Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Copenhagen again, five months after signing an agreement with three local mayors to establish an Internet of Everything (IoE) strategy throughout their municipalities in greater Copenhagen.

My purpose was to catch up on progress made since our May 28th Memorandum of Understanding, and to collaborate with the fellow signatories on next steps for implementation.

I like working with bold city leaders who not only have visions for transformation, but also who create and execute to deadlines.  Copenhagen’s leaders clearly exemplify all these characteristics. The greater Copenhagen municipality has a bold collective vision and detailed plan on how to become carbon neutral by the year 2025 – and its execution toward that goal continues to be on track.  Tangible progress here serves as a global role model for public entities everywhere that want to deliver on climate and sustainability goals.

Copenhagen’s Internet of Everything strategy – connecting people, things, data and processes to the Internet — is an integral part of its overall green game plan. I am delighted that we were able to quickly agree to “go live” dates next year for a number of IoE-based projects to digitize urban services through application-centric infrastructure.  City of Copenhagen Lord Mayor Frank Jensen, Albertslund Mayor Steen Christiansen and Vinge Mayor John Schmidt Andersen, and their highly capable staff, should all be commended for their rapid decisions to accelerate deployment of ambitious IoE projects in each of their locations.

Surveying DOLL progress with the Cisco team
Surveying DOLL progress with the Cisco team

Amazingly, considering the MoU was signed just a few months ago, two other IoE projects here are already under way.

The first is the Denmark Outdoor Light Lab (DOLL), which went live in September. In Albertslund in western Copenhagen, DOLL has carved out one square mile of the town as kind of “outdoor living laboratory,” where 37 competing outdoor LED light solutions have all been installed over six miles of roads.

A Cisco city Wi-Fi network covers this area, connecting the light solutions, providing online controls, digitized information, public access and video – all converged onto one network. The architecture reflects proven experience from work done in our IoE-based Smart City engagements in Nice, Barcelona and Chicago.

What is new in DOLL is that so many different outdoor light vendors are converging their solutions onto one network, thereby creating a seamless communications standard for the light industry. I’m excited about this innovative and unique lab, which is set to expand to a larger array of networked urban services

For more information, you can view this video, www.albertslund.dk/newlighting

The second current IoE development is a traffic monitoring proof of concept, which has gone live in downtown Copenhagen. This pilot represents the first step towards a broader traffic management platform providing real-time views of traffic that can help reduce congestion and travel times.

These IoE efforts are great stepping stones to the next series of projects that are to go live by mid-year 2015. Copenhagen city leaders and a larger partnership of city stakeholders have agreed on a short list of use cases to operationalize, which include:

  • Initial Wi-Fi deployment in Copenhagen’s downtown city hall area
  • Urban services such as smart traffic monitoring, smart parking, smart waste management and tourism services
  • Water defenses tied to a citywide network for flood detection and control

Further, Cisco will continue to strengthen and build on its collaboration with DOLL to innovate outdoor lighting solutions that conserve energy while improving night-time security, as well as develop a digital master plan for the new City of Vinge, Denmark’s single largest green field development project.

Globally, Cisco Consulting Services calculates that IoE can deliver $19 trillion of economic value over the next decade, $4.6 of it in the public sector, including $3 trillion in cities alone, where 70% of the world’s energy is consumed.  In our hundreds of IoE engagements across the globe, including here in Copenhagen, we are working to research, validate and publish the social, economic and environmental outcomes of IoE solutions like we have done in Barcelona, where $3.6 billion in economic value has been calculated and verified with city officials.

During my visit to Copenhagen, I had the opportunity to join Lord Mayor Jensen on the stage of the fourth Green Global Growth Forum, addressing how urban policy and decision makers can leverage “connected technology” to address today’s and tomorrow’s major environmental and sustainability challenges.

To the hundreds of world leaders in attendance, I emphasized that humanity cannot achieve full sustainability in a world with an exploding population and limited resources unless we innovate radical and disruptive outcomes enabled by technology. The Internet of Everything will be a key ingredient in the recipe for tomorrow’s sustainable future, as already demonstrated today throughout greater Copenhagen.

Twitter: @wimelfrink


Wim Elfrink

Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions & Chief

Globalisation Officer