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Barcelona, GDF SUEZ, Cisco and Institutions From All Over the World Launch the City Protocol

This Trusted and Open Community Offers Curated Guidance to Help Cities Build a Sustainable Future

BARCELONA, SPAIN -- (Marketwire) -- 11/14/12 -- Barcelona's City Council, GDF SUEZ, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and more than 30 cities plus organizations and universities from all over the world have agreed to officially launch the City Protocol as the first certification system for smart cities, as well as the City Protocol Society, an organization set up to manage it.

The announcement is taking part within the second annual edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress hosted in Barcelona. It is the result of an international meeting celebrated in July, under the title of Building Better Cities Together and the ongoing work around the definition of the methodology behind creating an urban innovation model, based on standards definition, platform integration, and technology and solutions development.

This initiative is also part of the collaboration between Cisco and Barcelona's City Council last March that envisages several strategic projects such as the Cisco® Smart+Connected Communities™ platform and a City Framework that will define the information and communication technology (ICT) aspects of the City Protocol, which will be embedded into the overall City Protocol model.

On that basis, City Protocol is a delivery-focused network of global cities that, in partnership with industry, research agencies and other organizations, is developing common approaches and solutions to help cities build a sustainable future. By utilizing knowledge and experiences of real city transformations, this trusted and open community offers curated guidance so that cities do not have to navigate this journey alone.


City Protocol refers to both a program of activity and to an organization that is being set up to manage it.

The program

  • City Protocol (CP) is a new, distinctive and substantial program that will enable better understanding and collaboration among the different stakeholders (cities, academia, institutions, companies, and society) that are involved in the development of more sustainable, efficient, cohesive and innovative smart cities. It will deliver benefits both within and between cities, by addressing cities in an integrated, systematic way.

  • The program will be developed on an open, transparent, principled and collaborative basis, to deliver truly shared, trusted and universally useful outcomes. Using a process modelled on the way the Internet Protocol (IP) is managed to enable its continual evolution and development, the results will be thought out, debated and developed openly and internationally, using the best thinking and expertise within the City Protocol community.

  • The CP program will deliver agreements developed to address issues agreed by the community. These will lead to both:
    • CP-endorsed city projects and policies: projects and policies tested in cities that can be used as exemplars for other cities, along with indicators and certifications for those same projects and policies;
    • Recommendations and technology standards for industry: industry-based standards, technologies and solutions which are standardized on a CP basis.

The organization

  • The City Protocol Society (CPS) will be a membership-based organization whose role will be to manage the City Protocol programme. Membership will be open to city councils, industry, research organizations and other agencies involved in city transformation. However, city councils will have the largest representation in order to ensure that the CPS is focused around the needs of cities to transform themselves to meet the immense challenges they face.

  • The details of the membership, resourcing needs and other issues will be developed by the City Protocol community over the next few months.

  • The official launch of the CPS sets out the roadmap for the society to be fully operational by April 2013.

Supporting quotes:

  • Barcelona Mayor Xavier Trias: "Mayors and city leaders worldwide know that cities are increasingly aware of the chronic issues of ageing and mobility, climate change, rising energy costs, the effects of increasing congestion and security threats. The City Protocol presents an opportunity to handle all these challenges in a more open, coordinated and efficient manner."

  • Seoul Mayor Park Won-Soon: "Forward-looking cities such as Barcelona and Seoul are embracing the transformation agenda. However, embarking on significant change programs is risky, particularly because it is difficult to find reliable and relevant evidence to properly evaluate the options for major new initiatives. City Protocol will help address this issue following a well-defined and common structure."

  • Stéphane Quere, urban development at GDF SUEZ Corporate Commercial & Marketing Department: "The whole cycle of innovation can only be enabled by solid, trust-based cross-sector partnership working. It is only by bringing together the resources and strengths of all key stakeholders that cities will be able to meet the challenges they are faced with every day."

  • Jordi Botifoll, senior vice president for LATAM: "As city officials, academics and enterprises alike seek to address some of the challenges in building and managing smarter and connected cities and communities, the City Protocol launch is a successful beginning. Cisco stands committed to this important initiative and when we look back to this date from the future, we should feel proud of a legacy we created together in an open and collaborative way."

  • Manel Sanromá, director of Innovation, Barcelona City Council and coordinator of City Protocol Society Secretary: "The City Protocol Society is a trusted community that leverages knowledge and experiences in real city transformations throughout the world. It offers curated guidance so that cities do not have to navigate this journey alone."

  • Charlie Catlett, senior computer scientist, Argonne National Lab and University of Chicago: "The complexity of cities (multiple parties, stakeholders, and processes) remains the most significant barrier to adopting smart city solutions. City Protocol, however, presents the best opportunity to integrate physical city infrastructures, from utilities, transportation, and real estate to city services."

  • José Campos, director of San Francisco Planning Department: "The debate is no longer about why a smart city initiative is good for a city or which available options to choose, but instead about how to implement smart city infrastructures and services, including the importance of a common language and a structured approach to implementation."

Additional resources:

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