The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, announced a partnership between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, to advance the "Smart Cities Initiative."
The Smart Cities Initiative is a historic effort to promote economic growth, improve governance, and deliver more effective and efficient public services to India’s urban residents. Under the partnership, Bloomberg Philanthropies will provide assistance to the Ministry of Urban Development to select cities for Smart Cities Mission funding on a continuous basis. This approach is different from the conventional approach, which involved preparation of Detailed Project Reports, and their appraisal and approval by the Central Government. It will ensure that real citizen engagement happens, as people get involved both in design and execution of city development plans. This will actualise the idea of cooperative and competitive federalism.
The Prime Minister described the Smart Cities Initiative as a challenging task, which nevertheless has to be undertaken to improve the quality of life for India’s urban citizens with stakeholder’s participation.