India advances Data Cities agendas with 100 new smart cities

Thursday, 25 September 2014 12:00 AM

India’s Telangana State government and Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) are co-publishing a new print edition of the world’s first manifesto promoting urban benefits of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) project.
India-printed copies of the D_City: Digital Earth | Virtual Nations | Data Cities report will be distributed to an estimated 2000 delegates attending the Metropolis World Association of Major Metropolises ‘Cities for All’ conference in Hyderabad 7-11 October 2014. 
Hyderabad’s sponsorship of this ‘global futures for urban planning’ survey follows Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent budget pledge to build 100 new smart cities enabled by ‘next generation’ electronic infrastructure. 
Globally researched articles clarify how new space technologies (especially remote sensing and satellite imaging) are helping to monitor, simulate and manage changing environments on Earth. ‘It’s an exciting time for Indian cities to demonstrate new, world-leading geospatial solutions for major challenges,’ said the GHMC Commissioner, Mr Somesh Kumar, IAS.
 ‘Our major city government members are increasingly conscious of the value of geospatial systems to empower evidence-based planning’, said Mr Alain Le Saux, Secretary General of the Metropolis Association (in Barcelona and Paris). 
The D_City report (online at was compiled to help educate future urban professionals (today’s Minecraft and Google-savvy schoolkids) about crunching ‘the data deluge’ to make informed decisions on planning and managing cities. Its Editorial Board includes internationally distinguished scientists, architects and urbanists. 
The report was edited by Australian-based leaders of the digital cities working group of the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE). Based at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, the ISDE is one of 77 global science organisations and 90 nations (including India) participating in GEOSS, which is co-ordinated by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), in Geneva. 
GEO’s Secretariat Director, Ms Barbara J Ryan, and the ISDE Secretary General, Professor Guo Huadong, have congratulated the Telangana and Hyderabad governments for printing a new edition of the D_City report for urban policy experts attending this year’s Metropolis congress. 
‘After GEO’s first decade setting up the GEOSS framework, we are drafting our next 10 year plan, which will include urban resilience concerns,’ said Ms Ryan. 
‘The ISDE congratulates the Hyderabad governments and Metropolis major cities association for supporting our project to accelerate geospatial science solutions for urban challenges,’ said Professor Guo. 
D_City co-editor Richard Simpson (chair of the ISDE digital cities working group and CEO of SIBA QLD) said: ‘Our children are entering an exciting new spatial age where electromagnetic cameras on nano-satellites, drones and quadcopters can accurately show us exactly what’s happening around the world. It’s vital that older generations encourage these new ways to enable smarter decisions on managing our planet’s environments in future.’ 


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