News Release

Kansas City, Mo., and Cisco Launch Plan to Enhance Connectivity and Innovation through Smart+Connected Communities Framework

The launch of a new city network will open up new possibilities to deploy smart city services to the heart of Kansas City's innovation district. Cisco will also work with organizations to develop a new "living lab."
May 22, 2014

KANSAS CITY, MO., May 22, 2014 -  Kansas City leaders are exploring new opportunities to build out a city network, enhance citizen engagement, and develop a “living lab”  in the city’s innovation district under Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities program and the Internet of Everything. The project will complement a wider effort to build out a two-mile KC Downtown Streetcar path.

“Today, global competition really is between cities to provide the best quality of life for its citizens, and Kansas City is helping to lead the charge on innovation in the Midwest,” said Wim Elfrink, Cisco’s EVP of industry solutions and chief globalisation officer. “This kind of thought leadership at the municipal level is what helps pave the way for a smarter, more connected and sustainable city.”

To make this launch a reality, representatives from Kansas City and Cisco signed a letter of intent (LoI) this week.  

The LoI outlines a framework for specific pilot projects around a mobile platform for citizen access and infrastructure sensing, citizen engagement facilitated by digital interactive kiosks and mobile applications, smart street lighting and video surveillance.
The LoI also enables access for Kansas City to the Cisco Smart+Connected Communities™ (S+CC) reference architectures and provides a framework for defining and evaluating various related initiatives. In addition, Cisco is ready to assist Kansas City in developing a digital agenda.

“Cisco’s investment is further proof that Kansas City is at the forefront of technological advancement,” said Kansas City Mayor Sly James. “This joint effort will connect our visitors and residents with our City’s services and information like never before.  In addition, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to build their own unique, innovative applications to enhance the public’s experience.  Put simply, this is a win-win for everyone and furthers our efforts to be the most entrepreneurial city in the nation.”

To help foster innovation, Cisco plans to work with Think Big Partners and other innovative companies to manage a Kansas City “living lab” for entrepreneurial development. This lab will serve as an incubator for these open ecosystem participants and the start-up community to develop new solutions to address some of the city’s greatest challenges.

“Innovative solutions will be developed that are not even on the drawing board once we connect the smart city ecosystem to the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Isaiah Blackburn, Cisco’s chief strategist for Connected and Innovative Kansas City. 

Planned Pilot Projects:

  • Deployment of smart street lighting;
  • Smart video surveillance;
  • Environment and infrastructure sensing; and
  • Citizen engagement services solution.

The Next Steps

Detailed designs and business structures are being discussed.  In parallel additional smart services will be identified with the recruitment of additional companies. A final selection on pilot projects to be rolled out is planned by the end of June 2014.

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