Photo by Ashwini Chaudhary on Unsplash
The evolving concept of ‘Smart Cities’ (SC) is today gaining global momentum in scientific and policy arenas. With the rising potential for jobs and improved lifestyle, these fast-growing cities are witnessing an ever-increasing concentration of populations and economic activities. However, the core aspect of sustainability is often overshadowed in SC by the components of economic growth. In view of the rising water, energy, and food (collectively referred to as WEF) demands in cities and the interlinkages between WEF systems, this study aims to highlight the role of SC in enhancing WEF resource efficiency from a nexus perspective. To study the current trends of SC developments first, a specific case of proposed Nagpur smart city (India) is reviewed based on document analysis and preliminary discussions with local government officials. Thereafter, bibliometric analysis (based on Scopus data) is conducted to establish a comprehensive understanding of existing SC research in varying domains of interlinked WEF systems. While the proposed Nagpur smart city is observably focused on city-centric goals with a high emphasis on infrastructure development, this study underlines the need for environmental resource conservation at a transboundary level. The key opportunities for optimizing the WEF nexus in Nagpur are then highlighted in reference to the bibliometric analysis.