Kolkata: Instead of adopting large-scale technologies from big corporate players, India’s smart city plan should incorporate “appropriate technologies” that are smaller in scale and can evolve with new innovations at minimum cost, says an Indian-origin US-based sustainability expert.

“Going for appropriate technologies and not the large scale solutions… opting for smaller technologies and enabling technology. This means creating an information infrastructure, data infrastructure on which a lot of small-scale firms and individuals can develop their own applications,” Subhrajit Guhathakurta, director of the Center for Geographic Information Systems at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US, said here.

“And by institutionalising that infrastructure, you have different solutions coming in from different places that you may not even know of,” he said.

Guhathakurta, a professor of city and regional planning as well as an expert in geospatial technologies, was speaking at the international symposium on “Livable habitat and sustainable infrastructure: A key to smart city growth”.

Highlighting some “cautionary tales” in the smart city concept seen across the globe, Guhathakurta vouched for technologies that evolve.

“You buy some big technology from a big corporate player, you are locked in to that technology because it is expensive to shift.

“They should evolve with new innovations at minimum cost,” he said, adding that India’s smart city plan was “mostly about good planning and a very small component is about technology”.

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