News Release

Students invited to design 'connected community of the future' in Cisco Urban 2020 Competition

LONDON - January 5, 2009 - Global networking leader Cisco
Jan 05, 2009

LONDON - January 5, 2009 - Global networking leader Cisco has today launched Urban 2020, a new competition for university students across the UK and Ireland. Aimed at stimulating debate around all aspects of urban regeneration, Urban 2020 invites students to design the connected community of the future.

As technology continues to transform how people connect, communicate and collaborate, the potential exists for urban environments to become more connected, less congested and more environmentally sound. Cisco's Urban 2020 competition encourages students to use sustainable ecological principles in their submissions and to consider the impact that a changing society, technological advances and the environment will have on our communities in the future.

"The global imperatives of climate change have transformed the way in which countries, businesses, communities and people plan for the future," said Neil Crockett, director of Public Sector Operations at Cisco UK and Ireland. "The challenge we face is how to address this while building villages, towns and cities that are better places to live and work, ultimately developing connected communities that will stand the test of time."

Participating universities include Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, The Bartlett (University College London), The Robert Gordon University (Aberdeen) and University College Dublin. The competition is for undergraduate and graduate students, and entries will be judged by a panel of experts from across industry, education and the media.

Confirmed individuals on the judging panel are Mike Perry from the Intelligent Buildings Group at Buildings Research Establishment (BRE); Andy Murdoch, group director of the Infrastructure Group at Buro Happold; Howard Jones, director of Human Networks at The Eden Project; Ken Shuttleworth, co-founder of MAKE Architects; Femi Adewole, investment director at Notting Hill Housing; Dan Hill, senior consultant at Arup; John-Paul Nunes, head of Education Projects at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA); Emily Campbell, director of Design at the Royal Society Arts (RSA) and Alison Benjamin, editor - Society section, The Guardian. Neil Crockett, director of Public Sector Operations at Cisco, will chair the judging panel.

Ideas for Urban 2020 can be simple or bold and submitted in any format. Submissions can be as wide-ranging as an artist's impression, an architectural drawing, a short film, an essay, a model or a computer-aided design.

The closing date for the competition is Friday, 27 February, with finalists being invited to London for the judging ceremony on Tuesday, 17 March. Finalists' ideas will be showcased for one week at the Royal Institute of British Architects, and a cash prize of £2,000 is offered for the winning entry.

To get further information or to register your interest, please visit

Cisco Connected Urban Development

Information technology has dramatically changed the way people work. Modern issues such as climate change, mobility and evolving demographics are creating further change. New network capabilities and IT solutions are needed to allow people to work in innovative, sustainable, and more collaborative ways. Cisco is working with world-leading cities to develop innovative broadband and ICT-based solutions that will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Launched in 2006, Connected Urban Development (CUD) is a five-year program in which Cisco has invested US$15 million in people, research and equipment to help create a global community of cities committed to addressing environmental sustainability. By creating replicable 'blueprints', the program aims to extend its benefits and learned best practices beyond the initial number of pilot cities.