Smarter cities, simpler cities: Accounting for the city of the future - spotlight on India

This report, jointly produced by ACCA and the Institute of Cost Accounting India (ICAI), explores what is meant by a 'smart city', the adoption of smart cities globally and the key role professional accountants play in the journey any city undertakes when becoming 'smart'. The second part of the report shines a spotlight on India's smart cities initiative which launched in 2015.


Global urbanisation is continuing to rise and for the first time in human history, those living in cities outnumber those that do not. Smarter cities, simpler cities, examines the rise of the 'smart' city as the best viable path towards successful, sustainable urban centres.

The first section of the report looks at the global case for smart cities and the role professional accountants play in shaping smart cities by providing good public financial advice. The report shows that technological application in isolation is not the key to smart cities but that the digital knowledge and skills of professional accountants are vitally important to their success.

The second section provides a spotlight on India, and in particular the Government of India Smart Cities Mission - a funded programme aimed at the creation of 100 smart cities across the nation. To examine the challenges of policy to execution ACCA and ICAI spoke to representatives from 40 cities taking part in the Smart Cities Challenge. Fund raising and availability of talent were citied as the main challenges for executing smart city plans.