Thank you Marc to direct this question to me.
I'm the founder of HappiCities Labs and the best way to understand the need for Project HappiCities in India is to actually live at least a month (oh well, even one week) in one of the mega cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore or Hyderabad and experience the hopelessness in all aspects of urban life first hand. Our Cities are ugly, dysfunctional and chaotic.It feels as if we are stuck in a time loop and refuse to come out of the urban chaos. Our roads and infra sucks - pretty much everything sucks and can't be compared to the cities of the west ever.
Project Happicities is a humble attempt to create a model and framework to build the next generation of cluster of greenfield microcities at scale.
We plan to design a model micro city and open source it, so that we can invite suggestions and comments from experts around the world and also because we hope that other urban local bodies, private companies or group of companies can build a Happicity, with some customization of course based on local geography.
We (HappiCities Labs) are similar to Google's sidewalk labs - so that pretty much answers your question.
Though we do similar research and design as them,it is customized for India specific urban problems and the approach is more focused on sustainability rather than being technology heavy. Our approach to urbanization in 21st century India (and perhaps the developing countries in Asia and Africa) is quite radical and we hope to disrupt it. We may not solve every problem ourselves,but look for existing solutions and adopt them in our Open Source Model City design via partnerships
Hope this gives a fair insight about what we plan and intend to do. For more details visit and listen to the podcast in the homepage. Indians would be able to relate to the pitch more than others.
PS: Website is just a rough brain dump right now. Stay tuned for a revamped website soon.