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Cisco unveils US$1 billion ‘smart cities’ program


November 15, 2017  


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According to Cisco Systems Inc., so-called “smart cities” have less pollution, safer streets, and better quality of life for citizens. But many finance officers struggle to fund the upgrades that will make their cities smart.

To help, Cisco said it has introduced the City Infrastructure Financing Acceleration Program. It is a US$1 billion program aimed to make it easier, faster, and more affordable for cities around the world to fund and adopt technologies that will transform their communities.

The funding will be provided through Cisco Capital in partnership with private equity firm Digital Alpha Advisors and pension fund investors APG Asset Management (APG) and Whitehelm Capital.

“Funding is a major stumbling block for municipalities beginning their smart city transformation,” said Anil Menon, Global President of Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities. “With our partners, Cisco will bring the capital and expertise it takes to make smart city projects a reality. Digital Alpha, APG, and Whitehelm Capital bring a fresh perspective on investment in an area that has previously been perceived as too new and, therefore, too difficult to finance.”

The program helps cities assemble the right type or suite of finance instruments to fund and deploy innovative technology with minimal initial investment. Whether a city is looking to reduce energy usage, ease traffic and parking, or boost public transportation ridership and revenues, the program will help cities with solutions. Revenue-share financing, for instance, even allows a city to tie financing to desired outcomes and extend future operating budgets through revenue streams from the new services that a digitized infrastructure makes possible.

 


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