Although the Portuguese city of Caldas da Rainha traces its history to 1484, it’s thoroughly modern when it comes to using IoT to become a smarter, more livable and more prosperous community. In fact, it’s setting a compelling example that other cities can follow as they work to unlock IoT’s potential.

Caldas da Rainha is typical of Portuguese cities – that is, managed through a federation of municipal authorities and organizations, each with its own leadership, processes and infrastructure. In the past, these silos have created some challenges when it comes to IT management. For the city’s IoT vision, leaders knew they needed to implement a single, enterprise approach that could provide network interoperability and flexibility to accommodate dynamic needs and diverse ways of working.

They found such an approach working with Cisco IoT and our partner, Actility.

Caldas da Rainha has invested in a full breadth of products from the Cisco IoT portfolio – including industrial switches and IoT gateways – to provide connectivity throughout its footprint of 250 square kilometers. Building on a core of Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches, the city has installed Cisco Industrial Ethernet 4000 Series ruggedized switches to provide street-layer connectivity and Cisco Industrial Ethernet 1000 Series to cover remote areas. Caldas da Rainha also implemented low-power Cisco LoRaWAN™ Gateways to connect a growing array of IoT sensors and devices, and it counts on Cisco wireless access points to provide Wi-Fi to city residents and tourists. The city uses Cisco Prime to keep it all humming.

According to Actility, Cisco and Actility’s partnership is opening doors to a wide range of new ecosystem partners that can easily embrace technology like LoRaWAN networking because not only is it an open, standards-based framework, it makes network rollouts very much future proof. It then becomes increasingly interesting for the city to develop this long tail of applications on top of the same network.

That’s exactly what Caldas da Rainha is doing in collaboration with Actility, which helps orchestrate the city’s growing collection of IoT applications – including solutions for improving water management and monitoring parking, bus systems and waste collection. For example, the city has IoT sensors monitoring water quality and consumption. Within the first few weeks of testing, the system detected a leak of 200,000 liters – and then helped in controlling and correcting the problem. To date, Caldas da Rainha has reduced water management costs by 33 percent. The city has also reduced waste collection costs by 67 percent and slashed the time to find a parking spot in half.

“Our Cisco network is an important new chapter of our magical city and the future.”

Fernando Manuel Tinta Ferreira, Mayor, Caldas da Rainha

These improvements are only the beginning. With the Cisco network in place, the city can confidently adopt more IoT devices, sensors and applications that support a wide variety of smart city solutions – from smart streetlamps to smart buildings with artificial intelligence and much more.

As other cities look to migrate from proprietary to open, standards-based technologies – making it possible to accommodate diverse requirements and continually interoperate the latest solutions – Caldas da Rainha offers an inspiring example of success.


Sarah Roper

Content Marketing Manager

Cisco Internet of Things (IoT)