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Top 10 Smart City Trends for 2018

- January 4, 2018 - 5 Comments

Did you know that Smart Cities are poised to drive significant change in how we work, play and learn in 2018? Thanks to the explosion in big data analytics capabilities and mobile, real-time video/information sharing, historians may someday look back on this year as the fulcrum upon which technology and government fully meshed to turn their communities in a more vibrant direction.

So it’s critical that those who lead our state and local governments at every level, not just IT, understand and integrate these technology shifts proactively. From city operations and public safety to transportation and utilities, it’s time for your community to start turning aggressively towards big data analytics and real-time video/information sharing solutions as the core of your Smart City initiative. If not, you may be left behind. You can start by focusing on the following trends that are emerging for 2018:

  1. Introduction of city-wide digital platforms that can gather, aggregate, and analyze data from a variety of sources, resulting in cities that are smarter and more resilient. Learn more at Kinetic for Cities.
  2. Development of Connected Intersections as test beds and launching points for Smart City initiatives. Check out Connected Intersection.
  3. Use of computing at the edge to process data at the source for faster and more accurate impacts. See how the Edge and Fog Processing Module helps you do just that.
  4. Merging of GIS, big data, and analytics to create real-time “living maps” to model community behavior. Dig deeper on some examples at Harvard University’s Data-Smart City site.
  5. Public safety vehicles as digital hubs to scale mission fabric in real time (via ruggedized routers), allowing government to respond faster and more accurately to emergencies and natural disasters. This will include greater deployment of mobile, real-time video and data sharing. Watch how Houston is taking their first steps with Emergency Telehealth and Navigation (ETHAN).
  6. Growth in connected vehicle capabilities, especially real-time data sharing with government. This is being driven in part by NHTSA suggestions for Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communications. Did you know Cisco is already leading the Connected Car revolution with Jasper?
  7. Greater real-time citizen interaction with government through personal wireless devices. This will be driven by an enhanced user experience as a result of new government-citizen collaborative tools, including real-time video and data sharing and base-level artificial intelligence. It’s easy to get started with WebEx and Jabber.
  8. Linking autonomous vehicles with government sensors/networks to gather critical data, rather than relying so strongly on onboard sensors. You can use Connected Roadways to get started.
  9. Increased focus on human-centric technologies via app development by government. This will greatly enhance transparency of government-gathered data, leading to more trust in local government. Start by developing your own apps here.
  10. Adoption of smart city requirements into municipal codes. From the number of trees and shrubs to square footage of glass fronting streets, communities already require certain minimums for new construction. As WiFi continues to grow in recognition as a necessary utility, minimums for bandwidth, access, security, and linkage into a larger city-wide fabric will become standard code. Get up to speed on municipal codes.

Every day, Smart City technologies are enabling a better quality of life for people around the world. Through creativity and persistence (and a whole lot of passion), Cisco has become the number one Smart City solution provider in the world. And we’re excited to have successfully helped lay the fulcrum upon which our society’s future will now pivot. Thanks to the explosion in big data analytics and mobile real-time video/information sharing, 2018 will be the year that, together with our partners in government, we turn the potential energies of those technologies into Kinetic. Is your community ready for the turning?

Next Steps

“To learn more about Smart Cities, big data, and urban planning, I suggest bookmarking these great sites for future reference” – Kenn

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5 Comments

    Andrew, thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to more people-centered, urban planning that ensures Smart Cities are equitable and include the needs of all current and future citizens -especially people with disabilities and ageing residents: Lessons learned in the 20-year history of Smart Cities are testaments to the truth that successful and sustainable Smart Cities cannot be built solely upon the technology mainframe. Instead, we must support and engage the broader community, prioritize and practice people-centered urban design and provide multi-modal pathways for all citizens — including citizens who are aging and living with disabilities — to join-in and meaningfully participate in the co-creation of their Smart City. Cities are networks of individuals — and people who are aging and living with disabilities are integral to these networks, along with their families, neighbors, and caregivers. Engaging the disability and aging communities in the planning of Smart Cities is critical to ensuring alignment with citizen needs and expectations. Today more than 46 million Americans are over the age of 65, and 57 million Americans live with disabilities. Given the rapid pace of urbanization, these numbers are expected to double by 2060, creating an imperative social responsibility and global mandate to design and build Smart Cities for human diversity and social inclusion. By meaningfully and continuously engaging the public-including residents with disabilities-in all SmartCity planning processes, city leadership, urban planners & private sector partners are ensuring the systems, projects & plans they create are grounded in real community needs. In closing, I'd like propose SMART CITY 2018 TOP TREND #11:Building Smart Cities based on human diversity and social inclusion.

  1. Andrew, thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to more people-centered, urban planning that ensures Smart Cities are equitable and include the needs of all current and future citizens -especially people with disabilities and ageing residents: Lessons learned in the 20-year history of Smart Cities are testaments to the truth that successful and sustainable Smart Cities cannot be built solely upon the technology mainframe. Instead, we must support and engage the broader community, prioritize and practice people-centered urban design and provide multi-modal pathways for all citizens — including citizens who are aging and living with disabilities — to join-in and meaningfully participate in the co-creation of their Smart City. Cities are networks of individuals — and people who are aging and living with disabilities are integral to these networks, along with their families, neighbors, and caregivers. Engaging the disability and aging communities in the planning of Smart Cities is critical to ensuring alignment with citizen needs and expectations. Today more than 46 million Americans are over the age of 65, and 57 million Americans live with disabilities. Given the rapid pace of urbanization, these numbers are expected to double by 2060, creating an imperative social responsibility and global mandate to design and build Smart Cities for human diversity and social inclusion. By meaningfully and continuously engaging the public-including residents with disabilities-in all SmartCity planning processes, city leadership, urban planners & private sector partners are ensuring the systems, projects & plans they create are grounded in real community needs. So I propose TREND 11: Creating Smart Cities based on human diversity and social inclusion.

    • Darren, thanks for sharing - and I'll agree with you on adding trend #11. During my time as a Landscape Architect working on both public and private projects, we often utilized community charrettes and brainstorming events to help build consensus and get a result that truly benefited everyone. The same must be done for Smart Cities planning. Cisco is currently partnering with the Town of Cary, NC on their Smart City initiatives and I am glad to report that the town has included citizens from all walks of life in their process. It has worked well and such inclusion is definitely needed to ensure Smart Cities achieve their full potential. If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to reach out to me at kedodson@cisco.com. -Kenn

    Excellent summary Kenn. One thing I am looking towards in 2018 is finding ways to merge the work I have done with communities that is focused on resilience and mitigation with these technology solutions to achieve more of a smart, connected approach that promotes resilience. I agree 2018 could be an amazing year for the vision. A few years ago so much buzz word focus was on resilience through some of the strong programs like the Rockefeller Foundation 100RC and increased funding avenues like the $1B in HUD grants for resilience projects. Now that so much planning has been done we will begin to see to what extent communities incorporated smart technology solutions, and how committed they are to implementation.

    • Andrew, thanks for sharing your thoughts for the coming year. One thing I've noticed is that many towns and cities have implemented their Smart City initiatives piece-meal and are lacking a unifying dashboard. It's natural - they just want to dip their toe in the water a bit before diving in. But then they have issues unifying everything as they do push forward with additional solutions. So I think we will see Cisco's Kinetic Digital Platform breakthrough this year - it is unique in the industry as it can provide a 'single pane of glass' view; collecting and aggregating data gathered from all of a community's disparate solutions. Kinetic may well be the key (on the technology side at least) to pushing the long-term resilience of cities to the next level. I am optimistic.