Swedish Solutions for Indian Smart Cities

3 Years agoAs we count down to Make in India, Stockholm, a closer look at synergies between India and Sweden on Smart Cities.

The Smart Cities Mission is a bold initiative by the Government of India, launched in June 2015. The Mission aims to create 100 Smart Cities, to “promote sustainable and inclusive cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of ‘Smart’ Solutions.”1

Smart Cities are built around the idea of sustainable living, and are meant to address challenges posed by rapid urbanisation. Smart urban systems technologies will be vital to the success of this mission.

Core infrastructure elements in a Smart City would include: adequate water and electricity supply, proper sanitation, including solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, as well as affordable housing, IT connectivity and digitalisation.

The Government also emphasises good governance, especially e-Governance, sustainable environmental practices, health and education, as well as safety and security for all.


Smart Solutions include:

  • Water management
  • E-governance and citizen services
  • Waste management
  • Energy management
  • Urban mobility

Technology will play a key role, for example to yield better public transportation, or to save energy by checking wastage and tracking judicious use of electricity. Sustainable options would include buildings with solar energy panels, to ensure the production of local power; rain water harvesting and more. Smart Cities are also meant to provide replicable models for other cities.




Sweden has demonstrated keen interest in partnering with India on the Smart Cities development initiative, and will look to leverage its considerable leadership in the field. Sweden is widely acknowledged to be a global leader in urban mobility solutions, smart parking systems, air filtration, waste management solutions and real time information systems.

It has suggested a common plan of action, to utilise its expertise and technology in promoting sustainable and eco-friendly public transport solutions.

Both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Sustainable Urban Development during former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s state visit to Sweden, in June 2015.

Sweden, with its long history of sustainable thinking, has set up the Sweden India Smart Cities Platform for the cooperation and development of solutions suitable for India’s proposed Smart Cities.

Given challenges in India around air pollution and waste management, solutions would potentially include underground waste management and state-of-the-art air filtration systems.


Potential synergies include products and services related to:

  1. Energy Management
    • Smart grid and metering
    • Renewable sources of energy
    • Energy efficient and smart buildings
    • Solar power generation
  2. Urban Mobility
    • Smart parking
    • Intelligent traffic management – smart traffic operations system
    • Integrated multi-modal transport
    • Hybrid bus fleets fueled by biogas and electricity
    • Vehicle connectivity
  3. Waste and Air Management
    • Underground waste management
    • State-of-the-art filtration
    • Waste-to-Energy by incineration
    • Wastewater management

FIVE Examples of Swedish companies providing Smart City solutions2:



CALE parking solutions aim to monitor and regulate traffic flow and parking. Solutions would include a city parking plan, with a differentiated, zone-based fee structure. An example from Jakarta, Indonesia shows that 110 solar-driven Cale Parking Terminals helped decrease congestion and increase parking revenue.

Adding a parking guiding system could lead to a reduction in idle traffic, leading to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.



Scania’s project aims to transform local waste to fuel, for local transport. Scania launched India’s first ethanol-run ‘Green Bus’ in Nagpur, back in 2014. It works with the Nagpur municipality to operate a sustainable fleet, looking at adding ethanol and biogas buses. In order to meet the demand of fuel for the vehicles, Scania is also working with others to create a biogas plant that would treat sewage water and produce bio-methane. This pilot project, could potentially be replicated in other cities.

Volvo’s hybrid fuel solutions could save fuel and reduce emissions. Volvo introduced low floor city buses in India back in 2006. It partnered with the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation to implement reliable transport to and from the airport, thus helping reduce car traffic on the route, enabling a reduction in congestion and emissions. Volvo also was the first to deliver hybrid buses in India, supplying them to Navi Mumbai in 2016. According to the company, its hybrid solution can potentially save 30-35% fuel and 50% hazardous emissions.



ABB Solution Network Manager SCADA’s implementations for Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd involved an integrated solution for energy audit, billing and tariff for the state. From efficient power grid solutions to intelligent lighting, to power and electrical solutions for the Delhi Metro rail to ease traffic woes, there are a range of energy efficiency solutions already in play in India.

Fortum is a company focusing on clean energy solutions. Having opened office in India in 2012, it has since acquired a 5 MW solar power plant in Rajasthan, and is looking to build on its solar power portfolio in India, which now also includes a 10 MW solar power plant in Madhya Pradesh.3 The company is also powering a village clinic in Kaneli and schools with electricity, via solar energy. Fortum looks at waste to energy solutions as well as cloud-based operator systems for electric vehicle charging service providers and infrastructure investors.

1 Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
2 Sweden India Smart Cities Platform Brochure
3 Sweden India Smart Cities Platform brochure
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