This study is essentially a survey of literature and theories about smart cities. It is not a compendium of solutions or an illustration of the smart cities mission of the Government of India. As the title suggests, it is essentially a navigation tool that might be useful for those who wish to understand the context in which smart cities in India are being envisaged. The area-based approach of the Ministry of Urban Development, which is directed towards revitalising existing cities through a systematic improvement of entire living environments, is likely to be a unique contribution to the history of smart city development. As such, it is a story that needs to be documented and analysed in a different publication.