Pune is the ninth-most populous city in India and the second largest in Maharashtra’s state after the state capital city of Mumbai. Pune is also the 101st largest city in the world by population. Pune is considered the cultural capital of Maharashtra. Pune is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the Asia-Pacific region. The ‘Mercer 2015 Quality of Living rankings’ evaluated local living conditions in more than 440 cities worldwide, where Pune ranked at 145, second in India after Hyderabad (138). It also highlights Pune among evolving business centers and emerging nine cities worldwide with the citation “Hosts IT and automotive companies.” Pune has also emerged as a new startup hub in India, with tech startups like Pubmatic, Firstcry.com, Storypick.com, TastyKhana.com, and Swipe setting up base in Pune.

Pune has created one of the strongest human capital and economic growth engines among Indian cities. With 811 colleges, it is often called the “Oxford of the East.” This has resulted in more than 30% graduate workforce, which has triggered the city’s IT revolution. Almost all of the country’s top IT companies have their presence here, making it the 2nd biggest software hub in the country. The city also has a strong manufacturing base across auto and engineering. Thus, Pune is among the top five foreign direct investment (FDI) destinations in India. It is also one of the successful startup destinations in India, with more than 400 local startups. Pune’s educated citizens have also been instrumental in driving participative governance, which is again one of the best across Indian cities. Pune City Connect is a forum to bring corporates and eminent citizens together to work on corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities on city-level issues.

Pune Smart Cities Mission and their Unique Concepts

  • Identifying the citizens’ true needs and views through extensive citizen engagement, for which Pune has come up with an amazing Citizen Engagement Model with nine different phases, probably the largest of its kind in the urban world, reach out to more than 50% of the city’s households.
  • Focus on ‘More with Less’ solutions – initiatives that have a high impact on quality of service and infrastructure but are less capital intensive and are easier to implement.
  • Focus on cities raising funds from their sources, making the city’s infrastructure projects self-sustainable and not dependent on State or Central funds to develop city infrastructure.
  • Focus on low-cost Information-Communication & Technology (ICT) based solutions to improve quality of infrastructure.
    Focus on implementation, feasibility, and impact will ensure that plans and proposals are made are not just paper plans but also real, effective solutions that will solve the city’s problems.

Based on the above unique features, Pune has been and would be steering the mission; we will kick-start setting up the SPV and further going about implementing our entire smart city plan.

As part of the SCP, we have created a comprehensive roadmap and plan to execute both smart city mission elements – local area development and pan-city development. A basic feasibility analysis has been done for each of the planned initiatives.

Smart City Pune, India

2.744 Smart Points

Pune Smart City Strategy

Based on the SWOT analysis, Pune has come up with five strategic requirements to fix core urban infrastructure and make it “future-proof.”

Based on the econometric analysis and financial modeling, PMC will require around 2500 cr per year (CAPEX + OPEX) up to 2030 to completely overhaul and fix its infrastructure (Exhibit 1) (Note: this is assuming that PMC contributes 10% for metro, 60% for additional buses and nothing on ring roads, with funds coming from other sources for the balance) (Ref. 6). As a strategy, PMC will think proactively to fix infrastructure for the future. Most cities do not consider urbanization and population growth, thus creating infrastructure that always lags demand.

Besides a long-term fix, the city would also like to move quickly in the next five years and fix infrastructure as much as possible, with all “less is more” (e.g., junction/ street design) and ICT solutions implemented along with significant progress in BRT (70 km in 5 years), ring road (2 done in 5 years) and metro (phase 1 – 31 km done in 5 years). A comprehensive framework has been drawn for the core sectors, e.g., mobility and water (Exhibits 2 and 3). Pune will also need to fix the housing challenge with 20,000 cr required for affordable and mass housing in the next five years (5000 cr for slums).

