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Cisco and The Climate Group to develop new Connected Urban Development alliance

28 September 2009

New alliance will foster further collaboration, innovation

The Climate Group announced last week that it will work with Cisco to build on the success of its Connected Urban Development (CUD) initiative by bringing together additional cities and business partners around the world in a new CUD Alliance.

The new Alliance will tackle urban emissions where they are highest -- in buildings, transport and power consumption. Research by The Climate Group ( last year indicated the vital role of information communication technology (ICT) can play in addressing urban climate change and energy challenges. The research found that re-thinking the way we use technology at home and across industry could cut global emissions by 15 per cent by 2020.

Over the coming months, The Climate Group will reach out to its extensive global network of corporate partners, cities and states to develop the CUD Alliance and scope a new program to further advance its existing cities-focused work it currently delivers under the five-year HSBC Climate Partnership. Once the Alliance is in place, a new program - to be formally launched next year - will deploy urban demonstration projects in transformational technical areas such as smart connected buildings, smart transportation and smart grid.

John Chambers, chairman and CEO, Cisco says: "With urban areas contributing at least 60 percent of global carbon emissions, cities are ground zero for addressing climate change and environmental issues. The Connected Urban Development global community has successfully collaborated to test how innovative ICT solutions can manage environmental challenges. Cisco is committed to furthering this progress and asks other public and private sector partners to join us in this effort."

Steve Howard, CEO, The Climate Group says: "Deploying smart low carbon technologies within world cities is central to unlocking energy efficiency at scale, and the transformation to a cleaner, greener, and more prosperous society and economy. The new CUD Alliance will align a global armoury of innovators, policy-makers, financiers and businesses necessary to pilot and scale carbon resilient systems, policies and practices for millions of citizens."

Under Cisco's leadership, the Connected Urban Development program has enabled eight unique and innovative pilots with seven cities around the world over the last three years.

  • Smart Transportation Pricing (STP): Currently being run as a technical pilot in Seoul, STP encompasses a set of technology-based pricing reforms to encourage more efficient travel behavior and demand management solutions.
  • Urban EcoMap: A co-developed pilot with the City and County of San Francisco, the Urban EcoMap provides cities with relevant data regarding primary GHG contributors - transportation, waste, and energy - to help city residents take action to reduce their emissions. The forthcoming development of the Amsterdam Urban EcoMap scales the application globally.
  • Personal Travel Assistant (PTA): The PTA is a web-based service that allows residents in Seoul and Amsterdam to make on-the-go travel decisions based on time, cost, and carbon impact. The PTA offers "virtual assistant" features that provide transit guidance based on user preferences via any Web-enabled device, from any location.
  • Smart UrbanEnergy for Schools: Through partnership with the city of Lisbon and the Portuguese Ministry of Education, this project aims to showcase how technology can improve global energy efficiency in both the built environment and energy networks. Energy savings of 33.4 percent were achieved during the first few months of the pilot.
  • UrbanEnergy Management: This pilot with the city of Madrid explores how energy is generated, managed, and consumed. A 33-apartment building is being outfitted with bioclimatic design and design innovations based on a broadband infrastructure that shares information about energy generation, consumption, and usage. These innovations can deliver estimated energy savings of 75 and 85 percent.
  • Smart Work Centers (SWC): Currently in pilot in Almere and Amsterdam, the SWC is a regional network of neighborhood professional work and community centers supporting travel virtualization and enabling mobile working practices. Integrating Cisco TelePresence with virtual office solutions, the SWC offers a professional work environment near residential areas to lower energy use and carbon emissions. Thus far, users have saved an average of 66 minutes of commute time per day.
  • The Connected Bus: In the City and County of San Francisco, The Connected Bus pilot is a landmark public transportation innovation aimed at enabling people, traffic, and public transit vehicles to flow more efficiently.

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