Operationalizing resilience for Srinagar Smart City



By Omar Bashir

RICS School of Built Environment
Amity University

Noida, India




Smart City Mission was launched by the Government of India in 2015, aims to develop 100 smart cities across India. The primary objective of the program is to transform existing cities into smart cities by incorporating urban renewal and redevelopment, both brownfield and greenfield and retrofitting thereby making the cities smart, sustainable and citizen friendly. The secondary objective of this program is to foster economic growth through these smart cities, which in turn will have a “rub-off effect” on neighboring cities and towns. India is vulnerable to several types of disasters – natural and man-made and such a large-scale program of urban renewal and redevelopment could have been useful in make a selected few cities disaster resilient. However, the Smart City Mission loses out on an opportunity to incorporate resilience in the newly developed smart cities.

The focus of this study is the city of Srinagar in North India, which is currently being developed as one of the Smart Cities in India. Srinagar is one of the most disaster-prone cities in India. The city has developed a detailed system with several layers of policies and procedures for disaster management, but that system is majorly reactive in approach and does not emphasize on resilience.  Though several frameworks exist for incorporating resilience at a city level, there are none for operationalizing resilience at a city level. To overcome this research gap, a detailed study was carried out in association with experts related to disaster management and allied fields to develop a stage-wise holistic resilience maturity model. Though cities face unique disasters, due to their geographies, complexities, urbanization and culture, this Resilience Maturity Model can be adopted by any city of the world.


Srinagar, the winter capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, has witnessed unprecedented levels of unplanned urbanization over the past few decades.  The population has increased from 2.85 lakhs in 1961 to 4.57 lakhs in 1971, 6.06 lakhs in 1981, 11.10 lakhs in 2001 to 20.84 lakhs in 2011. (Nengroo, et al., 2017).  Same is the case with rest of India where the urban population has seen an increase of around 4% from 2001 to 2011 and is projected that 40% of total Indian population will be residing in urban areas by 2030, and nearly 50% by 2050. (Census of India, 2011). Globally as well, the trend of urbanization continues at a steady rate.

In general, urbanization does not pose any threat to the environment or development, however, access to several basic amenities is restricted by unplanned urbanization. (Nengroo, et al., 2017). Further, if the urbanization is at a rapid rate it may lead several other issues like lack of suitable dwelling units, slums, overburdened transportation system, pollution, environmental degradation and an overall burden on the existing infrastructure. (Aijaz & Hoelscher, 2015). In India, due to the lack of strict regulations and planning cities have seems unorganized and unplanned growth. There is a large-scale migration across the country from rural to urban areas, as urban areas provide better employment opportunities and better quality of life. It is estimated that around 30% of the Indian population now live in urban areas as compared to around 18% in 1960 (World Bank, 2020). This constant, rapid and unregulated urbanization has led to the overburdening of existing city infrastructure. (Bashir, 2020) which is an underlying cause of low FDI (foreign direct investment) in India (Aijaz & Hoelscher, 2015).


The National Smart City Mission launched by the Government of India in 2015 as an urban renewal program to make existing cities citizen-friendly and sustainable. It emphasized on development of core infrastructure; technological interventions and area-based development. The basic objective of this program is to drive economic growth in the 100 selected Smart city which other cities can emulate. (Praharaj & Han, 2019) (Gupta & Hall, 2017) (Smart Cities Mission, 2015).


Srinagar is the capital and the largest city of the state (now Union territory) of Jammu and Kashmir, the northern state of India. It is located at the foothills of the Himalayas at an elevation of 1585 meters from sea level. The city is located on both the banks of river Jhelum, which divides the city into two parts and is connected by 9 bridges. The total area of the city is around 294 square kilometers.



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Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented at the 7th Annual University of Maryland PM Symposium in May 2020.  It is republished here with the permission of the author and conference organizers.

How to cite this paper: Bashir, O. (2020). Operationalizing resilience for Srinagar Smart City; presented at the 7th Annual University of Maryland Project Management Symposium, College Park, Maryland, USA in May 2018; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/pmwj94-Jun2020-Bashir-Operationalizing-Resilience-for-Srinagar-Smart-City.pdf



About the Author


Omar Bashir

Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India


Omar Bashir is currently working as an Assistant Professor at RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, Noida, India. Omar has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and MSc in Civil and Structural Engineering from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom. He has more than 5 years of experience in Academics and Industry. His research interests are primarily Construction Project Management, Quality Management, Occupational Health and Safety and Construction Materials.  He can be contacted at omarbashir86@gmail.com




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