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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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When ‘Machine-to-Machine’ Revolution Meets ‘Smart Cities’: A Glimpse into the Discussions inside San Diego Public Sector + Tech Community

A “Smart Cities” special event was organized in San Diego on June 27 by the Daniel Obodovski, a Director at Qualcomm. Daniel serves as the Co-Chair of a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Special Interest Group (SIG) of CommNexus San Diego, a non-profit technology industry association that works to accelerate the formation, growth, and success of the technology industry in the San Diego region.

The M2M SIG is focused on wirelessly connected devices, which fall outside of the mobile phone and tablet space, commonly referred to as “the Internet of Things” (IoT) -- the wireless connectivity between the virtual and physical world around us. The M2M SIG addresses a spectrum of issues of the machine-to-machine area including: time-to-market challenges, new business models, market opportunities, technology constraints and solutions. This is a new SIG within CommNexus San Diego, and it aims to connect the best carriers of expertise with developers, entrepreneurs and investors. Forums such as this “Smart Cities” special event are one example of how they make these connections. 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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