Municipality officials in Lucknow, the capital of the Indian state Uttar Pradesh, are working on their new motto “From an art city to a smart city.” Lucknow is joining the march of 90 Indian cities shortlisted for the central government’s Smart City project so far. “Being a culturally rich city from the times of Lakshman, who founded the city to the era of Nawabs, a proposal was made to accommodate the sentiments of the people while making the city progressive and smart,” says municipal commissioner Udairaj Singh, who took part in the smart city project proposal.

Laid back Lucknow is known for its history of Nawab rulers under the sovereignty of the Persian Empire. While the city will continue to enjoy its more basic modes of transportation like rickshaws and tongas on the streets, the city will also be equipped with more modern elements, like a metro train, fast moving buses and taxis. There will also be hotlines for locals to ensure they’re safe and comfortable in Lucknow, including the 1090 women’s powerline, a line dedicated to fight sexual harassment and violence against one, and Dial 100 for crimes, and finally Dial 108 for the ambulance facility.


Cycle-rickshaw with a load of ten schoolchildren. QT Luong.

“The seat of power of the Nawabs in the 18th and 19th century will continue to maintain its heritage and culture but will also have latest developments under smart city,” says municipal commissioner and urban planning expert PK Srivastava. “The stakeholders are planning to boost its rich culture, cuisine, business, infrastructure, education, tourism and music.” Architectural wonders like Rumi Darwaza, Imambada and Satkhanda are perhaps the most prominent features of Lucknow. Officials are hoping that in the future, the city will be known for places like Awadh Point, Thandi Sadak, solar energy grid for metros, advanced metro train, 1090 women’s powerline and the other hotlines.


Awadh Shilp Gram. Lucknow Smart City official website.

The Indian Ministry of Urban Development is responsible for applying the strategic components it has identified for making a city smart, which include city improvement or retrofitting, city renewal and redevelopment and city’s greenfield development, in addition to the pan-city initiative in which Smart Solutions are extended to larger parts of the city. So far, India has shortlisted 90 cities to work on, which include Kerala’s capital, Thiruvanathapuram, Bhagalpur, New Town Kolkata and Faridabad.