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#SmartConnectedCity Series: A Smart Move for City Transport

If we ask why we have traffic, we find that studies show roughly 30% of all traffic congestion in urban areas is caused by drivers circling and struggling to find a parking spot.

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With cities growing at an estimated 10,000 people per hour, the situation isn’t going to get any better unless cities make some critical changes to the way they handle parking and traffic.

Cities and local government leaders can now implement two new Cisco Internet of Everything solutions—Smart+Connected City Parking and Smart+Connected City Traffic— to help alleviate many of the parking and traffic-related headaches that crowded cities face today.

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#SmartConnectedCity Series: City Infrastructure Management, City Wi-Fi and a Global Urban Services Revolution

Cities have traditionally operated their various agencies—utilities, healthcare, education, public safety, air quality, water and waste management—in silos, creating duplication in investment and limiting effectiveness.

In the face of population shifts and rapid urbanization, cities and local government leaders are realizing that in order to compete economically and grow sustainably, they have to integrate these functions and the data they generate and require.

Developing and maintaining a city’s digital infrastructure is becoming as important as the development and maintenance of its physical infrastructure. Like a fourth utility, the services offered across a digital infrastructure are becoming as essential and ubiquitous as water, electricity or plumbing. Jobs and investment—the lifeblood of the city—will depend on it.

Making this vision a reality requires that the many city vertical systems operate more cohesively, adopting an open data approach to gather and share information across a single über network. Cisco refers to this as Smart+ConnectedCity Infrastucture Management (CIM).

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Cisco #SmartConnectedCity Series Kick-Off: Re-Defining the Citizen Experience through Technology and IoE

With the annual New Cities Summit coming up in Dallas, Texas, June 17-19,  we’re kicking off a new thought leadership blog series to explore the transformation of cities through the power of technology and the Internet of Everything (IoE). The series will feature posts with an in-depth look at the juncture of innovation in cities and how technology can help transform the citizen experience and drive economic growth and sustainability.

I’m thrilled to be able to kick off this series and am looking forward to following the conversations that ensue. Given my focus on local government, I am particularly passionate about the issues facing cities and local government leadership, and feel that technology can be a very formidable force when it comes to enabling positive change to enhance and improve our communities.

Cities around the world face an increasing array of challenges: traffic congestion, parking, safety and security, waste and water management, and access to education and healthcare. Mayors and city managers are looking to technology to solve these challenges, while also finding efficient ways to provide better services, enhance livability, reduce the municipality’s carbon footprint, as well as expand the ability of its leadership to be more accessible to its constituents.

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Mobile Public Safety: Connections on the Job

Public safety agencies continually strive to improve their effectiveness and responsiveness to incidents in their jurisdictions. With increased attention on homeland security programs, these agencies demand better interdepartmental and interagency communications with important personnel, including police officers and first responders in the field.

Mobile applications supporting police, fire, and medical response units have transitioned from simple text and voice to rich multimedia applications. Real-time video, maps with satellite imagery, Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking, and global database searches are now available in handheld devices that first responders carry with them in the field. In today’s technological sphere, public safety agencies are leveraging these new capabilities and extending their existing applications in order to enhance the efficiency and delivery of high-quality services. Read More »

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#CiscoPublicSafety Series: Less Issues with Traffic, More Safety

Located in the heart of the oil and gas-rich Permian Basin, Midland, Texas started to go through an exponential growth phase in 2005 due to the increasing demand for energy. The city was feeling the impact of that growth, and in 2007,  its major arterial year-over-year traffic volume increased by 17 percent causing traffic management to become a critical imperative. Finding a solution to this traffic congestion was important not only in terms of efficiency of transportation, but also in terms of public safety.

In response to this, the head of the Midland Transportation Department, Gary Saunders, recommended the IP wireless Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS). The solution runs on a Cisco wireless network with more than 1,500 wireless access points and monitors traffic and provides notification to various departments about the status of 70 pedestrian crosswalk flashers and 119 networked traffic signals. This instantaneous data collection and reporting mechanism has allowed officials to respond with intelligence and swiftness.

The cost savings and benefits are paying off too. The following are some of the key results: 27 percent reduction in total delays per vehicle, 18 percent reduction in total stops per vehicle, and 10 percent reduction in fuel consumption. On four major arterials alone with average vehicular volume, this equates to $1.2 million in annual savings. Additionally, by implementing vehicle detection cameras, replacing wires embedded within the road’s surface and installing cameras, Midland seeks to further enhance its traffic management system. The Traffic Management Center receives real-time video from the cameras enabling the ability to assess or monitor current traffic conditions.

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