacies and explore synergies. For example, Srinagar is in the process of establishing an efficient and integrated public transport system that uses e-buses, e-rickshaws, e-cycles and smart cameras at major intersections and nodal points to obtain information on traffic intensity, modal split, passenger volumes to chart out urban mobility policies for improving the efficiency. Ambient air quality Sensors also need to be installed at critical areas to monitor and probe solutions for estimating and predicting air quality using AI and big data analytics, through media platforms, data from the mobile networks complemented with data from weather, traffic and pollution sensors to keep a check on deteriorating urban ambient air and pollution.

Smart City Mission in J&K his not all encompassing, emerges as a novel alternative to resolve myriad urban problems such as inadequacy of facilities, urban services, utilities, amenities, traffic woes, energy problems, delivery of urban utilities, revitalize and reshape the urban form, check environmental pollution, crime and security. AI platform is emerging as an groundbreaking growth engine focused on energy, transportation, and security by utilizing information and communication technology (ICT) , big data, 5G, and network. Use of AI application in these two smart cities is closely concomitant to several conceptions of information communication technology (ICT), that is, the mass adoption of interconnected physical objects, devices, and so on. AI when installed and arrayed for intelligent urban applications can perform and function as a system of systems to the applications consisting of numerous interconnected objects. The simplification of the system encompasses the diffusion of sensor technologies that permit identification of objects, collection of data and communication resources, facilitating data transfer and distribution, information processing, computational analysis/synthesis, and connection systems to upgrade and save urban functions and resources for the improvement of environmental performance. Therefore, in the process of digitalization, a fresh digital layers are placed amid conceptualization of the city infrastructure and the layer of service of the city. Under Smart city mission urban governance can be made transparent in its actions through active participation in decision, policy and plan making. By use emerging technologies urban functionality is delivered in an effective manner to urbanites through a well-connected governance and monitoring system. Since both the cities had preponderance of personalized modes of transport as such there was a dire need for promoting sustainable urban mobility. Being a hallmark of smart city mission through AI based traffic management system modest beginning has been made to provide innovative transport services by introduction e-buses and e-rickshaws which have eased out transportation woes in the two cities to greater extent. This is allowing a safer and speedier mobility through smarter decisions of introducing new modes of transport and efficient use of existing transport network by providing the required information to users. AI driven operation have greatly facilitated delivery of these services by ensuring surveillance, traffic control, traffic violation check, parking regulation, etc., and has initiated improvement in traffic movement and passenger transport.AI based solutions are also in the pipeline to improve educational and health sectors into intelligent system. Smart system would involve several technologies and gadgets, portable devices, sense and many other techniques including cloud computing, ICT, applied data analysis, and smart phone applications. From several smart city institutions/ offices real time data can be accessed, allowing comparison, rankings, assessment of performances, monitoring progress and response from users as well.AI operation can bring citizens and urban local governments at a universal platform, strengthen interface making them aware about the nitty gritties governance and urban service delivery. Beside these advantages in urban governance host of other benefits are also which have potential to transform urban centers into more lively and sustainable provided the push it has got through smart city mission reinforced and reverberated through sustained follow up and up gradation e-governance technologies and application platforms.

AI Reach to Small and Medium Urban Areas

Urban settlement system of J&K is composed of two major cities and about 76 small and medium towns. Since majority of these towns are not part of the smart city mission dissemination and implementation of AI based technology has reached there. This is depriving large section of the urban population from the urban development benefits and adversely impeded their delivery of service to the people living in their catchment. It has also made the implementation of smart technology halfhearted and area specific and as such cloud-native technology and practices have not become the enabler of the transformation and unable to interwoven the physical operations of every local urban body. Therefore ,there is urgent need for ensuring a navigating transformative urban landscape to embrace the adaptive cloud approach to act on the changing digital landscape and actively shape it in urban J&K. A ready-to-go digital environments has to be provided which will enable to evaluate and spin up effortlessly, without requirement of creating an intricately complex hybrid infrastructure just for testing things out. For this purpose plethora of technologies and solutions are emerging which have potential to make urban development of vibrant, articulated and sustainable. In J&K, urban planning despite having provision for bottom up approach has retained indelible imprints of top-down standpoint as such has failed to capture perception of citizen in planning of cities /towns, depriving plans the much needed dynamic and flexible nature advocated in modern urban practices. AI operations can galvanize increased participation of people in the planning and development processes of cities and towns with of ease of interaction and interface. Thus, AI would supportpersonalized liaison between local urban government and urbanites. If the digital technological option available under AI operations are judiciously applied it can help urban planner meticulously recognize growth trends, anticipate future needs and tap the transformative and dynamic trends. Therefore, AI operation and data/information generated is going to be of paramount importance urban planning, project formulation, and development schemes beside it benefits providing an insight about demand and supply and other business operations. Therefore, the data/ information generated has readily available on automated platforms for integrated operations of urban governance and planning. Every urban area need to ensure transparent transfer of quality real-time open data and the ability to improve the data. The Integration and the wholesomeness of urban operation can improve effectiveness and efficiency through interactive platforms facilitating day-to-day activities, such as urban mobility, environmental monitoring, urban infrastructure management, energy efficiency improvement and much more. By streamlining the use, urban local governments can enhancing the usage of AI in the government and public sector also. However, the mere creation of data collection devices is not enough to capitalize inherent benefits associated with technology. A supplementary response mechanisms has to be devised and put in place to enable the model building and corroboration of conclusions inferred from the continually growing data bank. Through impeccable integration these complementary mechanisms could be applied by the policy makers and urban planners proficiently to influence and benefit the use of potential of data for revitalizing the decision-making processes and transform urban planning practices in vogue to improve quality of urban development and management for the greater good.

Bottom line

By simply looking at the cities functioning, no body as on today shall label the principal two cities J&K as incoherent as development under Smart City Mission is still in formative stage. Both the cities just need to harness technology to serve their citizens’ needs better, and that will vary from one city to another, depending on their needs, depending on their ability to leapfrog existing older technologies, depending on their capacity While Chat assistants are currently among the most common solutions powered by AI, urban areas are evolving to put digital platforms in place as urban cognition, where all urban activities are coordinated and functioned, offering a holistic approach to menacingly growing urban problems. It also allows for event correlation, fast and assertive reason finding analysis, forecasts and incident management, and providing operational insights through visualization. If the meta data and behavior every citizen is configured through anonymzed information, 5G technology enables urban are as to become hugely inter connected platforms. In that situation, it will be of overriding significance to enhance data value and improve planning policy and decision-making using AI and data analytics, on the way to a cognitive city.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Hammid Ahmad Wani

Quelle/Source: Brighter Kashmir, 30.03.2024

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