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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, Cloud and the Smart City: A Brighter Tomorrow

In my last blog, I discussed the benefits of Smart City cloud management capabilities. An intelligent IP-enabled network unites multiple services onto one infrastructure, allowing for tight operations management and lower expenses. Operating this network remotely, through the cloud, further enhances the capability for sustainable, effective city management.

As Smart City visions emerge in various projects in local government, we will see a combination of new ways of thinking, designing, planning, executing, and managing. Busan, South Korea has already discovered the powerful benefits of cloud infrastructure to create Smart+Connected Communities solutions. The government partnered with companies to create a Mobile Application Center to utilize city assets and the connected network. (You can also watch a video series, “Cities of the Future,” on Songdo, South Korea and how this new connected Smart City was designed, planned, and built.)

There are some important steps that other cities and governments can take to harness the power of the cloud to become more connected, efficient, and sustainable. A process on how to answer the Smart City call to action is further outlined in Cisco’s POV paper, “Smart City Framework,” and video.

1.     Use one intelligent, multiservice IP network.

This is the overarching mantra of a Smart City—connect systems and services to improve city livability. While it can seem daunting, it’s important to remember the long-term benefits of a connected city, especially using cloud management. Some of the most promising Smart City projects have shown that it’s possible to use the network to achieve some major goals of state and local government, including efficient city management and economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

Savvy government leaders are recognizing the untapped power of the network and incorporating its potential into the early stages of planning and development. Many cities have experimented with including information and communications technology (ICT) solutions through small-scale “proof of concept” projects. Since budgets are so limited, it can be difficult to adopt a purely centralized approach, which means trying new techniques and learning from the enterprise sector.

2.     Build a foundation for public-private partnerships.

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Smart Connected Vehicles – Changing How We Drive

The Internet of Everything is the idea that we can start connecting everything around us. Connections between people, things, and machines to produce intelligent data will lead the way we experience life. Therefore, cars and vehicles can be connected to provide a richer and more valuable driving experience. How will Cisco fall into this mix? Cisco’s intelligent network can provide the underlying platform to host innovation.

Cisco and NXP announced today an investment in Cohda Wireless to advance intelligent transport systems and  car-to-x communication. Cisco’s intelligent network will allow vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to pedestrian connections to provide a safer environment and optimize the driving experience. Your car is already filled with digital devices. Imagine what can happen if those devices; such as sensors, navigation, radio, or even lights become connected to the environment around you. Your navigation might one day lead you directly into an empty parking spot. Cisco has already begun this vision with Streetline through an app that shows real time parking in San Mateo and San Carlos.   When will this technology be implemented into all cars? Perhaps it will be 2017 or even 2014. No one knows for sure, but it is obvious that the technology of tomorrow is here.

Tune into the segment below as I explain more on how Cisco plans to revolutionize the way we drive.

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Cisco collaborates with Insigma to accelerate the development of Smart+Connected Communities in China

Those of you who have visited Hangzhou will know that it is one of the most beautiful cities in China with the stunning West Lake as one the city’s key attractions. Hangzhou plays a key role in Cisco’s innovation and research and development strategy for China, with one of our main R&D campuses based in the city. Hangzhou is also home to Insigma, a global strategic IT services and solution provider that works with leading companies around the world. Insigma collaborates closely with Zhejiang University, one of China’s oldest and most prestigious universities, based in Hangzhou. The city was therefore the perfect setting today to announce a strategic collaboration with Insigma which will deepen Cisco’s expertise in Smart+Connected Communities (S+CC) in China.

