The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Smart Cities Mission is the beginning of India’s urban renaissance. He was addressing the gathering after releasing the Book ‘Smart Cities Unbundled’ authored by Dr. Sameer Sharma, here today. The Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (I/C), Shri Hardeep Singh Puri and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.The Vice President said that a Smart City is a liveable city to the people with required amenities like clean drinking water, sanitation, toilets, infrastructure etc. He further said that it as a renaissance because there has been a paradigm shift in both the planning, approach and implementation of Smart City mission.The Vice President said that while the government has a Constitutional mandate to devolve funds, functionaries and functions on local bodies, the progress has been slow. He further said that the urban agenda prepared by the present Government aims to address this gap by integrating several types of plans at the city level. People's participation in any programme is crucial for its success, he added.The Vice President said that the Smart Cities Mission, which was described as ‘Mission Transform nation’ by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, seeks to transform cities into sustainable centres of economic activity and provide improved quality of life to citizens. He further said that another remarkable feature of the mission was to take up credit rating of cities. One more important strategic element of the Smart Cities Mission is the use of digital technology to bring about transparency and accountability, as well as improving the service delivery to its citizens, he added.The Vice President said that a novel feature of Smart Cities Mission is Area Based Development - cities pick up one area, develop it fully and then proceed to develop all other areas of the city one by one. He further said that making the Urban Local Bodies financially self-sufficient is very important for sustainable development. This new initiative requires a new skill set, an ability to access and utilize the state of the art from around the world and an attitudinal shift where we forge new partnerships and collaborations rather than executing project only by the government, he added.