Leverage multiple sources of funds to fulfill long-term infrastructure demand

Funding INR 2,500 cr of OPEX + CAPEX every year for the next 15 years will require multiple sources, e.g., government missions, own funds, debt, and public-private partnership (PPP). PMC has created a detailed roadmap consisting of the current CAPEX plan (1400 cr per year), land monetization (1250-1450 cr per year), other government missions (500-700 cr per year), debt, and PPP (1000-1200 cr per year). PMC has drawn a detailed plan to monetize its land every year (Exhibit 4) (Ref. 7). PMC has been rated AA by Fitch and has also moved ahead to create a separate, ring-fenced infrastructure fund (a first of its kind in India). This will help Pune to borrow from the market at attractive rates.

Transform Pune into the most liveable city in India

In addition to fixing infrastructure, Pune will also upgrade its neighborhoods to world-class livability standards in a phased manner, starting with the local area development pilot. This would be a holistic transformation of neighborhoods across core infrastructure, social infrastructure (e.g., schools, healthcare), livability parameters (e.g., open spaces, pollution control, recreation options), resource productivity, e.g., (ICT solutions), sustainability (e.g., recycling, energy efficiency), and neighborhood governance through a suite of citizen and business interfacing solutions.

A detailed roadmap has been created in the proposal for the local area selected, which will be replicated across Pune. This would require funds of INR 1,500 cr to 2,000 cr per neighborhood.

Build city attractiveness further through iconic riverfront development

Leveraging on Pune’s strength of multiple riverfronts, PMC will endeavor to fully clean the rivers and develop them as attractive recreational destinations. This could be a strong distinguishing factor vis-à-vis other cities. The National River Conservation Fund, to the tune of 900 Cr, has been approved by the Govt of India for river cleaning. In contrast, the contract for consultancy for the riverfront development has been issued to HCP consultants to create a detailed master plan (which drove Sabarmati riverfront development).

Pune engaged citizens in what is perhaps one of the largest envisioning exercises in the history of Indian cities. The entire administrative machinery, along with the media, NGOs, and private companies’ ecosystem, reached out to over 4 lakh households, i.e., about 50 percent of Pune’s total households. This was done in a true pan-city manner, covering all 15 wards across the city in a door-to-door campaign by “smart volunteers”. The smart volunteers were supported by a team of 400 members across the public and private sectors.

More than 35 lakh inputs were received from the citizens across the city. Besides, there was significant citizen involvement through the internet and social media. An exclusive website was set up, where the entire citizen engagement strategy and interactive forms were created to get citizen inputs on vision and goals. Also, Pune created Twitter and Facebook pages for Pune Smart City, which were highly successful with ~16,000 tweets and retweets and 5,300 likes with 2000+ followers on Twitter.

Pune’s engagement strategy to get the best results had five key features

  • Structured five-phase approach for pan-city: a) Envision (17–28 September): create the vision, identify top issues; b) Diagnose (28 September–12 October): Identify goals within priority sectors; c) Co-create (13–23 October): specific solutions for prioritized goals; d) Refine (23–28 October): Refinement with citizens’ inputs in mini-labs; and e) Share (15 November–15 December): Final set of solutions shared for inputs
  • Structured four-phase approach for local area development (LAD): a) Explore (citizen surveys); b) Syndicate (through public representatives); c) Learn (citizen consultations) and Design (urban planner interaction)
  • Use of “Five-S” principle: a) Speed: Tight 100-day process; b) Scale: Outreach to 50 percent citizens; c) Structure: Phased approach; d) Solutioning: Crowd-sourcing to identify solutions; and e) Social audit: Citizen syndication
  • Create an ecosystem of partners: the team of 400 members comprising PMC, corporates, NGOs, citizen groups, industry associations, consulting firms, schools, colleges, media, and eminent citizens was formed
  • 24×7 war room to drive citizen engagement with five cells: a) Campaign management; b) Response management; c) Analytics; d) Creative management; and e) Documentation management

