Cisco: Leadership will drive smart city success


Cisco’s Arvind Satyam believes success for smart city projects will hinge on multiple factors such as regulation, public private partnerships and the development of an ecosystem, but it “starts with top-down leadership in the city,” reports Steve Costello from Mobile World Live.

According to the MD of smart cities and IoT at Cisco: “If there is strong support from a mayor then these projects will get prioritised and connecting the silos will become easier.”

“European cities have historically been investing in smart city projects earlier than North American cities. Their investment in these projects started during the downturn as they saw it as a way to more efficiently manage infrastructure and over time save costs. Investing in a smart lighting project can lead up to a 60 per cent reduction in energy spend and a pay back in the first five to six years,” according to Satyam.

He says that “other projects like parking have resulted in net new revenue for cities. These projects can be funded by shifting existing spend into a more efficient model. The European Union is also providing funding for projects that lead to a reduction in carbon emissions and other use cases.”

PPP models which include infrastructure funds and pension funds could become a part of the new save of IoT enabled infrastructure in cities, with successful projects being developed between industry, government, and private financial institutions. While many of these are currently focused on priority ‘pain points’ such as traffic, parking, safety, and security, or pollution, use cases can be made for the implementations of, for instance, smart lighting which will drive down energy spending.

CISCO 2020 predictions

Cisco subject matter expert Kenn Dodson blogs that by 2020 a single city wide digital platform to unify all operations, data aggregation/analytics, and actions across agencies will become popular. “This will pull data from all city sensors, cameras, end points, databases, etc. and then aggregate that data into a single source, all in real-time. This data will then be pushed back out for immediate use by city leaders, agencies, businesses, universities and even citizens to take immediate actions that result in better outcomes for all.”