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Transforming the World’s Largest Cities

For centuries, cities have generated most of humankind’s art, religion, culture, commerce, and technology. And while this trend is expected to continue, several challenges are emerging, including stress on aging public infrastructures, limited success of public-private partnerships, reduced budgets, and the loss of “brain power” to fast-growing suburban areas.

To revitalize the world’s largest cities, City24/7—a company committed to making public communications more accessible to everyone, everywhere—in collaboration with Cisco IBSG and the City of New York, has launched an interactive platform that integrates information from open government programs, local businesses, and citizens to provide meaningful and powerful knowledge anytime, anywhere, on any device. In short, City24/7 delivers the information people need to know, where and when it helps them most.

Located at bus stops, train stations, major entryways, shopping malls, and sports facilities, City24/7 Smart Screens incorporate touch, voice, and audio technology to deliver a wide array of hyper-local (about two square city blocks) information, services, and offerings in real time. The Smart Screens can also be accessed via Wi-Fi on nearby smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers.

The overarching goals of the City24/7 Smart Screens are to inform, protect, and revitalize. Read More »

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Arriving Soon in San Francisco – Meeting of the Minds 2012

Smarter and more connected communities – that’s not just a pretty vision, far off into the future. They are being built now, often on the basis of a renewed and intelligent city infrastructure. These communities have numerous advantages over other cities. Some of the most successful ones are approaching their development in ways that change how they deliver services to residents, how those residents work, how traffic flows are managed, how public transportation operates, and how real estate resources are best utilized.

We want those attending Meeting of the Minds 2012 in San Francisco in October as well as those watching via webcast, to build a world where everything is connected, intelligent, and green: from office buildings and appliances to hospitals and schools. Citizens will play a central role in that new world, working together with business and government and achieving unprecedented levels of collaboration, productivity, and economic growth. And it can all happen without compromising the integrity of our natural systems or our fragile environmental quality. Read More »

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Cities Are Coming of Age

Cisco IBSG is engaging with some of the world’s most dynamic cities—for instance in San Francisco, Amsterdam, and Barcelona—to jointly explore how cities can harness new technology innovations. Success for such cities can lead to smarter choices by citizens in working, next-gen commuting, and communicating.  Now, for the first time a book peels back an entirely new layer on smart cities, shedding original insight into city behaviors and opening up innovative pathways from which solutions can emerge in urban places.

Beyond Smart Cities:  How Cities Network, Learn and Innovate by Tim Campbell, chair of the Urban Age Institute, an international non-profit and organizer of “The Meeting of the Minds,” zeroes in on how cities learn.  This is a topic that’s been out of the mainstream of urban discussion, but it’s clearly in the mainstream of city practice.  Nations and international organizations have completely missed the burgeoning exchange among cities.  This important new book adduces a lot of evidence—at the level of global city-to-city exchange, as well as specific case experiences, involving face-to-face relations among urban elites—to show that some of the smartest cities make a practice of learning systematically. Read More »

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Can SMART Solutions Create Better Places?

The title for this blog post is more than just the title of a blog post. It’s a question my Cisco colleagues and I have been pondering for quite some time. And, it’s the title assigned to a panel on which I recently participated, debating skeptics who asked some good (and probing) questions. The panel was part of the American Planning Association’s 2012 National Planning Conference, which attracted thousands of attendees. As the world’s largest planning event, the conference brings together urban planners and city leaders from around the world. Read More »

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On the Road to SMART Cities: What Can we Learn from Asian City Leaders?

I recently returned from Toronto Canada, where the global Association for Asian Studies (AAS) held its 2012 Annual Conference. This four day gathering brought together thousands of Asia-watchers devoted to the sustainable and prosperous future of Asia. Alongside a rich menu of AAS’s scholarly programs, were roundtable discussions, workshops, and panel sessions, all focused on the full range of issues facing Asian citizens, governments and enterprises.

My presentation, “City-to-City Strategies: How U.S. and Japanese Cities Are Working to Improve Their Sustainability” was part of the panel, ““Climate Change, Toxic Spills, and Eco-Cities: Japanese and American Responses to Environmental Crisis.” Prof. Peter Friederici, of Northern Arizona University chaired our session, which was sponsored by The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. Read More »

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