Prelims level : Smart cities mission, India Urban Observatory Mains level :
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GS 1: Social Issues | Urbanization – problems and remedies

Why in News?

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the state-of-the-art India Urban Observatory and Video Wall.

Urban Observatory:

  • It is a platform that uses data from different sources to enable analysis and visualization over a geospatial platform can make this possible.
  • The concept of Urban Observatories was formally initiated at the UN Habitat-II Conference in 1997 in Istanbul. Some examples of well-established Urban Observatories are the Global Urban Observatory network, the Dublin Dashboard and the City Dashboard of London.
  • Such platforms churn out interesting analyses and visualizations by collating massive datasets.

India Urban Observatory:

  • It is an important component of the recently launched DataSmart Cities strategy that envisions creating a ‘Culture of Data’ in cities, for intelligent use of data in addressing complex urban challenges. Making cities ‘DataSmart’ is key to realizing the full potential of technology interventions and innovation ecosystems in cities.
  • The Data Smart Cities Policy allows cities to open their data to public view, such as number of hospitals, gardens, people, public toilets and other city management, the official added. It will be a separate portal for Smart Cities under the website.
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