The Global View

Smart and connected: The vision for communities of the future

A coalition of corporations and other organisations has launched a new global non-profit initiative aimed at tackling the “unprecedented challenges of urbanisation” and the need for economic, environmental and social sustainability.

The Smart+Connected Communities (S+CC) Institute is intended to be provide both a virtual and physical forum to foster new thinking, practices and public-private partnerships for building more sustainable communities around the globe. The initiative was announced today at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Organisations behind the initiative include Cisco, Metropolis (“the World Association of Major Metropolises”), the National Institute of Urban Affairs of India, Gale International and The Climate Group.

The S+CC Institute also launched a new community portal today to encourage dialogue among government leaders, policy-makers, city managers, academicians, developers, technology providers and NGOs from all over the world. Community members will be able to create professional networking profiles, collaborate with industry peers, and gain access to global sustainable development content and expertise.

The institute also intends to organise workshops and education programmes tailored to the needs of communities. Such programmes will include input from various experts from the public and private sectors, academia and NGOs. The first workshops will target India, China, South Korea, Brazil, Portugal, the United Arab Emirates and North America.

“For us to build the cities and communities of the future, we will need not only transformational solutions but also the awareness of how technology can be an enabler along with next-generation smart-government regulations and strategic public-private partnerships,” said Wim Elfrink, chief globalisation officer and executive vice president of Cisco Services.

“The Smart+Connected Communities Institute will engage Metropolis, along with its 106 member cities, to create an effective forum to accelerate best-practices sharing, and will help public and private sector leaders to explore new solutions for sustainable urban development,” added Josep Roig, director general of Metropolis.