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Cisco Helps Almere to Become a ‘Smart Society’

by david.nunes

Cisco Helps Almere to Become a ‘Smart Society’

Together with the Municipality of Almere, IBM, Liander, Living PlanIT, and Philips

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – May 3, 2012 – The Dutch city of Almere is looking into the question of how, and how far, new technologies can be deployed to make the city a safer, healthier, and more economical and habitable place. Together with Cisco and a consortium of industry leaders, the Municipality has developed a vision for the creation of a “smart society” that will make more intelligent use of technology, people and resources for improved urban management and growth. Cisco,  IBM, Liander, Living PlanIT and Philips will, in collaboration with the Economic Development Board Almere, start working on the creation of this “smart society,” and today the companies signed a Declaration Of Intent to that effect.

Intelligent Digital Infrastructure

Together with the Municipality of Almere, the consortium also intends to improve collaboration between city departments and manage the existing urban structure more efficiently through an intelligent digital infrastructure. Cisco will primarily provide infrastructure expertise concerning the promotion of collaboration between the public, the business community and the city of Almere, as well as innovation and co-creation. The ultimate goal is to stimulate employment, the economic climate, social cohesion, innovation and sustainable urban development, and to improve urban management overall.

Urban Service Platform

Almere’s Urban Management Department is also planning to use this intelligent digital infrastructure for the exchange of information, services and applications between all municipal departments in areas such as public safety, traffic and mobility, waste management and the coordination of relief efforts in the event of disruptions, incidents or disasters in the city. Cisco will also start a study of how this urban service platform can efficiently contribute to the new “smart society.”

First Smart Society Projects

In the short term, Almere and the consortium will implement an intelligent digital infrastructure in the Waterwijk and Homeruskwartier neighborhoods that will connect individuals and public organizations, facilitating fast interaction and communication. Members of the public, businesses and official bodies will even be able to “co-create” new services.

In the long run, this approach in combination with an open service management platform will be applied to safety, energy, traffic, waste management and other management areas in the city. It will create new openings, including the construction of homes and other buildings with in-built energy production, next-generation energy and waste management, and the installation of smart street lighting.

Executive quotes:

Wim Elfrink, EVP of Emerging Solutions and chief globalisation officer, Cisco:

“Cisco is pleased to be part of this new project with the Municipality of Almere and the members of this consortium. Almere has experienced tremendous growth and expansion over the past 20 years, attracting talent, industry, tourism and firmly establishing itself as a key competitor.  The city must now innovate in the areas of safety, energy, traffic, waste management and other management areas of the city to ensure it can achieve its transformational goals of becoming a smart society. With the city’s visionary leaders, technology as an enabler, and diverse competencies within the consortium, I am confident Almere will become a role model for long-term social, economic and environmental sustainability, ultimately transforming it into a Smart+Connected Community.”

Coks Stoffer, general manager, Cisco Netherlands, explains:

“It’s about using technology to connect people, organizations and official bodies. We decided to participate because of our vision for Smart+Connected Communities, a blueprint and strategy for an urban business architecture that enables Cisco to enter into public-private partnerships. This will contribute to sustainable economic growth, improved management of local living and working conditions, and a higher quality of life. Almere is a fast growing, dynamic city and we see a lot of opportunities to develop projects, together with the local authority and our partners, that focus on smarter and more efficient urban management, public safety, smart street lighting, smart energy distribution grids, and facilities for video conferencing from home.”

Supporting Resources

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate.  Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.

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