Kansas City, MO Moving Toward Smart City Status

Earlier this month, Kansas City, MO and Cisco signed an agreement to deploy a Smart+Connected City framework from Cisco to transform urban services and enhance the citizen experience. As part of this new framework, Cisco is working with a group of business partners to bring together an ecosystem to develop applications including smart lighting, digital kiosks, a development data portal, and smart water innovation development.

Through this model in Kansas City, the goal is to create a framework to be scalable, repeatable, and self-sustainable. In addition, Sprint will deploy Cisco hardware to construct and manage an intelligent Wi-Fi network that will serve as the backbone of the connectivity platform. Sprint is the first service provider to play an important connectivity role in the development of an U.S. based Cisco Smart+Connected Communities™ (S+CC) ecosystem.

Later in 2015, city leaders, Cisco, and other key partners will collaborate to execute “phase 1” deployments along the downtown Kansas City streetcar path and surrounding areas including:

  • An intelligent Wi-Fi network constructed, managed and owned by Sprint
  • An Enterprise Mobility Services Platform to enhance the resident and visitor experience over a mobile app
  • A “Living Lab” development data portal managed by ThinkBig Partners
  • Smart lighting and video as sensors in collaboration with Sensity
  • CityPost interactive digital kiosks and mobile citizen engagement
  • Future collaborations of smart water innovative solutions with Black & Veatch
  • Identifying technologies for next-generation police cruisers 

Beyond implementations, entrepreneurs may find value from the technology to further advance job opportunities. One example is that entrepreneurs and start-ups will be able to utilize the development data portal to create and test new apps.

Smart Lighting
Cisco’s and Sensity’s intelligent lighting platform transforms each lighting fixture into a sensory node in a powerful, broadband wireless network, creating a Light Sensory Network for municipalities. The joint solution converts city lighting infrastructure into a distributed sensing platform to collect real-time data for smart city applications, such as smart parking, lighting, retail analytics, and public safety and security. At the same time, the platform enables intelligent, efficient lighting control that results in energy and cost savings, more effective and higher-quality lighting, and reduction in both carbon and light pollution.

To bring smart lighting to Kansas City, the Sensity and Cisco joint intelligent lighting platform will be deployed downtown along the streetcar starter line and the adjacent districts of the River Market, Power & Light and Crossroads.

Mobility Takes Shape 
Citizens and tourists will now have access to Kansas City at a glance, through a wireless communication network that helps everyone be smarter, safer and better connected. CityPost broadcasts real-time, location-based information and alerts through a Smart City network that is powered on the street by interactive Smart Signs (City posts) and on smartphones through an easy-to-use mobile application. The CityPost app can be downloaded for free through the city’s public Wi-Fi home page and is augmented by a network of mobile beacons.

Water Management
Global engineering and construction company, Black & Veatch, a collaborator in the effort, indicates that water systems around the world must provide advanced leak detection, innovative predictive maintenance, and asset management solutions to reduce costs.

According to Black & Veatch’s 2015 Strategic Directions: Smart Utility report, the data created by smart city programs is being used to improve operations in multiple areas of organizations. While nearly two-thirds of respondents to the survey identified budget constraints as the biggest hurdle to launching data analytics programs, the costs of inaction are being shown to exceed the investment.

Through this Smart+Connected City framework, Cisco and Kansas City are aiming to develop an ecosystem that allows for more collaborators to join the project as it continues to be built out. Long-term goals for the smart city development are to bring on collaborators in private sector, real estate, sports and entertainment, and academia. 

More from the Kansas City government on the project can be found at the city’s website.