I travel a lot due to my responsibilities at Cisco. My work takes me to cities all around the world, from centuries-old towns in Europe to densely populated cities in Latin America.  I see super-modern cities in the Middle East, and small and large metropolitan areas in the USA.  These places are very different, but they all have one thing in common: they are increasingly using technology to resolve issues and provide new services for citizens and visitors!

Now please hold that thought as I share an important insight I have learned that will help your municipal customers plan for growth.  As cities continue to transform, they are planning to provide new shared services like water, electricity, roads, and mobility. These services require a long-term view to better serve the future needs of their inhabitants. If the citizens’ demand for these services changes, the city will require a lot of additional investment, so good planning is required to execute these projects.  Longer planning cycles also mean longer implementation times, so cities should always consider extra capacity to compensate for growth of users and services.

Now I’ll swing the blog back to technology. You can go almost anywhere in the world, and you can see how cities are implementing better signaling services and traffic controllers.  Surveillance cameras are popping up on poles in cities large and small.   In some cities, you see new interactive kiosks for citizens and tourists, and many of them are offering free Wi-Fi access.

However, the way cities implement these technologies do not follow the same planning processes for shared services I mentioned earlier. Cities discover a need, find technology that can provide some help, and then implement the solution.  They acquire many specialized solutions that meet the requirements for each of the use cases.  In almost every case, the city will build out a data network to support their newly acquired technology. How many times have you found a pole in a town with three different types of cameras? Just look around, and you will see.

Cities will use many types of data gathering devices to hear the pulse of the streets and will use the data to improve their services, reducing operational cost and communicating with their citizens in a much better way. As technology evolves, cities will grow as well. That is why we at Cisco believe that Multi-Services Data Platforms will be a service like water, same as roadways or Bridges. Multi-Services Data platforms must be considered a fundamental pillar of the city infrastructure, and they must have a development plan as the others. With that in mind, on June 13, Cisco launched our latest City Architecture: Cisco Connected Communities Infrastructure (CCI) at Cisco Live 2019 in San Diego.

CCI is an architectural approach that will help cities build their urban network fabric independently of any services the city might need. CCI is an architecture that can help city planners, agency directors, and operational managers of any city department leverage a ubiquitous connectivity infrastructure to connect their sensors. For example, if I am in the water department and want to monitor my valves, I will use wireless sensors that connect to the city network.  In another example, if I need another camera at the Hudson and Main intersection, I can find the nearest switch and request a port.   There is now almost instant reach for my devices to extract the data and send it to my control rooms. Cisco’s extensive IoT portfolio of Ruggedized Switches, Access Points, Routers and Wireless aggregators like LoRA WAN, will allow the city to build the secured mega highway of data that will empower the city to transform and create a better living space.

If you are a Cisco Partner and you are interested in learning more, please visit Sales Connect Cities and Communities Hub and learn how Cisco can help our cities jump forward.


Andres Ruiz

Senior Business Development Manager

Global Partner Organization