Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), India’s first operational smart city, will now be home to a lab that will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and global best practices related to smart city initiatives from around the world.
The proposed smart city lab, IGLUS Centre of Excellence or ICE, is being set up as a collaboration between Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Company (GIFTCL), Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Nirma University.
GIFT city, in Gandhinagar, is an integrated development on 886 acres of land with 62 million square feet of built-up area, which includes office spaces, residential apartments, schools, hospital, hotels, clubs, retail and various recreational facilities. It is claimed to be a ‘walk to work’ city.
ICE will act as a common hub for global experts and practitioners in the field of sustainable urban planning.
The centre will focus on topics, such as sustainable built environment, innovative governance, management, finance, social and informal sector, transportation, infrastructure, real estate and town planning.
“As India’s first operational smart city, it is imperative to have a common platform setup in GIFT City to further strengthen the implementation of smart and sustainable urban planning in the context of developing nations.” Tapan Ray, managing director and group CEO GIFT City said, in a statement.
“IGLUS has long been looking for a competent partner to put smart city concepts into practice, and we have found in GIFT City together with Nirma University. We look forward to learning from the concrete experiences so as to refine our thinking and approaches for the benefit of GIFT City, other smart cities in India and the world, Matthias Finger, Swiss Post Chair at EPFL said.
In May last year, technology consultant Cybage Software set up a 300-seater facility focused on skill development at GIFT City.
Recently, Information technology major Tech Mahindra, an arm of the diversified Mahindra Group said it would execute a smart city project worth Rs 500 crore for Pune-based civic body Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC). This was Tech Mahindra’s fifth smart city project after Kanpur, Gandhinagar, Nashik, and Jaipur. PCMC is the largest smart city project it has undertaken so far.
Bengaluru-based IT services giant Infosys had collaborated with Microsoft to deliver solutions for smart buildings in sectors such as engineering, construction, architecture, facilities management and real estate.