Speaking at the third edition of Cyrus Jhabvala Memorial Lecture here, Benninger said that a city should be able to provide all of its people with basic amenities.
"If you read any municipal act of a state government, it talks about roads, potable water, sewage systems, street lights, footpaths, and maybe a couple of other points.
"Any city which does that, which follows its state municipal act, and provides its people with these things is a smart city in my opinion. Not all this nonsense we are projecting. Smart city is a misnomer and it's a sad thing we got involved in that," he said.
He found liveability standard an "interesting thing", which can measure the effectiveness of municipal plans, adding that through different parameters it is easier to see "how people managed earlier and how they are managing now".
"You are architects, you have planning ambitions, you want to be a famous architect. So just sit down and plan a city for the people of India... I think we have done enough of South Delhi, Lutyen's Delhi, and Chandigarh.
"The youngsters need to get there fingers into statistics and find out who are the people of this country, what kind of architecture and planning they need. And believe me there is a huge amount of work that is to be done. And anyone sitting in this room can become the Le Corbusier of the 21st century," Benninger said.