This blog post was co-authored by Michael Ganser, Cisco’s SVP for Central and Eastern Europe. Follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelGanser

The inter-connection among society, the economy and environment, enabled by Internet of Everything (IoE) technology, was a central theme at the recent M-Smart City Summit hosted by the City of Hamburg.

Port of Hamburg Blog Image

It is no coincidence that the Summit was incubated here and its public and private sector leaders advanced the overall theme of connecting the
.  Collectively, Hamburg’s leadership is driving a visionary strategy to digitize the entire metropolitan region, virtually connecting government, port, business, citizenry, healthcare, academia, public safety and other key organizations.

After just a few years, historic Hamburg has burst into the 21st century as not only a modernized Smart City, but also as a Smart + Connected Community, or, as some call it, a futuristic Seatropolis, anchored by the economic powerhouse of Hamburg‘s port operations.

Essential Application Centric Infrastructure

Today, we are thrilled to release a new video starring Hamburg. In “Internet of Everything Transforms Hamburg into a Smart City,” we showcase how leaders started with an ICT master plan to incorporate a single platform for collaboration, that leverages essential Application Centric Infrastructure. This integrated network stretches across departments and organizations throughout the urban landscape, seamlessly connecting people, processes data  and things — a single digital overlay to existing physical infrastructure.

With many more Internet of Everything plans still in the works, Hamburg has already realized tremendous value from its deployments. For example, just across the Elbe River at the city’s adjacent, 28-square-mile port – Europe’s second busiest —  recent technology upgrades have:

  • Reduced 15% of traffic congestion, which is affected by thousands of ships, cars, trucks and about 85 railroads”
  • Enabled 75% of savings in Operational Expense (OpEx)
  • Reduced servers from 242 to 48, resulting in 20% reduction in capital costs

Further, the port anticipates that it will need to handle a doubling of throughput to nearly 17 million containers by 2025 without expanding its footprint.

“We connect moving bridges with traffic management to increase traffic flow in the port, ” Jens Meier, CEO of the Hamburg Port Authority, says in the video. “When a ship is coming a bridge will open and you can reroute traffic to another road.

“The Internet of Everything is the critical enabler for the future, ” adds Dr. Sebastian Saxe, CIO and CDO of the Hamburg Port Authority. “We have the challenge to get more containers through the port of Hamburg. The technology is the main enabler for this opportunity.”

HafenCity Hamburg – IoE-Powered “City in a City”

Hamburg’s leaders are also faced with other related challenges resulting from the success of their actions to make the urban area more attractive for new residents, workers and visitors (tourism is growing 30% a year and a third cruise ship terminal is being built now). In addition, Hamburg is transforming an old and largely unused industrial sector across from the port into an IoE-powered “City within a City.” Called HafenCity Hamburg, the area expands the city by about 40% and will add 6,000 residences, 45,000 jobs and attract about 100,000 visitors each day.

To make traffic and life flow more efficiently in HafenCity, plans call for embedded sensors in parking spaces that can tell drivers with the right apps on their mobile devices where vacant spaces exist. With this and other Internet of Everything urban services, “Hamburg can act as a stimulator for cities in Germany and across Europe to come up with similar innovations and have leaders stepping up to drive the concept of the Internet of Everything and the digitalization of their businesses,” says Jurgen Bruns-Berentelg, CEO of HafenCity Hamburg.

And all this is just the start. Plans are under way in Hamburg for further networked expansions into the healthcare, public safety and educational sectors.  Here and in other Smart Cities such as Copenhagen, Barcelona and Chicago to name a few, digital platforms enabled by the Internet of Everything are also connecting retail, manufacturing, transportation and energy, improving how people can live, play, work and learn.

At the M-Smart City Summit, Hamburg First Mayor Olaf Scholz reminded participants:  “It is essential for us to know what we want. Once we have worked this out through joint discourse, we will be able to raise the potential of technological progress for the benefit of the common good. ”

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Wim Elfrink

Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions & Chief

Globalisation Officer