PHOTO - Cisco president, Globalization and Smart+Connected communities, Anil Menon.
The use of ICT in forming smart cities and communities must be balanced with better collaboration between governments, according to discussion of a recent IDC report by networking solutions giant Cisco.
Speaking during a regional TelePresence (Cisco TP) media conference on 16 August 2011, IDC associate vice president, Asia Pacific, Philip Carter, said the June 2011 report - 'Delivering Next-generation Citizen Services' - showed that cooperation between city governments was essential for successful and sustainable programmes.
"The study assesses the environmental, social and economic impact of Intelligent X (an IDC term for using smart technology in smart city planning) on future communities," said Carter. "Governments are moving away from asking the 'why' and 'how' in terms of sustainability programmes in the light of mega trends such as the connected nature of things, including mobile devices."
"Infrastructure issues including energy, transport, and emergency services, coupled with increasing resource constraints and environmental concerns must be balanced to meet the growing demands of a rising middle class in both developed and emerging areas of the world," he said.
"There has to be a rethink on how cities can deal with such constraints," said Carter. "There are no quick is fixes. Intelligent X as a technology area that integrates smart devices coupled with high speed communication networks need intelligent software to process, consolidate and analyse data: these will help to transform industry specific business processes that underpin urban and community infrastructure needs."
He said that ICT used in smart communities should include smart meters, smart grids, a distributed grid environment to help reduce household consumption of energy. "Automated systems could help by reducing carbon emission by 25 percent, resulting in energy savings of 50 percent. Other benefits (indicated by smart communities such as Songdo in Korea and Waterfront Toronto, Canada) may yield reductions of crime and traffic congestion by 20 percent."
'Plumbers for the Internet'
Cisco president, Globalization and Smart+Connected communities, Anil Menon, said Cisco's role as providing deep network infrastructure could be seen as being 'plumbers for the Internet.' "Of course, ICT is more about what it can enable. Cisco notes that in the next 10 years, we will see global trends towards urbanisation as more people move into communities across the world."
"Cities are also suffering from infrastructure costs, so the 'Internet of things' along with networking must be used to help build and operate a city differently, such as the new development announced in Malaysia - the tripartite agreement between UEM Land Holdings, Iskandar Investment and Cisco to turn Nusajaya in Iskandar into a Smart City," said Menon.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.