Hamburg will swiftly emerge as the world’s first Smart Seatropolis.

With an advanced, end-to-end network that connects real-time information between urban services and adjacent port operations, historic Hamburg is leapfrogging into the 21st century.

Two weeks ago, I signed an agreement with Hamburg’s city officials to co-develop a framework upon which Internet of Everything wim blogservices can deliver container loads of new value to both citizens and businesses, especially the Hamburg Port Authority.

The Memorandum of Understanding focuses on how to collaboratively define, develop and deploy inter-linked solutions and services throughout the greater metro-port area – the Seatropolis!

At the 28-square-mile port – the third busiest in Europe – sensor-enabled Smart Parking for large cargo trucks will speed the flow of traffic for both transporters and commuters, as well as reduce pollution from idling engines. With throughput of 139 million tons at the port last year, Smart Parking for trucks – a world first — has the dual benefit of improving supply chain efficiency and the quality of life for Hamburg citizens living, working and visiting just across the mighty River Elbe.

In picturesque Hamburg itself, Germany’s second largest city with nearly 2 million residents, plans now are under way to build a new generation of IoE-based urban services. Last year, Hamburg received the prestigious “Urban Land Institute’s Global Award for Excellence,” but visionary city leaders here want to raise its Smart City benefits to new heights.

Today, the city is eyeing new ways to instantly inform city dwellers about traffic patterns everywhere, alert them about emergencies or report environmental conditions or entertainment and dining options. This will be done via Internet-linked applications accessed via strategically located kiosks or anyone’s own mobile device.

Plans also call for exploring new Smart Lighting solutions that combine the latest lighting technology, motion sensors, video monitoring and digital data fed to sophisticated algorithms that dynamically adjust settings. Other cities implementing similar Smart Lighting have seen dramatic reductions in energy consumption, costs and even crime.

These few examples are just the foundation of how connecting the unconnected can provide economic, social and environmental benefits. I can attest that Hamburg First Mayor Olaf Scholz understands this, as do other visionary leaders here, such as Sen. Frank Horch (Economy, Transport and Innovation) and Jens Meier (CEO of the Hamburg Port Authority).

They also understand two other important keys required to unlock the Internet of Everything: First, the Seatroplis must be overlaid with an essential Information Communication and Technology (ICT) infrastructure capable of linking things, people, processes and data to the Internet.  This digital infrastructure must be based on open standards and a flexible architecture to integrate the proliferation of apps for everything from smart parking and taxi services to customized shopping discounts and ways to remotely turn off the lights at home.

Second, Hamburg’s leaders also understand they cannot do this alone. It requires a global and especially a local ecosystem of technology, service and academic partners, and relies heavily on innovative developers of applications. I applaud Hamburg’s leaders for encouraging more partners to join the Internet of Everything ship in Hamburg.

In his remarks at our signing ceremony on April 30th, Sen. Horch stated that he envisioned a future when drivers will be automatically redirected when an accident occurs, a water pipe bursts, or a truck breaks down. He envisioned a time when parking spaces can be secured virtually and route proposals are sent directly to one’s phone.

Personally, I am confident that in Hamburg these visions will be turned into real-world realities and value, not only for the city but also for the port, creating a truly, inter-connected Smart Seatropolis.

German Media Coverage:

Hamburg working closer together with Cisco Systems

Connected city – Hamburg and Cisco agree on cooperation

Hamburg as Smart City for the future?

Short news RTL Nord: http://rtlnord.de/nachrichten/kurz-kompakt-vom-30-april-2014.html (starts at 01:18)

Hamburg to become a smart city


Wim Elfrink

Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions & Chief

Globalisation Officer