Cities have traditionally operated their various agencies—utilities, healthcare, education, public safety, air quality, water and waste management—in silos, creating duplication in investment and limiting effectiveness.
In the face of population shifts and rapid urbanization, cities and local government leaders are realizing that in order to compete economically and grow sustainably, they have to integrate these functions and the data they generate and require.
Developing and maintaining a city’s digital infrastructure is becoming as important as the development and maintenance of its physical infrastructure. Like a fourth utility, the services offered across a digital infrastructure are becoming as essential and ubiquitous as water, electricity or plumbing. Jobs and investment—the lifeblood of the city—will depend on it.
Making this vision a reality requires that the many city vertical systems operate more cohesively, adopting an open data approach to gather and share information across a single über network. Cisco refers to this as Smart+ConnectedCity Infrastucture Management (CIM).