As world populations migrate to urban areas, cities are often faced with new challenges, such as overcrowding, traffic congestion, pollution, resource constraints, and inadequate infrastructure, amid the desire for continuing economic growth.
To help address these challenges and identify new growth opportunities, Cisco and AT&T are forging a new alliance to build a framework to help cities better serve their citizens.
We will be using IoT innovations and bringing the smart cities framework to several spotlight cities across the United States. Communities and local universities will work together to build smart city environments. The spotlight cities and universities include Atlanta, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Chicago, and Dallas. We will also utilize elements of the Cisco Smart+Connected Communities portfolio to help city leaders better apply intelligent networking capabilities.
AT&T and its alliance members already help communities solve problems with solutions that connect utility meters, street lights and water systems. The new framework adds several new categories:
- Infrastructure – Cities are able to remotely monitor the conditions of roads, bridges, buildings, parks and other venues. Maintenance crews can identify slick roadways during freezing weather or detect bridges that may need repairs.
- Citizen Engagement – Mobile apps give people information to stay better prepared. For example, you can be notified in real time if a traffic light isn’t working on your route. You can also remotely view parking meters and reserve spaces ahead of time.
- Transportation – Digital signage lets commuters know in near real time when the next bus or train will arrive. People can rent electric bikes at stations across the city to reduce traffic.
- Public Safety – Cities can better manage traffic patterns of pedestrians at stadiums, parks, and busy intersections. Gun fire detection technology helps law enforcement know where a shooting occurred. It also helps them determine the number of people involved and rounds fired.
AT&T is also developing a new digital dashboard that gives cities a high-level look at their communities’ conditions. The Smart City Network Operation Center (SC-NOC) offers cities a dashboard view of how assets are performing in near-real time. City officials can keep tabs on power outages, water leaks, traffic issues, and more – all from one location.
Such bold thinking for such worthy goals make this initiative all the more impressive. We salute AT&T for taking on such challenges that can benefit society and we thank them for choosing Cisco to be among their leading team members to help make these goals a reality.