Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cisco Unveils "Intelligent Urbanisation" Global Blueprint

Cisco today unveiled its holistic blueprint for "Intelligent Urbanisation," a global initiative to help cities around the world use the network as the next utility for integrated city management, better quality of life for citizens, and economic development.

Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, speaking from the launch at Cisco's Globalisation Centre East in Bangalore, India, said; "With the number of people living in urban areas growing from three billion today to five billion by 2030, urbanisation is a global trend impacting citizens, governments, and industries. This trend will also significantly impact the environment - the 20 most populous cities alone are responsible for 75 percent of the planet's energy consumption. In a world where all things are becoming connected, the network has become the next utility, enabling the holistic, intelligent and environmentally sustainable creation and management of cities, industries and public services."

Building on the thought leadership developed through Cisco's ongoing efforts with Connected Urban Development (CUD), the Intelligent Urbanisation initiative will bring together a broad portfolio of Cisco's products, services, partners and solutions. The initial focus will be on global sustainable solutions for public safety and security, transportation, buildings, energy, healthcare and education.

Jointly with the chief minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yeddyurappa, Cisco also announced a pilot program with the State of Karnataka to develop the roadmap for an intelligent, smart and sustainable Bengaluru city. This collaboration builds on Cisco's thought leadership and technology expertise with Connected Urban Development (CUD), a public-private partnership that includes cities like San Francisco, Amsterdam, Seoul and Singapore, which develops replicable ICT solutions to help promote sustainable, intelligent urban development practices.

As another step towards its focus on intelligent urbanisation, Cisco today announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Incheon Metropolitan City in Korea to mutually collaborate to transform the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) into a center of globalisation expertise in Asia Pacific. As part of this collaboration, Cisco will provide its experience and technologies around creating intelligent urbanisation for Incheon Metropolitan City. The model will be partly based on Cisco's previous globalisation projects in major cities in Singapore, India, Malaysia and the Middle East. The two parties also agreed to launch a joint task force to investigate legal, technical aspects of this cooperation.

Wim Elfrink, Chief Globalisation Officer and EVP, Cisco Services, said: "The Internet is quickly expanding from mobile devices and computers to become the 'Internet of Things', as it begins to encompass not only the consumer and business internet but now the industrialisation of the Internet. Cities which are run on information will transform the quality of life for citizens, drive economic growth and improve city services and management. Particularly in these tough economic times, cities that use the network to accelerate and multiply their infrastructure investments will be those who not only survive challenges but thrive and lead into the future."

"The network is also key to addressing one of the 21st century's most significant issues -environmental sustainability," Mr. Elfrink said. "While technology contributes to about 2 percent of the world's carbon emissions, it can be a substantial part of the solution. It is estimated technology can reduce carbon emissions by 15% by 2020; an environmental saving of 1 ton of CO2 per capita that translates into US$946 billion dollars in financial savings. Additionally, cities that run on information can improve their energy efficiency by 30% within 20 years."

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