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Watering India’s smart cities

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Cat ButtonORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a book chapter that has been published in its final definitive form by Elsevier, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Water is often absent from discourse on smart places. India’s smart city drive detracts from the need for basic infrastructure, even whilst setting it as a priority in policy. The very act of framing it as ‘smart’ overshadows service provision with headline-grabbing projects that are aimed at wealthy residents and leave those without access to basic infrastructure further behind. This chapter puts water at the centre of discussions of smart places in India by considering the situation in Mumbai in the context of India’s smart cities agenda. Rainwater harvesting could become a smart technology to provide more water, but these need to be functioning and maintained systems and not ‘eyewash’ to tick a box. This chapter calls for water-centric urban planning to create smart and just places.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Button C

Editor(s): Aurigi, A; Odendaal, N;

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Shaping Smart for Better Cities: Rethinking and Shaping Relationships between Urban Space and Digital Technologies

Year: 2020

Pages: 357-371

Print publication date: 02/12/2020

Online publication date: 20/11/2020

Acceptance date: 20/07/2020

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-818636-7.00007-X

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780128186367