Apoorva Shenvi, MUP 2016
Summer 2015
Organization: Asian Development Bank (ADB), New Delhi, India
Sponsor: ADB and International Travel Community Service Fellowship

“I have been working at the Asian Development Bank’s India Resident Mission for the past few weeks. I am interning with the South Asia Urban and Water Department at ADB and my work is aligned with the Smart City Mission launched by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India in late June this year.

The ‘Smart Cities Mission’ is one of the three new urban development schemes launched by the MoUD to meet the pressing need to rejuvenate cities in India and stimulate economic development. The primary objective of this program is to upgrade urban infrastructure in existing Indian cities using ICT -based solutions and governance strategies. Each state in India has been assigned a specific number of cities (adding up to 100) that may be developed as smart cities. The Mission guidelines stipulate that each city needs to prepare a Smart City Plan that comprises of an area development proposal and a pan-city initiative using smart solutions for delivery of urban services. The program proposal enumerates three area-based development approaches: 1. Area Improvement (Retrofitting), 2. City Renewal (Redevelopment) and 3. City Extension (Greenfield) or a mix there of. MoUD has recommended the use of Floor Area Ratio (FAR) incentives for urban retrofit and redevelopment schemes undertaken as a part this program.

ADB has committed to support MoUD in the development of Smart Cities. I am working on the area-based development component of the Smart City guidelines. My work is focused on analyzing Floor Area Ratio (FAR) incentives in urban redevelopment and their role in procuring infrastructure investments for Indian cities. I have been studying current urban policies and practices in incentive FAR-based development which promote higher density mixed use development to better exploit the economic potential of urban land and identifying best practices. I will further assess the impacts of such policies that currently exist in India and their impact on municipal revenue and investment in urban infrastructure. The findings will be integrated by ADB as a component of its technical assistance to cities for preparing and implementing Smart City Plans and guide investment decisions for urban infrastructure in ADB supported smart cities.”