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Transforming the World’s Largest Cities

October 9, 2012 - 0 Comments

For centuries, cities have generated most of humankind’s art, religion, culture, commerce, and technology. And while this trend is expected to continue, several challenges are emerging, including stress on aging public infrastructures, limited success of public-private partnerships, reduced budgets, and the loss of “brain power” to fast-growing suburban areas.

To revitalize the world’s largest cities, City24/7—a company committed to making public communications more accessible to everyone, everywhere—in collaboration with Cisco IBSG and the City of New York, has launched an interactive platform that integrates information from open government programs, local businesses, and citizens to provide meaningful and powerful knowledge anytime, anywhere, on any device. In short, City24/7 delivers the information people need to know, where and when it helps them most.

Located at bus stops, train stations, major entryways, shopping malls, and sports facilities, City24/7 Smart Screens incorporate touch, voice, and audio technology to deliver a wide array of hyper-local (about two square city blocks) information, services, and offerings in real time. The Smart Screens can also be accessed via Wi-Fi on nearby smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers.

The overarching goals of the City24/7 Smart Screens are to inform, protect, and revitalize.

Inform. As people interact with the City24/7 Smart Screens, they can instantly connect with information that is relevant to their immediate proximity. For example, a local resident can view real-time neighborhood news, explore local events and programs, find reviews of nearby restaurants and bars, and receive offers and promotions from merchants within walking distance.

At a deeper level, City24/7 expands the reach of government and private services to meet citizens’ needs. Conversely, City24/7 provides a venue for enhancing the urban experience by giving citizens a voice and platform for shaping their own communities.

Protect. City24/7 Smart Screens play an important role in improving the safety and security of people in surrounding areas. And once fully deployed, the Smart Screens give local police and fire departments a citywide sensing, communications, and response network that can direct needed personnel and resources exactly where and when they are needed.

Revitalize. By informing and protecting citizens and visitors, cities are more likely to thrive through increased levels of commerce, investment, and tourism. In addition, an informed and engaged public is more likely to improve its community. In this environment, property values increase, adding more tax revenue to government coffers. This allows cities to provide improved services that further revitalize the community.

Once the Smart Screens have reached critical mass in New York City, City24/7 will start the second phase, which includes expansion to Los Angeles and London, followed closely by other major cities in the United States and around the world. U.S. cities will include Boston, Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, Seattle, San Francisco, Tampa, and Washington D.C. International cities include Amsterdam, Barcelona, Milan, Munich, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, Toronto, and Vancouver.

The ultimate goal of City24/7 is to power two-way, real-time communication among city governments, businesses, and citizens, enabling Smart Cities of the future. With the help of Cisco and the City of New York, City24/7 is well on its way to transforming the world’s largest cities.

To learn more about City24/7, please read: Transforming the City of New York: New Platform for Public-Private Cooperation Ushers in Smart Cities of the Future.

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