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Envisioning Urban Land Institute’s Spring Meeting

Guest Post by Gordon Feller

Gordon Feller, director of the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) Public Sector Practice, Urban Innovations

As we approach the Urban Land Institute’s Spring Meeting in Charlotte this week, it is exciting to anticipate the innovative sustainability trends that will be discussed by the industry’s brightest players. Nestled in the heart of North Carolina’s connected community effort, Envision Charlotte, the ULI Spring Meeting will highlight the strides the industry is making in reducing energy in commercial buildings. Specifically, Cisco will represent how an underlying network platform can be a drive economic, social and environmental sustainability in Smart+Connected Communities. While reducing energy and improving efficiency remains top-of-mind, I believe the following key topics will share a portion of the spotlight at the meeting:

• Cost-savings through connected buildings and communities: In these economic times, the mantra of “you must spend in order to save” needs to be addressed to offer a more holistic and realistic approach to a smart investment strategy. This strategy should include looking at both short-term and long-term return on investment.

• Making Charlotte a model of sustainability: In a session moderated by Bob Baldwin, Sustainable Development Council’s vice chair, I will be specifically discussing how Envision Charlotte’s unique public-private collaboration spearheaded by Duke Energy, financial institutions and local government is leading Charlotte to become a global model for environmental sustainability and measurable community results.

• Definition of communities: As we look to Envision Charlotte as an example of a connected urban core, it is important to remember that we can define what a community means. Perhaps a Smart+Connected Community is an air force base or a college campus. Real change can occur when we realize our definition of community to not limited to square miles in an urban city. As the part of Cisco’s role as Technology Advisor and Sponsor of ULI’s Greenprint Foundation, I Iook forward to discussing this key trend and others during Greenprint’s board member meeting. Cisco will also continue this conversation at the ULI Fall Meeting in Denver and at the Meeting of the Minds in San Francisco later this year.

If you are planning to attend the ULI Spring Meeting, don’t forget to attend James E. Rogers’, president and CEO of Duke Energy, keynote address on May 9th at 4:30 p.m. As part of the keynote presentation, Joe O’Connor, senior executive director, Smart+Connected Communities, will be sitting on a panel led by James to discuss the relationship between energy, land use and real estate development. Be sure to visit our blog for a recap of this panel session as well as our other insights from our attendance at the Spring meeting. You can also learn more about Cisco’s participation at the ULI Spring Meeting by visiting: www.ciscouli.com.

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