Just last week, Chuck Robbins met with Jason Anders from the Wall Street Journal to discuss the future of smart cities. As observed by both gentlemen during their discussion, one does not simply turn a key and find themselves in a smart city. However, we are now at a place in our digital evolution that we can help solve for even the most complex challenges that exist in cities and communities.

Opening up the conversation with what a fully realized smart city might look like, it is clear that every smart city starts with its network. Intent-based, secure networking will be the foundation for successful smart city development and innovation. Smarter means everything being connected will improve and help manage the whole urban experience for each resident, visitor, local business, and public servant.

While Chuck may have been referred to as the ‘connectivity guy’ a few times, the very real problems we face in the physical world were not forgotten. We’re now in position to combat the mounting effects of urbanization, like overcrowded roadways, polluted air, and inefficient public services. However, as complex new problems crop up and the same persistent challenges evolve, smart city technologies have transitioned from nice to have applications to essential solutions that cities will need to survive, compete, and thrive.

As cities and communities embrace change, much of the value in this digital transformation will hinge on data. As our recent announcement of Cisco Kinetic for Cities outlined, getting the right data to the right applications at the right time while executing policies to enforce data ownership, privacy, security and even data sovereignty laws are all critical requirements for any smart city. The ability to capture and move data from its sources to adapt disparate pieces of information will help pave the way for more insightful city management, better citizen services, and opportunities for money-saving and revenue-generating operations.

Chuck hit home with the fundamental importance of network security, stating that Cisco blocks 20 billion cyber threats each day for its customers. With a target list of connected things that is getting infinitely longer, security must be a part of each building block of a smart city’s digital infrastructure. The risk is high, especially as threats and actors continue to adapt. It will be a balancing act for city leaders. While implementing innovative technologies that benefit citizens, fuel economic development, and ensure environmental sustainability, cities must also integrate security designed to work together to detect and stop threats.

For nearly a decade, Cisco and its partners have been committed to transforming cities and communities around the world. Exciting times lie ahead. Cisco is more committed than ever to securely connect everything to create smarter cities and communities for people to truly thrive.

For more discussions like this, join us at Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, November 14-16. And to keep up with the latest smart cities information, visit our Cisco.com page and follow us @CiscoGovt.



Cecile Willems

Director, Global Public Sector

Global Sales Organization