The Challenge requires municipal leaders and their partners to consult the public to develop proposals that are both sound and have a high likelihood of being implemented. Proposed solutions must strengthen the city’s governance or its physical, social, or economic infrastructure.

This is for the first time, a ‘Challenge’ or ‘Competition’ method is used to select cities for funding and using a strategy of area-based development. This unique model hinges upon the idea of intensifying citizen involvement beyond the conventional method of information sharing to decision making in governance.

Each aspiring city competes for selection as a Smart City in what is called a ‘City Challenge’. There are two stages in the selection process

Shortlisting of cities by states June- July 2015

The State/UT begins with shortlisting the potential Smart Cities on the basis of conditions precedent, scoring criteria and in accordance with the total number allocated to it. Stage 1 commenced on August 27, 2015 with shortlisting of 98 cities.

Please click here to review Bhubaneswar’s successful Stage 1 submission.

In the second stage of the competition, each of the shortlisted Smart Cities prepare their Smart City Proposals for participation in the ‘City Challenge’. The Challenge is designed to inspire greater creativity from municipal officials and their partners, more involvement and inspiration from citizens, and the development of proposals that will produce concrete benefits in people’s lives. Of the shortlisted cities, a total of 20 cities with exceptional proposals will be named winners to begin implementation of their proposals.

Each city formulates its own unique vision, mission and plan for a “smart city”- the Smart City Proposal. The Smart City Proposal will include:

  1. A Bold Vision : Each city must convey its own unique vision that reflects local context, its resources, and the priorities and aspirations of its citizens.
  2. Pan-City Initiative : Cities draw inspiration from smart solutions that incorporate the use of technology, information and data to improve services or results for citizens. The pan-city initiative must touch the lives of many, or potentially all, of its citizens.
  3. Area-Based Development Plan Proposal : This plan will transform an existing place within each city, creating an exemplar for other areas in the city, or across the country, to follow. Depending on local circumstances, cities may choose one of three approaches: retrofitting, redevelopment, or greenfield development.
JANUARY 2015 - MARCH 2016: Winning 20 Cities declared for the first round

Selected cities setup up Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and start their implementation of their Smart City Proposal. Other cities prepare to improve their proposal for next round of the challenge.