If we ask why we have traffic, we find that studies show roughly 30% of all traffic congestion in urban areas is caused by drivers circling and struggling to find a parking spot.


With cities growing at an estimated 10,000 people per hour, the situation isn’t going to get any better unless cities make some critical changes to the way they handle parking and traffic.

Cities and local government leaders can now implement two new Cisco Internet of Everything solutions—Smart+Connected City Parking and Smart+Connected City Traffic— to help alleviate many of the parking and traffic-related headaches that crowded cities face today.

Each Solution Doing Its Part

The Smart+Connected City Parking solution serves not only spot-seeking drivers, but also provides support for traffic enforcement to locate violations more easily, generate more revenue from citations, and reduce vandalism and other safety issues with automated video capture and intelligent sensor reporting. The solution also makes city-wide data available to city operations centers to improve parking planning and decision-making. Drawing on the experience of systems experts in the areas of parking (Streetline) and traffic (AGT), these powerful collaborative solutions rely on the common Cisco Smart+Connected City Infrastructure Management open data architecture.

So, imagine not only being able to help citizens get into parking spots faster, generate more city revenue via parking citations, and reduce pollution from idling cars and stop-‘n’-go braking, but the Smart+Connected City Traffic solution also makes it possible to monitor challenging interchanges for bottlenecks, identify hazardous road conditions, locate and view traffic accidents and other roadway incidents in real time, and deploy emergency response and maintenance crews more efficiently. Finally, the solution also provides critical data to improve development project knowledge and to inform planning decisions.

What Makes It Work?

We have developed a four-layer architecture that includes various types of sensors that connect securely into a “converged” network. The data then flows into a data-processing layer we have dubbed, “City Infrastructure Management,” a middleware for cities. The resulting information is then made available to various applications through application program interfaces (APIs).

We provide secure connectivity to protect the data transmission and integrate how certain elements of the network will respond based on customer-defined policies. So, not only does the parking, traffic and safety data coming from the sensors and cameras provide a richer picture of city activities, it also triggers automated network actions based on those policies, setting important city mechanisms and staff into motion. Below is a basic example for parking.

And, of course, because the equipment requires outdoor mounting, each component has been designed to run under potentially harsh environmental conditions.

A Finely Tuned Solution Engine

By bringing together cutting-edge technologies and seasoned expertise with articulated customer needs, Cisco is serving up an end-to-end architecture that is already making an impact on the day-to-day transportation challenges that cities and local government leaders face today.

NB: I’ll be part of a panel on “The Caring City” at the New Cities Summit that takes place in Dallas this week to discuss city challenges, opportunities and advancements. Other Cisco staff will be on hand to show how we can draw from our successes in 127 city projects around the world and bring some similar results to the City of Dallas. This event will be recorded and will be available on the New Cities Foundation website after the event.

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Anil Menon


Smart+Connected Communities and Cisco Deputy Chief Globalisation Officer