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Towards Smarter Service Provision for Smart Cities

Accounting for the Social Costs of Urban Service Provision

India is one of the fastest growing countries in the world and urbanisation is both a challenge and an opportunity for India with huge implications for the rest of the world. One critical concern for India’s urbanising future is the provision of basic urban services for all its citizens. Using a social cost accounting (SCA) methodology, this research estimates the market and non-market costs associated with the delivery of urban water, sanitation, transport and energy services in 4 case study cities. This study goes beyond typically studied issues of access to services and the direct costs involved and brings attention to ignored social costs such as indirect costs, health costs and environmental costs. One of the highlights of this study is that despite high levels of coverage in the four cities, the quantity and quality of services are inadequate in many respects, especially in the case of water and transport, and have high associated social costs.

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