Smart Cities Movement in BRICS

Smart Cities Movement in BRICS

Dated Published: August 2017

BRICS nations are today cooperating on numerous matters of mutual concern. The cooperation is the result of years of deliberation, hard work and commitment. Since the formation of the grouping in the mid-2000s, various important activities and events have been initiated. Especially significant among these are the holding of a series of high-level intergovernmental meetings and yearly summits, formation of an independent organisation, the BRICS International Forum, and constitution of the New Development Bank. The association aims to work towards strengthening national economies and offering support for the achievement of development goals. In this endeavour, BRICS engages with non-state actors (such as a network of non-governmental organisations, as well as think tanks) for receiving policy inputs and advice on topics of mutual interest.

The BRICS agenda has considerably widened over the years. From issues which are purely economic and strategic in nature, the group is now engaged in a range of public policy issues. Urbanisation is one such area receiving growing attention. The recently concluded 8th BRICS Summit hosted by India during its presidency in 2016 calls for enhanced cooperation to deal with the multi-dimensional challenges and opportunities of urbanisation. In particular, emphasis is laid on strengthening urban governance, making cities safe and inclusive, improving urban transport, financing of urban infrastructure, and building sustainable cities (Goa Declaration, Point 97).

Globally, the need for understanding and responding to emerging problems in cities and urban agglomerations has become more important than ever before, for which the reasons are obvious. At many places, the prevailing situation is disturbing, observed from the growing social and economic inequalities, deteriorating living, spatial and environmental conditions, racial and migrant discrimination, politics over community polarisation, and rising civic unrest and insecurity. Such adversities are severely disrupting city life and the economy and call for urgent interventions. Considering the opportunities created by urbanisation, greater efforts must be made to manage the phenomenon.

Of late, the concept of ‘smart city’ is gaining popularity. It is an evolving idea constantly being refined by various stakeholders, who suggest that when designed and applied properly, it can help overcome numerous city-level problems. The idea builds upon previous reform efforts and
includes new elements to tackle challenges—such as the creation of specialised entities and the use of digital technologies in an integrated manner.

Recent Posts

Date Published: February 2024
Фонд Росконгресс, 09.01.2024 1 января 2024 г. Россия приняла эстафету председательства в БРИКС, которое согласно одобренному в августе прошлого года р...
Date Published: December 2023
The rapid growth of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) alliance over the years has spearheaded a new engine for global economic growth...
Date Published: November 2023
Dr BE Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Our continent finds itself in a fast and ever-changing global environment. Many ...