Cisco announces $1 billion program for smart cities

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 help, Cisco introduced the City Infrastructure Financing Acceleration Program.

It is a $1 billion (€0.85 billion) program aimed to make it easier, faster, and more affordable for cities around the world to fund and adopt technologies that will 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 (APG) 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.”

Anil Menon

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, for instance, even allows a city to tie financing to desired outcomes and extend future operating budgets through revenue streams from the new services that a digitised infrastructure makes possible.

Additionally, today at the Smart City Expo World Congress, Cisco is announcing added functionality to its newly renamed connected digital platform, Cisco® Kinetic for Cities, which integrated with the Cisco Kinetic IoT data platform. 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. For more information about the latest additions to Cisco Kinetic for Cities, click here.

Terry Yates

Cisco has also announced new purchasing options for Cisco Kinetic for Cities, including prepackaged starter solutions, which combine the Cisco IoT data platform, solution, and services with those from our ecosystem partners into ready-to-roll-out, end-to-end solution suites.

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 Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform, town officials can actively monitor the number of available parking spots—particularly spots for the handicapped—to gauge use and help with planning.

“The Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform provides us the tools we need to positively affect our citizens’ lives,” said Terry Yates, Infrastructure and network manager, Town of Cary, North Carolina. For additional information about Cary’s Cisco Kinetic Smart City efforts, reference this blog: Town of Cary, NC: Using Insights for Parking Improvements.

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