Cisco announces $1 billion program for ‘smart cities’

Created November 17, 2017
News and Business

At the Smart City Expo World Congress, this week in Barcelona, (14-16 November), company announces new features and customers for Cisco Kinetic for Cities IoT data platform.

So-called “smart cities” have less pollution, safer streets, and better quality of life for citizens. But many finance officers struggle to fund the upgrades that will make their cities smart. To meet this challenge, Cisco has introduced the City Infrastructure Financing Acceleration Program – a $1 billion program aimed “to make it easier and more affordable for cities around the world to fund and adopt technologies to transform their communities.”

The funding will be provided through Cisco Capital in partnership with private equity firm Digital Alpha Advisors and pension fund investors APG Asset Management and Whitehelm Capital.

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

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The program helps cities assemble the right type or suite of finance instruments to fund and deploy innovative technology with minimal initial investment. Whether a city is looking to reduce energy usage, ease traffic and parking, or boost public transportation ridership and revenues, the program will help cities with solutions. Revenue-share financing can allow a city to tie financing to desired outcomes and extend future operating budgets through revenue streams from the new services that a digitized infrastructure makes possible.

Additionally, at the Smart City Expo World Congress, this week in Barcelona, (14-16 November), Cisco announced extra functionality to its renamed connected digital platform, Cisco Kinetic for Cities, which is integrated with the Cisco Kinetic IoT data platform.

The company says that the new features provide enhanced support for public safety. From the new full-policy automation options to an improved dashboard with integrated video, updates to the platform put citizen safety first. Real-time notification of emergency information now draws on additional IoT data sources and Cisco Spark Collaboration, enabling faster emergency response.

Cisco has added a number of new Cisco Kinetic for Cities customers. The Town of Cary, North Carolina, for instance, has created a “Living Lab”, providing smart city technologies to improve the lives of citizens. Using the platform, town officials can actively monitor the number of available parking spaces to gauge use and help with planning.

Matthew Peach

This article was written
by Matthew Peach

Matthew Peach is a freelance technology journalist specialising in photonics and communications. He has previously worked for several business-to-business publishers, editing a range of high-tech magazines and websites.