Smart City Frameworks: A Systematic Process for Enabling Smart+Connected Communities

October 10, 2012 - 0 Comments

Interest in Smart Cities has triggered plenty of theoretical and technology-led discussions, but not enough progress has been made in implementing related initiatives. In addition, there are a number of factors hindering adoption of Smart City solutions: scaling of newer technologies is unproven; technology challenges the existing status quo in how cities are run; and technology is not well-understood across city sectors.

However, the main barrier to adopting such solutions is the complexity of how cities are operated, financed, regulated, and planned. For instance, city operations are multidimensional and comprised of multiple stakeholders whose dependencies and interdependencies affect and ultimately determine the built environment. Smart Cities, however, present an opportunity to integrate physical city infrastructures—from utilities, transportation, and real estate to city services.

Smart City development and services is a major theme at the Meeting of the Minds 2012 conference in San Francisco, CA, September 9-11, 2012. Presented by Toyota, with global sponsorship from Philips, Deutsche Bank, and Cisco, this event continues an ongoing global dialogue among the public and private sectors, NGOs, academia, and citizen groups. Leading urban thinkers will engage in lively discussions on how to “connect the dots” across key sectors: mobility, building systems, energy and water resources, and finance.

Alongside this, earlier this week, I moderated a session on scaling Smart City initiatives at another event, the Urban Knowledge and Research Symposium, in Barcelona, Spain.

To fuel the debate for both events, and the on-going global dialogue, a new Point of View from Cisco IBSG defines what we call a “Smart City Framework” designed to move the Smart City debate from merely an academic or esoteric discussion to a call for action. The City Protocol Society is a group that is taking positive steps in this direction.

Smart City Framework Layers (from bottom to top).

The Smart City Framework proposed in this paper describes a potential process that will help key stakeholders and city/community participants 1) understand how cities operate, 2) define city objectives and stakeholder roles, and 3) understand the role of ICT within physical city assets.

Click here to read the full Point of View, and discover further leading urban innovations at

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