Cisco to pioneer Europe’s largest sustainable city project

13 May 2011

Cisco is to become the master planner for the IT and communications design of PlanIT Valley in northern Portugal, which is set to be the world’s greenest city when completed and a model for how advance sustainable urban living when completed.

Today, Cisco and Portuguese technology company Living PlanIT announced a strategic alliance to develop new business models for city management and help accelerate innovations in urban development via the PlanIT Valley project, which will be located near Paredes in northern Portugal.

In 2009, Cisco and Living PlanIT began working together to develop a model for greenfield and urban revitalisation as well as to accelerate innovation in urban development, operations and community services. 

Cisco is to look at ways of integrating its Smart+Connected Communities technologies into the PlanIT Valley project. Once this is achieved, Living PlanIT will implement a network infrastructure based on Cisco technology as the platform for urban sustainability in PlanIT Valley.

Technology innovation zone

The companies also plan to establish a Global Innovation Centre in PlanIT Valley to explore how a connected sensor network can be used in the management of buildings and energy, electric vehicles, smart-grid monitoring and smart metering.

Internet of things

The two companies say that today’s announcement will pave the way for PlanIT Valley to play a leading role in research into the widespread deployment of the ‘internet of things’ and its use in sustainable urban development.

Speaking today, Wim Elfrink, chief globalisation officer and executive vice-president, Emerging Solutions, Cisco, said the alliance marks a milestone in driving social, environmental and economic sustainability.

“With the establishment of this strategic alliance in Portugal and Cisco’s appointment as the master planner for the communications architecture of PlanIT Valley, we stand centre stage in the global spotlight to enable the creation of new, sustainable industries and to open up new revenue opportunities for cities and countries around the world,” he said.

City-scale living lab

Prof João Barros from the Universidade do Porto, which will be the academic arm of PlanIT Valley, said the sustainable city project will offer “stunning opportunities for understanding and developing the wide range of urban technologies and services that will pave the way for the smart city of the future”.

Ireland and the green economy

Our sister website Business & Leadership will be hosting The Green Economy 2011 on the morning of 31 May at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin. For full speaker line-up and programme, please click here.


Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic