News Release

Network as the Next Utility for "Intelligent Urbanisation"

Initiative launched from Cisco's Globalisation Centre East, helping cities use technology to cultivate sustainable, intelligent industries, citizen services, and economic growth
Feb 12, 2009

Date/Time Stamp: February 12, 2009


Cisco today unveiled its holistic blueprint for "Intelligent Urbanisation," a global initiative to help cities around the world use the network as the next utility for integrated city management, better quality of life for citizens, and economic development.

Key Facts:

  • Building on the thought leadership developed through Cisco's ongoing efforts with Connected Urban Development (CUD), the Intelligent Urbanisation initiative will bring together a broad portfolio of Cisco's products, services, partners and solutions. The initial focus will be on global sustainable solutions for public safety and security, transportation, buildings, energy, healthcare and education.
  • Jointly with the chief minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yeddyurappa, Cisco also announced a pilot program with the State of Karnataka to develop the roadmap for an intelligent, smart and sustainable Bengaluru city. This collaboration builds on Cisco's thought leadership and technology expertise with Connected Urban Development (CUD), a public-private partnership that includes cities like San Francisco, Amsterdam, Seoul and Singapore, which develops replicable ICT solutions to help promote sustainable, intelligent urban development practices.
  • Another step towards its focus on intelligent urbanisation, today Cisco and Incheon Metropolitan City in Korea, announced that they have exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to mutually collaborate and transform the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) into a centre of expertise for globalisation in Asia Pacific.
  • As part of this collaboration, Cisco will provide its rich experience, expertise and technologies for the globalisation of Incheon Metropolitan City based on Cisco's existing globalisation projects in major cities in Singapore, India, Malaysia and the Middle East. The two parties also agreed to launch a joint task force to investigate the legal and technical aspects of this cooperation.


  • John Chambers, chairman and CEO, Cisco
  • "With the number of people living in urban areas growing from three billion today to five billion by 2030, urbanisation is a global trend impacting citizens, governments, and industries. This trend will also significantly impact the environment - the 20 most populous cities alone are responsible for 75 percent of the planet's energy consumption. In a world where all things are becoming connected, the network has become the next utility, enabling the holistic, intelligent and environmentally sustainable creation and management of cities, industries and public services."

  • Wim Elfrink, chief globalisation officer and executive vice president, Cisco Services
  • "The Internet is quickly expanding from mobile devices and computers to become the 'Internet of Things,' as it begins to encompass not only the consumer and business internet, but now the industrialisation of the Internet."

    "Cities that are run on information will transform the quality of life for citizens, drive economic growth and improve city services and management. Particularly in these tough economic times, cities that use the network to accelerate and multiply their infrastructure investments will be those who not only survive challenges but thrive and lead into the future."

    "The network is also key to addressing one of the 21st century's most significant issues -environmental sustainability," continued Elfrink. "While technology contributes to about 2 percent of the world's carbon emissions, it can be a substantial part of the solution. It is estimated technology can reduce carbon emissions by 15% by 2020; an environmental savings of 1 ton of CO2 per capita that translates into US$946 billion dollars in financial savings. Additionally, cities that run on information can improve their energy efficiency by 30% within 20 years."

  • Sang-Soo Ahn, mayor, Incheon Metropolitan City, Korea
  • "As the Mayor, and on behalf of the 3 million Incheon citizens, I am very pleased to work with Cisco to transform IFEZ into a global and environmentally-sustainable free economic zone.. We believe that Cisco's announcement of intelligent urbanisation initiative is not just a global vision, but will soon be a reality. Future cities that operate with cutting edge information technology will improve public safety and security, commerce, health care, manufacturing, education and benefit consumers. We are certain that this initiative will significantly enhance the quality of people's lives, build a stronger governance model and attract more business and investment to Incheon. I am also pleased to announce that the city of Incheon signed an MoU with Cisco to mutually collaborate in transforming the IFEZ in Korea into a state-of-the-art international city in the Asia Pacific. We are very proud of our collaboration with Cisco."

  • Josep Roig, secretary-general, Metropolis
  • "The major global challenges related to mass urbanisation, climate change and economic recession are converging on cities. Innovative regional governance strategies and new infrastructure renewal financing models are amongst the main challenges. Information technology has become the fourth utility in cities: city leaders and urban planners need to effectively take into consideration the critical contribution that information and communication technology provides to the solution of urban challenges"

  • Azim Premji, chairman, Wipro Limited
  • "Cisco's "intelligent urbanisation" initiative could bring the advent of new industry models and ecosystems. Their focus on the network as a key to environmental sustainability is in line with Wipro's self transformation initiative to create an ecologically-sustainable organization and business through Wipro's EcoEye. We look forward to continuing to partner together to meet our customers' needs for ecologically sustainable products & services."

Links / URLs:

Embedded Videos, Images and Podcasts:

  • Video on Intelligent Urbanisation from Wim Elfrink, chief globalisation officer and executive vice president, Cisco Services
  • Video interview from Sang-Soo Ahn, mayor, Incheon Metropolitan City, Korea
  • Wim Elfrink, Executive Vice President, Cisco Services & Chief Globalization Officer
  • Globalisation Center East - Bangaluru Campus