For International

Australia shares knowledge for India’s Smart Cities Agenda

Australia shares best urban practices for the development of smarter, sustainable and efficient cities in India

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission – Australian Government jointly with the Smart Cities Research Cluster, University of New South Wales (UNSW); Australia India Council and NITI Aayog organised a workshop on “Smart Cities and Informed Urbanisation” in New Delhi today.

The workshop was inaugurated in New Delhi by Mr Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Union Minister for Urban Development, Government of India.

The workshop was aimed at creating opportunities for learning, technology transfer and trade and a knowledge exchange network between Australian and Indian cities.  

The workshop:

  • Provided a platform for sharing of ideas and projects dealing with digital urban renewal in Australian and Indian cities
  • Established durable knowledge – exchange and co-operation networks between organisations in Australia and India in the smart cities and urban development sector
  • Developed new collaborations focused on addressing the emerging challenges of urban transformation in Indian and Australian cities

The workshop brought together smart city decision makers, urbanists and digital experts from Australia and India to engage in conversations regarding urban transformation experiences in Australia and India.

Key participants at the workshop were Dr Arvind Panagriya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog; Dr Bibek Debroy, Member, NITI Aayog; Mr Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog; Mr Yaduvendra Mathur, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog; Mr Rajiv Gauba, Secretary, Urban Development; Principal Secretaries from the States and Joint Secretaries from the Central Ministries; Municipal Commissioners; Heads of City Development Authority and Managing Directors of Bangalore & Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd.

Workshop in Sydney

The workshop in New Delhi was the final in the series, and followed workshops held in Sydney and Chennai.

A 6-member Indian delegation from NITI Aayog, CEPT University, Faridabad Municipal Corporation, Jawaharlal Nehru University, National Institute of Urban Affairs and Tamil Nadu Urban Finance & Infrastructure Development Corporation attended a workshop in Sydney in April 2017.  The delegation also participated in a study tour of the key government departments and technology business in Australia to understand Australian Smart City best practice approaches.

Australian Smart Urban Infrastructure Capability

Australia is recognised as one of the most urbanised countries in the world with two thirds of the population living in capital cities.  Australia has a network of highly urbanised and hyper-connected cities with world class smart city planning expertise at the municipal level.

Australia’s capability and competitive advantages in Smart Urban Infrastructure include:

  • Sustainable urban, precinct and building planning, design, construction productivity and technologies
  • Infrastructure sustainability and green building/ communities standards, policies and rating systems
  • Innovative water resource management, industrial and urban water recycling and treatment systems, engineering and technologies that address extreme climate, water security, environmental management, public health.
  • Intelligent transport systems and Transit Oriented Development (TOD’s)
  • Integrated transport planning, master planning, city regeneration programs
  • Road design including road safety systems
  • Robust systems, designs and capabilities for reliability, resilience and natural disaster preparedness
  • Health infrastructure: hospital design and systems, aged care management systems and training
  • PPP expertise: governance and legal frameworks, risk management and procurement systems, and financial modelling and controlling.

Speaking about the workshop, Leonie Muldoon, Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner – South Asia said, “Australia’s comparative advantage exists in the packaging of integrated, holistic approaches to sustainability in which urban environments are treated as interconnected “ecosystems”.  Australia’s capabilities in urban development, including globally recognised and practical ways of dealing with our own rapidly urbanising population potentially have application to India more broadly and the workshop has provided an ideal opportunity for knowledge exchange. Australia has experienced its own rural-to-urban shift as well as significant international immigration and investment which has driven the development of a sizeable and vibrant infrastructure sector. Australia and Australian organisations look forward to partnering in the Indian “Smart Cities Mission & Urban development program”.


Speaking at the workshop Union Minister of Urban Development, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu said that when it came to building the Smart Cities that India needs that "smartness" has to be in vision, planning, and execution we bring to developing creative and liveable cities for India. The Vice Chairman of NITI, Dr Arvind Panagariya, said that there was an "undeniable relationship between economic growth and urbanisation".

India’s smart cities projects are generating considerable interest from smart cities stakeholders and investors in Australia, and they have shown interest to associate with Indian counterparts. We are keen to play the role of an anchor in connecting different interested parties said the Coordinator of the workshop from UNSW Smart Cities Research Cluster, Mr. Sarbeswar Praharaj.

The Convenors of the Cluster, Associate Professor Hoon Han and Dr. Scott Hawken informs that the objective is to evolve a multi-partner network for city cooperation on smart cities and urban development involving both public and private sector organisations in Australia and India.

For more information to access Australian expertise in Urban Infrastructure, please contact