In the Netherlands, the City of Groningen and the University Medical Centre Groningen have signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ICT solutions provider Huawei, in a bid to explore the possibility of developing Groningen into a smart city.
The agreement was signed at the conclusion of Huawei’s European Smart City Summit held in Amsterdam this week. The summit was held in conjunction with Amsterdam’s 5th Smart City event, where Huawei deployed a high density wifi network in the Amsterdam Arena giving attendees full access to content-rich media and allowing them to use social networks to share their experiences.
The Chinese networking and telecommunications company has provided smart city solutions to more than 100 cities in over 40 countries globally. Groningen is the fourth city after Amsterdam, The Hague, and Tilburg where Huawei’s solution will be deployed in a bid to digitize the city through its communications solutions.
Through the partnership, all city institutions and services will be made smarter. The technologies developed under Huawei’s smart city concept will encompass smart government, safe city, smart emergency command, smart hospital, smart education, smart grid and smart tourism.
Commenting on the partnership agreement, Leon He, president of Huawei Western Europe Enterprise Business said that smart city solutions will contribute to the city of Groningen in a way that will bring about improved quality and intelligence to citizens’ lives, whilst enhancing environmental protection, as well as public and urban services.
Smart cities worldwide
Further afield in the US, Kansas City has signed an agreement with network solutions provider, Cisco to develop and deploy a Smart+Connected City framework in a bid to transform public services and enhance the overall citizen experience in urban areas.
Kansas City and Cisco will be working with several other projects partners including Sprint (telecommunications), City Post (media), Black & Veatch (engineering) and Sensity Systems (smart lighting) with the aim of creating a scalable and self-sustaining framework for smart city services.
Sprint will deploy Cisco hardware to construct and manage a smart Wi-Fi network which will serve as the ‘backbone’ of the connectivity platform.
Services afforded to citizens during the first phase include a “Living Lab" development data portal managed by ThinkBig Partners, and an Enterprise Mobility Services Platform to enhance the resident and visitor experience over a mobile app.
Apart from the implementation of smart city urban services, the framework is envisioned to provide entrepreneurs and start-up companies with a basis to test new technologies and ultimately advance job opportunities.
In a media statement, the Kansas City Mayor Sly James said: “The agreement we are entering today will improve the livability, connectivity, efficiency and economic vitality of Kansas City in ways we cannot yet even imagine, and for generations to come.”