Municipalities around the world have been targeting broadband deployment, with varying degrees of success, as noted in our recent editorial, Intelligent Communities: A Smart Choice? The biggest U.S. city of all, New York, has committed extensive resources to make its broadband deployment a huge economic success, focusing on some traditional areas — government information, business support — and also some non-traditional areas.
Much of the program, dubbed NYC Digital, mirrors what many municipalities have already done. It includes deploying broadband access throughout the five boroughs to improve digital capabilities for industry, citizens, educational institutions, and city government itself. It also includes the traditional feature of giving citizens electronic access to government services — for example, permits, public records, and street cleaning schedules.
Residents in Songdo International Business District will soon be able to learn a new dish or take a yoga class in the comfort of their homes. A managed services company called U.Life Solutions has been set up by Cisco, Gale Internatonal, POSCO E&C and LG CNS to deliver Smart+Connected Community Services in the newly established city.
At the launch event for the new entity on July 4, 2011, celebrity Korean chef and restaurateur, Soojin Choi (picture below), taught the audience how to make a chicken salad over Cisco TelePresence.
Smart cities has been a hot topic for governments around the world for several years as climate concerns, rising urbanization trends and increasingly technology-savvy citizens is driving demand for connected and sustainable cities. The race to build smart cities will only intensify as competitive pressures build up amongst cities to attract the best talent and investment, says Dr Steve Hodgkinson, research director for Ovum, the analyst and consulting company.
Dr Hodgkinson, based in Melbourne, Australia, was speaking to press from around the Asia Pacific region over TelePresence and WebEx about a new report which he authored: “Is your city smart enough?”. The report cements the role of ICT as an important factor in designing, building and operating smart cities sustainably.
Imagine being able to download services such as an e-learning course, health check-ups or a high-definition video conference session with your friends, family or business associates anywhere in the world from your smart phone or network-enabled TV at home.
Need to tweak your energy usage up or down? Check on your little one in kindergarten? Or ask your city council to help with some bulky refuse? Just a few taps on your smart phone or remote control gets the job done.
Just as we today download apps for our iPhone or Android devices, citizens in Busan Metropolitan City, at the heart Korea’s second largest mega city region, will soon be able to request for services or download applications for their everyday needs.
Busan may only have a population of around 3.7 million but it’s the world’s fifth largest port, and also a leading producer of semi-conductors, automobiles and iron and steel. The city is clearly aiming higher and working with private sector companies like Cisco to achieve its ambitions to be a smart city.
This bold vision took the first step towards reality with the opening of an innovation center, called the Busan Mobile Application Center (BMAC), which will provide developers with an environment to create and test these applications and services.
Cisco EVP and chief globalisation officer Wim Elfrink presented at the Web 2.0 Summit in the Palace Hotel in San Francisco today to discuss four of the major demographic and economic shifts that are underway on a global basis and to outline how Cisco’s vision of a new framework for urban sustainability will entail the creation of a whole new industry. You can watch the 15 minute replay of Wim’s presentation here (introduced by John Battelle of Federated Media).
Iain Thomson of V3.co.uk also met with Wim earlier and discussed the work we are engaged in with the London Olympic Park Legacy Company to create a liveable community that can be sustained beyond the Games themselves, and highly-connected new Smart+Connected Community projects in locations such as Songdo, Korea amongst others.
We’d love to hear your views of how you think the next 30 years of the Internet could develop with these shifts in mind and as the introduction of IPv6 underpins the transition to the ‘Internet of Things’.