Pune focused on four different modes of citizen engagement:


  • Door-to-door visits and citizen engagement by PMC employees and volunteers to get forms filled
  • Camps in schools, colleges, companies, slums
  • Crowdsourcing ideas in Ganesh Mandals during the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival

Digital and online

  • Pune Smart City web portal
  • E-Seva kendras and ward offices across the city with Smart City access
  • Computer labs in schools and colleges opened to citizens
  • Twitter handles and Facebook page, apps for smartphones, WhatsApp, missed calls

Competitions for crowdsourcing of ideas and creativity

  • Essay, logo, and mascot-design competitions in English and Marathi newspapers
  • Area development competition for students from architecture colleges
  • Digital “Hackathon” and “Appathon” conducted across 60 engineering colleges “Smart family” and “Smart citizen” initiatives

Publicity and advertising

  • Hoardings and banners, interviews on media, “Gallery walk” set up in the war room to make citizens aware of the Smart City initiative, advertisements on the FM radio, local cable, newspapers

Based on citizen inputs from more than 50 percent of households, two-word clouds were created for: a) Vision and b) Major issues facing citizens (Exhibit 6). The top three vision words—clean, beautiful, and green—feature in the overall vision for Pune. Also, the top issues—transport, water, and other core infrastructure issues—feature in the overall vision of Pune. Initiatives selected under pan-city and LAD development fully reflect this.

After that, citizens were engaged in identifying specific goals within these sectors. A location-based heat map for issues is depicted in Exhibit 7 & 8. Top goals identified by the citizens are mentioned in Exhibit 8. The overall plan for Pune is fully in line with solving these specific issues.

Ideas were then crowdsourced through discussion forums on the portal. Transport received the maximum number of solutions (43.6 percent), followed by water and sewage (15.1 percent) and SWM (14.4 percent).

Solutions proposed by the citizens were further refined with inputs from experts, solution providers, NGOs, and people representatives through four mini-labs, and finally, the Smart City Proposal (SCP) was shared with citizens. In unprecedented support, 3 lakh citizens pledged their support to Pune’s SCP through signature campaigns in both offline and online modes. Also, 8,000 households in ABB Area were supported through a pledge.

Based on citizen engagement, PSCDCL furthered its vision and goals to create Pune into India’s most liveable city.
Leveraging its rich cultural and natural heritage, strong human capital, and strong business environment as key strengths, Pune aspires to become one of the most liveable cities in India by solving its core infrastructure issues in a “future-proof” way and by making its neighborhoods beautiful, clean, green and liveable.

Both extensive citizen inputs (detailed in the next question) and city profiling were considered when defining this vision. As described in the previous two questions, this three-part blueprint is a true reflection of Pune’s unique profile, opportunities, and challenges:

Solve mobility challenge

This is critical since mobility is the #1 issue in both citizen engagement and desk profile. The aspirations on transportation include:

  • Increased use of public transportation from 18 to 30% in 5 years and to benchmark 50% by 2030
  • Fully implementing all ICT solutions in 5 years – ITMS and adaptive traffic control
  • Fully implementing all “less is more” non-ICT solutions – street, junction, and footpath redesign – in 5 years
  • Moving significantly in public transportation options in 5 years (30 km BRT, 31 km metro) with an aspiration to complete balance metro (44 km) by 2025
  • Creation of 2 ring roads in next five years to address 50% bypass traffic
    Increase trip share of NMT to 40 percent with PBS and walkable footpaths

Provide equitable water across Pune

Capitalizing on Pune’s water abundance, one of the key goals will be to ensure at least 150 lpcd of water to 100 percent of citizens 24×7. Like transportation, this will also require a holistic set of solutions, both short-term and long-term. The ICT solutions will be driven under the Smart City framework. Specific goals in water and sewerage include:

  • Provide 100 percent of citizens with 150 lpcd water 24×7
  • Reduce leakage and NRW from 30 to 15 percent
  • Increase in reservoir storage capacity from 23 to 33 percent
  • Coverage of 100 percent of the city by sewage network
  • Treat 100 percent of wastewater (from 64 percent), and promote usage of recycled water by industries, railways, and the construction

Taking other core infrastructure from “good to great.”