Hangzou West Lake

As part of the collaboration, Cisco and Insigma have made a strategic investment in City Cloud International Co., Ltd., a company that will help scale the devopment of  S+CC in China using intelligent networks to deliver new, platform-based cloud services across the country. Cisco has a strong collaboration with Insigma on S+CC; the company announced its smart city strategy at the Cisco Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

China’s urban population will expand to the 1 billion mark by 2030 with 350 million added to the urban population by 2025. The country will have 221 cities with a population of more than a million. I’m Dutch, and to put that in perspective, the whole of Europe has only 35 such cities today. 5 billion square meters of road will be paved. 5 million buildings will be built of which 50,000 could be skyscrapers – the equivalent of constructing up to ten New York cities. This unprecedented pace of urbanization in China is accompanied by rapid growth in the adoption of technology: video-on-demand traffic; the Internet of Things and data passing through the cloud. Cisco estimates that by 2016, China will be the second highest IP-traffic generating country in the world.

At Cisco, we truly believe technology will play a key enablement role in the achievement of China’s ambitious goals, as outlined in the 12th Five Year Plan. Sustainable urbanization, access to healthcare for everyone at an affordable cost and educational scaling can only be achieved via technology and new business models such as cloud computing. The future of competition will be between cities. Enabling overall sustainability – economic, social and environmental – using technology, will be integral for cities to develop and prosper.

Madam Jiang Yi, CEO of Insigma Technology Company Ltd. and Owen Chan of Cisco conclude the proceedings

City Cloud International Co., Ltd. will help  build Smart+Connected Communities thought leadership, platform and solutions using intelligent networks to deliver public and private services in cities across China. There has been great collaboration between the leadership teams of Insigma, which is backed up by the Zhejiang University, and Cisco led by our Greater China Chairman and CEO, Owen Chan. We are very excited about the innovation we can create for the city of Hangzhou, the province of Zhejiang and the whole of China.

At Cisco, we believe that we are creating a new industry for this next generation of smart+connected communities that will depend upon five key areas: visionary leadership, global open standards, smart regulation, public private partnerships and a new ecosystem. Our collaboration with Insigma through City Cloud International Co., Ltd is a great example of these five key areas coming together.

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New Global Customers Adopt Cisco Emerging Solutions Advisory Services

Developers and communities in Toronto, Canada, the Delhi Mumbai Industrial corridor in India, and the City of Guayaquil in Ecuador are now placing Cisco and its certified partners at the heart of their urban planning initiatives, adding to the company’s roster of global greenfield and brownfield Smart+Connected Communities™ (S+CC) projects.

As competition between cities for talent, business, investment and tourism increases, city leaders see a growing role for technology to enable the development of communities that champion social, environmental and economic sustainability. A Smart+Connected Community is designed with technology at the center to improve the efficient management of city operations, and the development and delivery of new services to citizens.

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How Will the Aerotropolis Define the Successful City of the Future?

I recently participated in a session at the 6th annual Global Competitiveness Forum, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The overall theme of the event focused on the positive impact of competition on economic and social development around the world. More specifically, I spoke on the emergence of the aerotropolis and the opportunities it presents for the development of cities. As a concept developed by John D. Kasarda and Greg Lindsay in their book “Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next“, an aerotropolis is an urban form whose layout, infrastructure, and economy is centered on an airport, offering its businesses speedy connectivity to suppliers, customers, and enterprise partners worldwide.

Globalization lies at the root of the aerotropolis. Beginning hundreds of years ago, globalization started with the basic premise of transporting physical goods between nations. As we moved into the 1980s, we saw the emergence of global manufacturing. The 1990s then ushered in the growth of global R&D. Over the last five years or so, we have transitioned into what I call the globalization of the corporate brain. We are beginning to think and act globally about our innovation, growth and talent in the corporate space – it’s all about co-creation and talent. As a global community, we have evolved from the pure transportation of physical goods to the transportation of goods and intellect.

Let’s talk a little about why the aerotropolis has gained momentum. Historically, cities have built their airports on the periphery of their borders. The land area, noise and other issues that come with airports have largely been the reasons behind this. However, times have changed, and in today’s (still) goods-based economy, planners are seeing that this layout is not conducive to developing the local economy.

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