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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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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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Get in the Game: Connected Stadiums Enhance the Spectator Experience

Last week, I took my girls to their first Stanford Women’s Basketball game, a well played game against the University of Oregon. While there, I noticed that almost every person had a smartphone out at least once during the game—and for good reason. Stanford has upped the live sport experience for spectators.

By connecting to the pavilion’s Wi-Fi network with a smartphone, you can order and pay for concession-stand food from your seat. So, you don’t have to worry about missing anything. Plus, you’re able to view replays, participate in contests to win prizes and even play mini-games.

From connected stadiums like Poland’s new National Stadium, which will host the 2012 European Football Championship, to connected cities like Songdo South Korea, Cisco is helping to dramatically improve our experiences and quality of life by capitalizing on the power of the network.

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Smart+Connected Community Services to Roll-out Shortly in Songdo

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.

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The Race to Build the Smartest Cities

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.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7AaDJGtJGY

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.

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