While Pune has done well compared to other cities on many dimensions of core urban infrastructure, it will still need to work on them to fulfill its aspiration of becoming one of the most liveable cities in India. Specific goals include:

Pune Mission

100 percent segregation at source (currently 57 percent) and efficient ITMS-enabled solid-waste management (SWM) system with 100 percent of waste recycled and all organic waste used for energy generation. 100 percent of slums to be covered by SWM services (30 percent currently). 100 percent of the population to have access to toilets (from 96.5 percent currently), with 29,000 toilets built over the next three years. Clean streets and public spaces with smart bins at every 300 meter (m)


  • Smart grid set-up with net metering across the entire city
  • All new buildings in the city to be energy efficient and green
  • Smart public lighting to reduce consumption by 15 to 20 percent
  • Solar usage in neighborhoods to be at least 15 to 20 percent


  • Making Pune slum-free by 2025 by constructing 20,000 affordable houses every year for the next ten years

Safety and security

  • While Pune already has extensive CCTV surveillance, the vision will be to make it fully “crime-free” by enhancing surveillance further and providing emergency help
  • All these will be driven in the local area and then replicated across the city.

Leverage the rich cultural and natural heritage, strong human capital, and effective business environment as key strengths:

Make riverfronts clean, green, and iconic: Punekars love their riverfront. In the citizen survey on specific goals, clean rivers and water bodies and zero discharge of unauthorized water were featured among top priorities. One of the visions of Pune, then, will be to develop its large riverfront along three rivers. Bimal Patel of HCP Consultants, one of the top urban planners (redeveloped Sabarmati riverfront), has already been engaged. A key short-term goal will be to develop a 3.5 km of riverfront in the selected local area under Smart Cities Mission (SCM), replicated across the city.

Create 500,000 high-end jobs in the startup hub and other locations within the core city: With more than 10 km of lead travel and slowing speed of traffic, Punekars are feeling the commute challenge in a city that is growing radially. Creating at least 0.5 million high-end jobs in the heart of the city will be one of the key goals. As the first step, PMC wants to create at least 40,000 to 45,000 jobs in the startup hub of Aundh-Baner-Balewadi (ABB) (Local Area selected by Pune in Smart City Proposal), which will be the catalyst for mixed-use development across Pune and promote walk-to-work

Become one of the top 10 cities in the ease of doing business and e-governance parameters: With a high-performing municipality that has been able to perform well in most urban services and has leveraged ICT to improve citizen services and interaction, the next challenge is to improve the ease of doing business and e-governance significantly, to be at par with top 10 cities worldwide. As the first step, the special purpose vehicle (SPV) in the local area (ABB) will implement five specific solutions end-to-end, which could be replicated across the city.

Making its neighborhoods beautiful, clean, green, and fully liveable

With “clean,” “beautiful,” and “green” features as the top three adjectives in Punekars’ visioning exercise, the idea will be to transform all neighborhoods on these dimensions by first driving change in the local area and then replicating it across the city.

Specific goals include:

  • Increasing open space from the 7 percent to the 15 percent benchmark
  • Developing an adequate number of parks and doing open space innovation
  • Making all neighborhoods zero garbage through waste segregation and disposal systems
  • Beautifying certain streets and creating go-to recreation zones in waterfront development



The unity of soul and mind is the path to happiness
The unity of soul and mind is so rare that it can literally be sold profitably. All masterpieces of culture and art are the essence of unity.
Unity of soul and mind making good decisions
The mind has a will but is incapable of controlling external intention. The soul is able to feel its identity with external intention but has no will.




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