VPC recently presented at the Global Symposium on Disaster-Resilient Smart Cities at the Institute of Industrial Development in New Delhi, India. VPC was among over 100 other speakers, from five continents, who were invited to discuss needs, gaps, and success stories on smart city initiatives from all over the world. VPC posed a challenge question: “Are Smart Cities really disaster resilient?”, and conversely, are cities with disaster resilience initiatives considered smart? VPC’s presentation comprised case studies of smart elements/initiatives/technologies from around the globe in the areas of disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.

This Symposium was organized in collaboration with: the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, which is the nodal ministry for implementing Smart Cities Mission in India; Netexplo Smart Cities Accelerator group of Paris; Indian National Institute of Disaster Management; Indian Oil Corporation Ltd; Delhi Transco Ltd; Indian Council of Social Science Research; Institute for Studies in Industrial Development; and the United Nations Environment Programme.

The Symposium generated wide deliberation and discourse on building disaster-resilient smart cities by bringing together stakeholders from the Prime Minister's Smart Cities Mission, academia, the public-sector, and experts from the Smart City Accelerator group of Paris.

The Symposium brought together great minds from all over the world – and provided a distinguished platform to identify gaps and discuss common solutions to reduce global risk. “Sometimes we have to take baby steps that may go unnoticed, but we are still making progress”, says VPC President, Deepa Srinivasan.

Talks ranged from city branding and resilience to emergency preparedness, social vulnerability, citizen empowerment, air pollution reduction, and improved community governance. The Symposium was well covered on social and print media, as well as on TV and radio.

“With VPC setting up its main office in Pune, and branches in Delhi, Chennai, and Bangalore, we hope we do our part to improve disaster resiliency in Indian states, cities, and villages. Our goal is to build on local capacity and educate and empower at the grass roots level” reported Ms. Srinivasan.

All papers from the Symposium will be compiled and published by Springer Publications as Smart City Global Best Practices. For more information contact Deepa Srinivasan at dsrinivasan@vision-pc.net.

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