Even as India prepares to add 100 smart cities, one tells a cautionary tale


When David Cooper and his wife were looking for somewhere to retire, they wanted a place by a river or a lake, away from Mumbai’s congested streets, worsening pollution and vanishing green spaces.

They did not have to go far: they bought a two-bedroom flat in a complex for senior citizens in Lavasa, a private city that was being built in the hills a four-hour drive away, and touted as India’s first Smart City. But their retirement dream quickly took a turn for the worse as Lavasa’s developer, after battling.....

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