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#ExecInsights: Transforming Tomorrow’s Smart Cities… Today

This past week, the Meeting of the Minds convened in Toronto, Canada with more than 375 invited CXOs debating the convergence of urban sustainability and connected technologies. During the three-day summit, a variety of smart public policies and breakthrough technology innovations were presented by leading innovators.

The solutions showcased– from lighting to energy grids to parking – are all designed to enable cities and metro-regions to better respond to increasingly complex challenges: urban planning, city design, network technology and infrastructure. As a keynote speaker, I had the opportunity to address a topic that was top of mind for many of these leaders – The Smart City Powered by the Internet of Everything (IoE).

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What’s Next for the Internet of Everything and Cities?

Today’s cities are experiencing the emergence of a new imperative from public leaders and industries. “Digital urbanism” is rapidly becoming a central pillar for urban planners, architects, developers, and transportation providers, as well as in public service provision.

From a public leadership perspective, cities can be viewed as microcosms of the interconnected networks that make up the Internet of Everything (IoE). In fact, cities serve as “fertile ground” for realizing value from IoE.

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Intelligent Communities Global Blog Series, How to Be the Most Intelligent Community in the World?

One of the questions I was asked about the awards given by the Intelligent Community Forum is what does it take to become an intelligent community.  I’ll try to summarize what I’ve learned from participating in the ICF as a keynoter, juror and (before Cisco) a leader of a Top 7 community.

Among the few hundred communities that apply in this contest, it is clear the first step is make sure the community has sufficient broadband.  Almost all of the things that intelligent communities can do for and with their residents depend upon that connectivity in one way or the other.

Second, high-speed connectivity is not enough to stand out in this global competition.  The next question is what a community does with the technology.  Is it transforming:

  • The way that residents interact with their government?
  • How residents — from pre-kindergarteners to seniors — are educated?
  • How well the physical aspects of the community are managed?
  • How residents are kept healthy and safe?
  • The local economy and the income opportunities for residents?

… Just to name some of the evidence that ICF is looking for.

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Intelligent Communities Forum Co-Founder Louis Zacharilla preparing to announce the 2013 winner. Read More »

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Intelligent Communities Global Blog Series–The “Connected Boulevard”: Taking the Fast Lane to the Internet of Everything

As urban growth accelerates and resources are stretched thin in cities around the globe, the concept of “Smart Cities” is more important than ever before. That’s one reason I’m excited to be in Nice, France, this week to help launch the “Connected Boulevard,” an ambitious proof of concept built to leverage and anticipate the Internet of Everything (IoE) for smart and connected city services.

The Connected Boulevard is the first real-world example at the city level of how IoE is enabling infrastructure intelligence and value through connections among people, processes, data and things. This proof of concept involves 200 sensors and detecting devices in the city center of Nice, providing context-aware information on parking, traffic, street lighting, waste disposal, and environmental quality.

Click on the video below to see the Connected Boulevard in action and to hear Mayor Christian Estrosi and Director General Anne Boquet explain how the Internet of Everything is helping Nice to realize its plan to become a Smart City.

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Intelligent Communities Global Blog Series Kickoff, The World’s Smartest Cities

I can hardly wait.  In two days the suspense will be over and the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) will have selected its 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year.  With so many extraordinary and innovative communities in the running, I’m glad it’s not up to me to choose one.  But I do have the thrill and privilege of seeing it all happen, live in New York City at the ICF Summit this week.

I and the other attendees will no doubt listen in awe to the inspiring leaders from all around the world as they talk about the way their organizations are changing the way people in their communities or regions work, live, play, and learn.  Who will be this year’s winner?  One strong candidate is Toronto Canada, one of this year’s Top7 communities.  Learn more about their initiatives in the video below:

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Later today, we’ll hear from Toronto’s Councillor, Michael Thompson, and have the opportunity to pick his brain during a group Q&A session to learn more about how Toronto is improving their economic and social environment by providing community network services to its constituents, with its energy-reducing smart and connected buildings to link residents and businesses, with portals and kiosks to provide real-time services to citizens, and with smart sensors and surveillance for public safety.  I’d say they’re a pretty tough contender!

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