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Nice, France: A Model City of the Future in the Making


Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities efforts around the world have seen both the creation of new cities and the revitalization of existing ones. Although we’re no strangers to the transformation process, it is still eye-opening to see one of the oldest areas of France well on its way to becoming a model city of the future.


Nice by Night

Last month, Cisco and city officials of Nice, France convened at the Innovative City Convention to announce a strategic collaboration in future development. In recent times, policy makers and industry leaders have increasingly been tasked with city improvement goals that require the careful integration of citizen needs, city-wide operations and prevailing infrastructures. Through the signing of an MoU, both parties have agreed to embrace a more holistic view in the next stage of planning and development for Nice. As a key technology partner, Cisco plays an important role in taking advantage of our core networking competencies to transform Nice from a physical community into a connected community. With the help of relevant technologies, we hope to create the level of innovation and socio-economic development needed to bolster the city’s sustainability, growth and global competitiveness.


As the fifth most heavily populated city in France, Nice sits on 28 square miles of land and houses around 350,000 citizens. Projects that are being put into place will largely focus on improving quality of life, creating jobs, sustaining the appeal of local industries and maintaining overall social welfare. The implementation of networked technologies will aim to provide the following:


  • A network of smart sensors connected to intelligent communication systems that are capable of capturing and analyzing relevant data on city operations
  • Mechanisms in place that will alert citizens on air/water quality and flash flood warnings
  • Technologies that provide drivers with pertinent information on traffic patterns and available parking, with the aim of improving traffic flow
  • Consumer mobile devices that help facilitate payment for services and customize on-demand data for nearby recreational activities and entertainment
  • Technologies that nurture and promote interaction amongst students, teachers, neighbors, researchers, companies and governments
  • Improved healthcare technology that provides efficient care at a distance, diagnostics and treatments to improve citizen health


In taking a more holistic approach to planning and development efforts, the city of Nice has taken on the economic and social welfare of its citizens as a priority. The development of new services and industries will effectively help create new jobs, while innovative technologies will support better education, healthcare and workplace services. As a testing ground for many of these solutions, we’re optimistic that Nice will one day serve as a model for what a smart and connected community could achieve.


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Work-Life Innovation: Impact on the Individual

Networked technologies have made work and learning increasingly mobile and highly flexible. So much so that employees are now choosing work-location flexibility over a higher salary and employers are providing workers with the tools to facilitate this. Cisco IBSG calls this “Smart Work.” Of course, the ability to make flexible working a viable option depends on a number of factors, including availability of good broadband connectivity, employer trust, the nature of the work in which an employee is engaged, and suitable social software and video technologies that enable the employee to remain in a connected (albeit virtual) work environment.

Employees, too, have to develop a new form of self-discipline that involves maintaining a good work-life balance; rather than working longer hours, this entails spending much of their extra time with family, in the community, or furthering their own personal and professional development. Read More »

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The Future of Work-Life Innovation: The Role of Networked Technologies

A number of forces are changing how we work, live, and innovate: pervasive technologies, distributed ways of working, “space rather than place” as a work ethos, new methods and modes of work, access to shared services, open versus closed innovation, a new generation of workers, environmental concerns, and macro socioeconomic shifts.

Given a choice, people will demand freedom to work, live, and innovate in ways that meet their individual lifestyles, unfettered by place. Meanwhile, pressures to reduce costs and seek new approaches to innovation are causing many private and public organizations to rethink how work gets done. Read More »

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Participation, Collaboration, Community

Key to the development of effective public sector strategies for resilience, innovation, and productivity is the ability to navigate at unprecedented scale and speed, complex and distributed communities (networks) of information, people, and things. By tapping the power of these networks, communities can effectively share ideas, expertise, and knowledge, encouraging richer levels of participation.

Smart City development and services through partnerships, collaboration, and community was a major theme at the London Policy Conference (#lonconf) on December 12-13, 2011. Jointly hosted by IPPR, a leading UK think tank, and London’s new think tank, The Centre for London (incubated by Demos), the conference was a platform and network for all those with an interest in London’s future. Sponsored by Cisco alongside other private and public organizations, senior leaders from the public, NGO, and private sectors convened to discuss the major policy challenges facing London and how its future might be best shaped.

Read More »

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Cloud-Based Services Infrastructure Transforms Busan Metropolitan City

The need for cities to balance social, economic, and environmental resources is becoming increasingly critical. Cities, however, now have an opportunity to use the network as the platform for visualizing and modeling urban infrastructure to provide innovative urban services and manage urban sustainability. Using the network as the fourth utility (in addition to electricity, water, and natural gas), cities can integrate multiple systems to deliver on-demand services over an Internet-enabled cloud infrastructure supported by open innovation.

Busan Metropolitan City is one example of a city poised for Smart City development. Busan is South Korea’s second-largest metropolis and home to the fifth-largest port in the world. It also boasts an established 10GB broadband infrastructure, Busan Information Highway. As the city continues to grow, it faces the same environmental, economic, and social issues as other metropolitan areas. Because of this, the Busan government is investing in expanding the existing broadband infrastructure to improve urban services and service quality. Read More »

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