The pandemic has put forth the need for various stakeholders to find ways and solutions to deal with future situations that could be out of human control, at least initially. The Smart City Living Lab, IIITH, organized a multi-stakeholder roundtable discussion on healthy smart cities. The whole idea behind the event was to bring together and put across various perspectives from government, technology partners, frontline workers, academia, and start-ups for a better understanding of how cities and technology players are dealing with the pandemic. They sought to gauge how they were responding to the pandemic and gain valuable insights so that they could address it collaboratively.
As the COVID situation is limping back to normalcy, governance, and management of organizations, workplaces, schools, the government needs to understand the best practices and also be equipped with the best possible solutions for the safety and wellbeing of citizens. Post discussions, a position paper was made and published on the discussion, solutions, and future steps.AK Garg, senior director, ministry of electronics and information technology, reiterated the need for finding a solution through a living lab that provides a test environment for solutions that need to be tested and an environment for ecosystem players to come together to give out a plausible solution.
One point of discussion was the safety of citizens once we return to schools and work. Another area was to address the various issues and consequences of the reopening of schools, work, and public spaces. They found that real-time updates with sensor network deployment, live monitoring and screening, mandatory periodic screening, SOP guidelines, and training in place and real-time tracking were some solutions for early detection and mitigation of COVID aerosols from the air. Standard SOPs will also play an important role in use for the smooth reopening of institutions.
Prof Ramesh Loganathan, co-innovation and head research/ innovation outreach at IIIT-H, shared that thought leadership is an important aspect of the Living Lab. He further added that the roundtable was the first of many that they were planning towards engaging the stakeholders for the benefit of the larger ecosystem.