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Inside One Asian City’s Strategy

Busan is at the forefront of something big.

As South Korea’s second-largest metropolitan city, Busan boasts a population of about 3.6 million, and is home to a slew of major companies, government agencies, universities, annual festivals, and conferences. Busan is the country’s largest container-handling port, and the fifth- largest in the world. Like other metropolitan areas, the city struggles with managing terrible traffic congestion and the attendant high logistical costs; maintaining job-creation momentum for the 60,000 high-quality and high-skill job seekers who graduate from area universities each year; and meeting the demand for an innovative city operations system that helps ensure global competitiveness.

Cisco IBSG has been working with Busan’s Metropolitan Government to develop plans for a “u-City.” U, in this case, stands for “ubiquitous,” which also describes the city’s broadband penetration. Busan’s “smart and connected” urban communities use the network as a platform—on top of which it can deploy innovative urban-planning solutions and city management services. The city uses the network to connect, process, and share information efficiently, and in real time. Read More »

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New ways of governing: the Lincoln Institute’s approach promises something better

How can advanced network technology help governments to ‘listen better’ and ‘listen smarter?’ This is not a rhetorical question: planning has traditionally been a top-down affair, and this approach has, frankly, gotten us all (and particularly our cities, counties, and states) into a world of trouble.

There is a plethora of amazing technology at our disposal; how can we use them in new ways to empower decision-making that’s both bottom-up and top-down?

There is some good news to report: the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a think tank well known for traditional academic research, is embracing cutting-edge technology in planning and tools for civic engagement. Read More »

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Arriving Soon in San Francisco – Meeting of the Minds 2012

Smarter and more connected communities – that’s not just a pretty vision, far off into the future. They are being built now, often on the basis of a renewed and intelligent city infrastructure. These communities have numerous advantages over other cities. Some of the most successful ones are approaching their development in ways that change how they deliver services to residents, how those residents work, how traffic flows are managed, how public transportation operates, and how real estate resources are best utilized.

We want those attending Meeting of the Minds 2012 in San Francisco in October as well as those watching via webcast, to build a world where everything is connected, intelligent, and green: from office buildings and appliances to hospitals and schools. Citizens will play a central role in that new world, working together with business and government and achieving unprecedented levels of collaboration, productivity, and economic growth. And it can all happen without compromising the integrity of our natural systems or our fragile environmental quality. Read More »

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Cities Are Coming of Age

Cisco IBSG is engaging with some of the world’s most dynamic cities—for instance in San Francisco, Amsterdam, and Barcelona—to jointly explore how cities can harness new technology innovations. Success for such cities can lead to smarter choices by citizens in working, next-gen commuting, and communicating.  Now, for the first time a book peels back an entirely new layer on smart cities, shedding original insight into city behaviors and opening up innovative pathways from which solutions can emerge in urban places.

Beyond Smart Cities:  How Cities Network, Learn and Innovate by Tim Campbell, chair of the Urban Age Institute, an international non-profit and organizer of “The Meeting of the Minds,” zeroes in on how cities learn.  This is a topic that’s been out of the mainstream of urban discussion, but it’s clearly in the mainstream of city practice.  Nations and international organizations have completely missed the burgeoning exchange among cities.  This important new book adduces a lot of evidence—at the level of global city-to-city exchange, as well as specific case experiences, involving face-to-face relations among urban elites—to show that some of the smartest cities make a practice of learning systematically. Read More »

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Can SMART Solutions Create Better Places?

The title for this blog post is more than just the title of a blog post. It’s a question my Cisco colleagues and I have been pondering for quite some time. And, it’s the title assigned to a panel on which I recently participated, debating skeptics who asked some good (and probing) questions. The panel was part of the American Planning Association’s 2012 National Planning Conference, which attracted thousands of attendees. As the world’s largest planning event, the conference brings together urban planners and city leaders from around the world. Read More »

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