As urban growth accelerates and resources are stretched thin in cities around the globe, the concept of “Smart Cities” is more important than ever before. That’s one reason I’m excited to be in Nice, France, this week to help launch the “Connected Boulevard,” an ambitious proof of concept built to leverage and anticipate the Internet of Everything (IoE) for smart and connected city services.
The Connected Boulevard is the first real-world example at the city level of how IoE is enabling infrastructure intelligence and value through connections among people, processes, data and things. This proof of concept involves 200 sensors and detecting devices in the city center of Nice, providing context-aware information on parking, traffic, street lighting, waste disposal, and environmental quality.
Click on the video below to see the Connected Boulevard in action and to hear Mayor Christian Estrosi and Director General Anne Boquet explain how the Internet of Everything is helping Nice to realize its plan to become a Smart City.
The Intelligent Community Forum just completed its annual summit, which celebrates the Top 7 most intelligent communities in the world. These are the global leaders who have already made investments in broadband and in community building — and who are now looking to see how they can build on those advantages.
This year’s theme was innovation and employment, so I was asked to give the keynote presentation on the question of whether innovation destroys jobs and how sub-national governments should respond.
This is a summary. The video of the presentation will be available in a couple of weeks. [Note: there was a foreshadowing of this presentation in my earlier blog post "Are Jobs Disappearing?"]
I can hardly wait. In two days the suspense will be over and the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) will have selected its 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year. With so many extraordinary and innovative communities in the running, I’m glad it’s not up to me to choose one. But I do have the thrill and privilege of seeing it all happen, live in New York City at the ICF Summit this week.
I and the other attendees will no doubt listen in awe to the inspiring leaders from all around the world as they talk about the way their organizations are changing the way people in their communities or regions work, live, play, and learn. Who will be this year’s winner? One strong candidate is Toronto Canada, one of this year’s Top7 communities. Learn more about their initiatives in the video below:
Later today, we’ll hear from Toronto’s Councillor, Michael Thompson, and have the opportunity to pick his brain during a group Q&A session to learn more about how Toronto is improving their economic and social environment by providing community network services to its constituents, with its energy-reducing smart and connected buildings to link residents and businesses, with portals and kiosks to provide real-time services to citizens, and with smart sensors and surveillance for public safety. I’d say they’re a pretty tough contender!
In wrapping up the series, we wanted to show you a specific example of how a cloud solution can be used in local government. The example in the video below will walk you through a local government scenario and demonstrate how cloud capabilities can enable agencies to improve agility and performance, increase operational efficiencies to reduce costs, and enhance on-demand citizen services, among other things.
Not long ago this joke was buzzing around the Internet:
Question: Why was the computer late to work?
Answer: Because it had a hard drive.
David Letterman does not have to look over his shoulder but the corny little joke is loaded with possibilities for a discussion about the power of the Cloud and communities.
As the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2013 make their way toward New York this week for the annual dialogue among 250 invited global thought leaders (including Cisco’s Dr. Norman Jacknis, who will give this year’s “Revolutionary Community” keynote talk), the ingredients for the secret sauce used to re-energize communities for the 21st Century will be revealed by its “chefs. “ I am guessing that one of the revealed secrets will be that the idea of being late for work has become passé. Connectivity, when invested in properly, unleashes a new knowledge workforce and revives communities that have been looking for ways for their local economies to flourish. Certainly broadband connectivity and more affordable access to the cloud remain big drivers for community revival and at least part of the secret toward solving many problems, including commuting and productivity.
So is vision. Attendees will also hear from people like BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis , who will discuss why he believes quantum computing will be the next silicon for his community, Waterloo, Canada, the 2007 Intelligent Community of the Year. He has invested CAN$250 million in a fund to begin to make it so. He has the right environment. Waterloo, a city of only 120,000 people, produced 10% of all the publicly-traded companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2007. This was not an accident. It shares traits with Intelligent Communities everywhere.