Read the announcement below with care, since it encapsulates at least three important smart city trends.
The first is the growing desire by cities for a smart city (pick your buzzword of choice) "framework" or "platform" or "foundation." Cities no longer want to chase after individual smart city applications. Instead, they want a system they can use to build their first solution, then re-use to roll out the next one, and the ones after that.
The second is the growing call for an ecosystem -- a group of companies who can collaborate on solutions that run on top of that foundational platform. In our private conversations with city CIOs, they often say they are frustrated by vendors who show up alone to pitch products. They don't believe that any single vendor can do it all, so they appreciate vendors who have a collaborative approach.
Third is the growing realization that a smart city requires a citywide connectivity. Of course, as a Smart Cities Council reader, you knew this long ago. The idea of a citywide communications network is one of the 27 foundational principles of the Smart Cities Readiness Guide. Click to download the latest version of the Smart Cities Readiness Guide to review its advice on communications and the other 26 key principles. -- Jesse Berst
"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," said Kansas City, Missouri Smart+Connected City framework.
As part of the framework, Council Lead Partner Cisco is organizing an ecosystem of business partners to develop applications including smart lighting, digital kiosks, a development data portal and smart water innovation development which Council Associate Partner Black & Veatch will collaborate on.
An intelligent Wi-Fi network
A key element of the initiative will see Sprint deploy Cisco hardware to construct and manage an intelligent Wi-Fi network that will serve as the backbone of the connectivity platform.
In addition to the Wi-Fi network, phase one deployments along the downtown Kansas City streetcar path and surrounding areas later this year will include smart lighting and video as sensors and interactive digital kiosks and mobile citizen engagement enhancements.
Opportunities for collaboration
Through this Smart+Connected City framework, Cisco and Kansas City intend to develop an ecosystem that allows for more collaborators to join the project as it continues to be built out. Long-term goals for the smart city development are to bring on collaborators in private sector, real estate, sports and entertainment and academia.
"Kansas City is empowering its citizens, helping them become more efficient and more productive, and the city is poised to create significant new economic value. We're pleased to be part of the team that will deploy a Smart+Connected City framework," said Wim Elfrink, executive vice president, industry solutions group, and chief globalization officer for Cisco.
More on connected cities…
Seattle delivers high-powered public Wi-Fi over TV ‘white spaces’
Big Wi-Fi project underscores Adelaide’s endless quest for livability
Allied Telesis case study: Wi-Fi Helps Future-Proof Texas College Campus