How do cities gather operational information? In what ways do city traffic engineers and planners gain visibility to traffic conditions and impacting weather conditions? Exactly how do Road Maintenance Supervisors determine if they need to send their crews to repair a problem? The answer is through technology.
For decades, city operatives have relied on citizens calling and alerting them to hazardous road conditions, traffic light malfunctions, and central water pipe leakages. City operatives were alerted to problems by getting calls like the following: “Hey, this is Tom Smith speaking. I live on 42nd Street and I have no power.” A couple of seconds later, Mary Jones on 41st Street reports the same information. Within minutes, 5 other citizens also called to report the same problem. At this point, the operator would have to try to find an available crew to try to diagnose the outage (Maybe it’s a transformer??). However, this is inefficient and does not optimize labor or provide the best service to citizens. Today, cities need to have better systems in place to cope with citizens high demands, so most cities are utilizing technology to stay on top of all the potential issues that will arise.
So if cities have already been using technology, why this big buzz on Smart Cities? The most significant change that we are seeing is that cities need to extract more data and make it actionable if they want to optimize their operations. This optimization includes enhancing traffic and safety, reducing pollution, improving the lives of citizens, and creating new revenue streams. Cities also now need to gather real-time information from their sources. City traffic engineers need to not only count traffic, but also monitor the various traffic directions. They look for patterns of how traffic drives behavior depending on other variables such as climate and other disturbance.
Cities are also getting data on crowds, including the number of people, their transportation mode, and the time of day, month, or week that they are traveling. This allows cities to determine when and where to light up streets and sidewalks to enhance security.
So why is this important to you as a Cisco Partner? Right now, you have an excellent opportunity to help both city leaders and citizens transform cities by utilizing Cisco’s next-generation solutions, all while generating incremental business in your municipal/public sector accounts.
One of problems we can solve together is the challenge of “Siloed Operations”. We know that the majority of cities operate multiple departments, and each of them is trying to achieve their own objectives and outcomes. Most of the time, these agencies work with their own internal budgets, do their own planning, and build their own solutions. All too often they do not even share data or results. One example we’ve seen of this exact problem involved a traffic camera located directly next to a police camera. Both cameras were using the same pole, and were even looking at the same spot… and as a result this city had two independent systems that did not talk to each other. Cisco Kinetic for Cities is a digital platform that fixes that problem. Agencies can collect data from different sources such as cameras, sensors, valves, and lights. Cisco Kinetic for Cities can then securely transport the data to an analysis and control application – either on premise or in the cloud. In addition, Kinetic is designed to share and obtain information from other sources, which will provide more information to the control application, leading to better and more innovative ways to respond to citizens. Cisco Kinetic for Cities provides a better and more cost-efficient alternative to today’s fragmented process.
Let´s look at a real example of the value Kinetic for Cities provides. Kinetic has made it possible to share pollution data points from environmental systems with traffic systems, so cities can change traffic patterns to limit vehicles in a specific zone, acting to bring pollution levels down while at the same time sending an alert to citizens to avoid walking nearby. This real time collaboration between systems is now possible! Cities including Paris, Nice, Jaipur, and Kansas City, among many others, are using Cisco Solutions to create better-living conditions for citizens while optimizing their resources.
All these benefits are possible with Cisco Kinetic for Cities and Cisco IoT Solutions. By using open APIs in Cisco Kinetic for Cities, your company can develop customized applications that create differentiation for your organization, as well as providing opportunities to offer additional professional and managed services.
Together let’s help cities assemble the best digital platform to transform the way we live, work and play. Learn more about how Cisco Kinetic for Cities is paving the way for cities to become more and more intelligent at: