Go Lean to get Smart!
SMART CITIES

Go Lean to get Smart!

With an intent to modernise the urban environments in our country and bring them up to world-class standards, the Government of India recently embarked upon a transformational mission to develop 100 smart cities in the country under the Smart Cities Mission (SCM). The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) is the nodal ministry coordinating between the Central Government, state governments, local city authorities and funding institutions. Though considerable efforts are being put into this initiative, press reports suggest that hundreds of projects under SCM are still incomplete and problems have arisen mainly owing to lack of coordination among multiple government departments. In this article, we will examine how the adoption of Lean concepts can solve this problem.

Makeup of typical smart city development

The typical works forming part of the development of smart cities include infrastructure development (housing, water supply, sanitation, electricity supply, health, education, mobility, safety and security, IT connectivity and digitalisation), covering a multiplicity of services across several disciplines and locations. Some part of this work involves ‘soft’ work but a major part involves ‘hard’ work, such as construction. All the development needs to be within the limitations of the urban space available, within a short time to minimise disruptions to normal life and within specific budgetary constraints as total funds available are limited.

About the author: Prof N Raghavan, Professor of Practice, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT-Madras, has a career spanning design, construction, project management, academia and institution building. He is a member of the board of directors of the Institute for Lean Construction Excellence (ILCE). His passionate efforts have been a significant force for the Indian construction sector to see Lean conferences, industry-academia symbiosis and deployment of Lean implementation programmes in real projects. He is a member of several professional bodies and also an independent director in a few transportation-sector SPVs.

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With an intent to modernise the urban environments in our country and bring them up to world-class standards, the Government of India recently embarked upon a transformational mission to develop 100 smart cities in the country under the Smart Cities Mission (SCM). The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) is the nodal ministry coordinating between the Central Government, state governments, local city authorities and funding institutions. Though considerable efforts are being put into this initiative, press reports suggest that hundreds of projects under SCM are still incomplete and problems have arisen mainly owing to lack of coordination among multiple government departments. In this article, we will examine how the adoption of Lean concepts can solve this problem. Makeup of typical smart city development The typical works forming part of the development of smart cities include infrastructure development (housing, water supply, sanitation, electricity supply, health, education, mobility, safety and security, IT connectivity and digitalisation), covering a multiplicity of services across several disciplines and locations. Some part of this work involves ‘soft’ work but a major part involves ‘hard’ work, such as construction. All the development needs to be within the limitations of the urban space available, within a short time to minimise disruptions to normal life and within specific budgetary constraints as total funds available are limited. About the author: Prof N Raghavan, Professor of Practice, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT-Madras, has a career spanning design, construction, project management, academia and institution building. He is a member of the board of directors of the Institute for Lean Construction Excellence (ILCE). His passionate efforts have been a significant force for the Indian construction sector to see Lean conferences, industry-academia symbiosis and deployment of Lean implementation programmes in real projects. He is a member of several professional bodies and also an independent director in a few transportation-sector SPVs.Click here to read more

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