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Cisco invests $1bn in smart cities

Cisco aims to help more areas develop smart cities using advanced technology.

By April Slattery

More smart cities are set to be developed as Cisco has announced a new $1bn investment programme to help transform cities around the world.

In the past investment has been lagging in the smart city space, which is one of the reasons why Cisco has introduced the City Infrastructure Financing Acceleration Programme.

Cisco’s new $1bn venture is designed to make it easier, faster and more affordable for cities across the globe to fund and take on technologies that will help transform communities into safer places with a better quality of life for residents.

The aim of the programme is to allow cities the ability to build the right financial instruments to fund and install innovative technology with the least amount of investment in the initial stages of creation, whether its projects to reduce energy, ease traffic or boost public transportation.

Methods such as revenue-share financing will allow a city to tie financing to their desired outcomes and extend future operating budgets through revenue streams produced from the new services that digitised infrastructure make possible.

Funding for the programme will be provided from Cisco Capital in partnership with Digital Alpha Advisors, pension fund investors APG Asset Management and Whitehelm Capital.

Cisco invests $1bn in smart cities

Monitoring car park spaces is just one area smart city technology helps.

Anil Menon, Global President of Cisco’s Smart and Connected Communities, said: “Funding is a major stumbling block for municipalities beginning their smart city transformation.

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“With our partners, Cisco will bring the capital and expertise it takes to make smart city projects a reality. Digital Alpha, APG, and Whitehelm Capital bring a fresh perspective on investment in an area that has previously been perceived as too new and, therefore, too difficult to finance.”

In addition to the financing programme, Cisco has also introduced added functionality to its new digital platform Cisco Kinetic for Cities, integrated with the Cisco Kinetic IoT data platform.

New features added to the platform will provide improved support for public safety – from full-policy automation and improved dashboard features with integrated video, to ultimately putting the safety of citizens at the heart of the platform.

Furthermore, the platform now draws more from IoT data sources that allow real-time notifications of emergency information to be produced allowing faster emergency responses.

Supporting the platform even further, Cisco has developed more options for Cisco Kinetic for cities by integrating pre-packaged start solutions that combine Cisco’s IoT data platform, solution and services from ecosystem partners in ready-to-roll-out, end-to-end solution suites.

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Cities already using the platform include the town of Cary in North Carolina, which has developed a ‘Living Lab’ that provides smart city technologies to improve citizens lives in the area.

Using Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform, officials can monitor the amount of available parking spots constantly, particularly those spots for handicapped residents. Overall helping cities create a smarter, safer city for residents to live in.

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