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Smart Cities: Moving from Discussion to a Call for Action

I am in San Francisco this week to attend a City Protocol workshop along with the Meeting of the Minds 2012 conference (Twitter: @meetoftheminds), which brings together thought leaders from the world’s most innovative organizations to spotlight fresh ideas in urban connectivity and sustainability.

All week, I’ve been surrounded by urbanists and city experts talking about ways to make cities better. At many city events worldwide, I see a lot of discussion that seems to center on “what” can be done to improve our cities. This week, however, I’ve heard people asking the presenters “how” the smart innovation actually happened. That is, they wanted to know who did what, and how it was developed, operated, and financed.

This clearly demonstrates that there is need for more replicable and usable information describing “how” Smart Cities are actually made to be smarter. To fill this need, one must understand how cities operate and how Smart City “indicators” are actually delivered. Read More »

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Smart City Frameworks: A Systematic Process for Enabling Smart+Connected Communities

Interest in Smart Cities has triggered plenty of theoretical and technology-led discussions, but not enough progress has been made in implementing related initiatives. In addition, there are a number of factors hindering adoption of Smart City solutions: scaling of newer technologies is unproven; technology challenges the existing status quo in how cities are run; and technology is not well-understood across city sectors.

However, the main barrier to adopting such solutions is the complexity of how cities are operated, financed, regulated, and planned. For instance, city operations are multidimensional and comprised of multiple stakeholders whose dependencies and interdependencies affect and ultimately determine the built environment. Smart Cities, however, present an opportunity to integrate physical city infrastructures—from utilities, transportation, and real estate to city services. Read More »

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Outlining Blueprints for the ‘Digital City’ of the Future

What does the future hold for our cities?

Previous centuries saw industrial infrastructure (such as rail, highways, and telephone lines) paving the way for new cities – and for a host of new connections. Now, change is being driven by a global “network of networks” that is making it possible for everything to become connected to everything else. In 2001, about 300 million devices—computers, cell phones, PDAs—were connected. By 2010, this web of invisible connections had expanded to include everything from cars and lights to buildings and security cameras. Read More »

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Cisco Brings the Luck of the Irish to San Francisco Through Video

What are your plans for St. Patrick’s Day? Why not celebrate it the true Irish way by watching the festivities happening at the Christchurch in Cork, Ireland! For the first time ever, citizens will be able to watch St. Patrick’s Day celebrations occurring on both sides of the pond through a live simulcast link between San Francisco’s City Hall and their sister city of Cork, Ireland (more information here).

At 1:00 pm PDT, San Franciscans in City Hall Plaza will be able to see the Lord Mayor of Cork, Terry Shannon, kick off a live broadcast of Pulses of Tradition – a festival of traditional Irish music and dancing taking place inside the beautiful ChristChurch at the heart of Cork. Festival-goers on the other end will be able to see the finale of San Francisco’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade as it arrives at the Plaza, from a live display in City Hall. In addition, revelers in San Francisco will be able to toast their Irish friends as, for the first time, Moylan’s Beer (from Movato, California) will be toasted over Cisco TelePresence.

Green with envy that you won’t be in San Francisco City Hall Plaza to attend the parade? Don’t worry – Cisco and U-Stream have you covered. Check back here tomorrow, or access the live stream from your mobile phone or tablet at this link. You will join an expected 45,000 attendees in San Francisco in a first of its kind, global St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Live broadcast by Ustream

This celebration could only be enabled through the power of the network with Cisco. Cisco TelePresence Codec C90 systems in both San Francisco and Cork will provide a high-quality video connection between both cities thanks to a collaboration with service provider UPC in Ireland; Cisco TelePresence will also stream the live video out through U-Stream to remote viewers throughout the world.

Read More »

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5 Likes and 5 Loves of Social Media Week – San Francisco, Day 2 @ Cisco

As the Cisco conference room became quiet for the start of day 2 of Social Media Week – San Francisco, attendees were typing rapidly. What may otherwise be construed as rude was actually a room full of attentive people eager to post in-the-moment thoughts about the days’ presentations.

Here are 5 things I liked, and 5 things I loved:


1. Rebecca Brown, Director of Social Media at Intel, shared her guidelines for social media:  disclose who you are, never disclose confidential information, and use common sense. Now that’s refreshing, and a lot easier to follow than a verbose social media policy.

Michael Brito, left, moderating a panel with Todd Wilms of SAP, Gina Ballenger of Wells Fargo, Rebecca Brown of Intel, and Maria Poveromo of Adobe.

2. Robb Begg, VP of marketing at Radian 6 pointed out that people focus too much time on the extreme situations,  causing unwarranted fear and doubt. For every terrible outlier, there are hundreds of thousands of positive interactions and opportunities.

3. During a panel on the future of social business, Mario Sundar from LinkedIn said we can look forward to measurement tools that will be able to calculate return on investment (ROI) for social media.

Read More »

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