Smart+Connected City Hamburg and Cisco agree on Cooperation

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Introducing technological innovations, discussing the connection between industry and science and joining economy and ecology are on the agenda of the M-Smart City Summit.

Hamburg and Cisco Agree on Cooperation

International partners from all fields and professions will be discussing the future of mobility. Experts from all over the world have been invited to give talks, connect and exchange ideas. Among them is Kent Larson from MIT Media Lab in Boston, he and Frank Horch met on the Senator's delegation trip the previous year. 

This is the English version of the article, please see Hamburg und Cisco vereinbaren Zusammenarbeit for the German version.

According to estimates, 6.3 billion people worldwide will be living in major cities by the year 2050. As a result, we need to ask ourselves today how we are going to cope with this, and how we want to deal with the associated opportunities and challenges. We need to find answers to questions of mobility, public infrastructure, service, energy consumption, emissions, and quality of life. This process is well under way. Our politicians are actively involved and are entrusted with the task of creating the framework for the future. 

Technology partners declare interest in pilot projects

As part of these efforts, the City of Hamburg and Cisco concluded a Smart City Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on April 30, 2014, at Hamburg City Hall. The MoU follows on from the Smart City Summit in December 2013, where representatives from public administration, research, academia, and development, as well as local and international industry, met to define the initial approach to creating a smart city. The MoU now envisages the creation of pilot projects focusing on the areas of transport, intelligent streetlight control, citizen services, the port, and the HafenCity urban development project. A whole host of technology partners have declared their interest in taking part in the first pilot projects, including AGT International, avodaq, InnoTec DATA, Philips, Streetline, T-Systems, and Worldsensing. Other partners can also get involved with projects that have already been defined. 

Hamburg - city of innovations

Upon signing the MoU, Mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz said: “These days, the term ‘smart city’ could mean just about anything. For me, it means continuing to do the things that have come to define Hamburg, such as the dovetailing of technological and social progress. Through a large number of projects with many different partners, we are laying the foundations for the intelligent, smart city of the future—a city that uses technology to protect resources and to get closer to its citizens.”

“Hamburg is a city of innovations. The MoU is a way of continuing on this path and preparing ourselves for the future,” explains Senator for Economic Affairs Frank Horch. “The opportunities presented through the networking of people, processes, data, and things will not only drive progress in the cities and municipalities, but also offer citizens greater convenience and therefore a higher quality of life. It is our responsibility to set these developments off on the right track with the relevant framework, so that opportunities can be tapped and obstacles overcome.”

Cisco to be proud to cooperate with City of Hamburg and HPA


“Modern cities, like companies, are in competition with one another. They search for opportunities to create jobs, grow, increase profitability, become more efficient, and, above all, improve quality of life for their citizens. Cisco is proud to be working with the City of Hamburg and the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) to promote innovation and make the most of the opportunities presented by the Internet of Everything,” says Michael Ganser, Senior Vice President for Central and Eastern Europe at Cisco.

HPA aiming to turn Port of Hamburg into smartPORT

The HPA, for example, aims to turn the Port of Hamburg into a smartPORT within the next few years. Here, “smart” signifies the intelligent exchange of information to increase the quality and efficiency of the port as an important part of the supply chain. The more intricately and closely linked the nerve center of the port, the quicker it can gauge potential disruptions and forward this information. The same applies to the management of complex transport processes in the city as a whole.

As a new, creative and innovative district, the HafenCity development also offers countless opportunities as regards this process. Hamburg wants to maintain a high quality of life, be attractive, and appeal to new citizens. The city aims to be a place that inspires others to think about the city of the future.

Overview of Planned Pilot Projects

Intelligent Infrastructure for Ports and Citizen Services
Thanks to intelligent network solutions provided by Cisco, these are just some of the smart port and smart city projects that are in the pipeline:

  •  Intelligent streetlight and traffic light control
  •  Optimized registration and management of traffic flows
  •  Virtual citizen kiosk—an intelligent citizen service with a video link


“The port is the heart of Hamburg’s economy. However, we cannot and should not continue building roads, railways, and canals wherever we want to. In fact, we aim to turn the Port of Hamburg into a smartPORT over the next few years, so as to improve efficiency on existing routes and thus improve the quality of port services,” says Jens Meier, Chairman of the Board of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA).

In the port itself, an intelligent parking management system is to be developed for trucks and loaders in order to improve the transport and parking situation. This system will be flanked by the integrated management of traffic flows and infrastructure in order to collect and use real-time traffic information. The purpose of this is to help avoid tailbacks and also to identify potential incidents. In addition to optimized streetlight control, plans are also in place for recording and evaluating emissions data in order to be able to provide more accurate forecasts in terms of noise, temperature, humidity, and air pollution. Finally, all major port installations will be monitored to ensure safe, efficient processes.


Hamburg’s HafenCity — the largest urban development project in Europe—is set to become home to an integrated e-mobility solution to reduce and optimize traffic by offering various options such as cars/electric cars, bicycles/electric bikes within a car-sharing program. A smart building solution is also currently being tested.

Next Steps

Further workshops are also planned for the end of May 2014 to expand on the pilot projects. Additional partners will be sought on the basis of these workshops. At the end of June 2014, a decision will be made regarding which pilot projects can actually be implemented. To further contribute toward securing skilled IT staff for the future, the Cisco Networking Academy is planning to expand the range of courses offered at vocational and general schools and universities, and in adult education. Over the last ten years, around 2,000 participants from Hamburg have already taken part in courses with the Cisco Networking Academy. New courses in the areas of smart grids, cyber security, and the Internet of Everything will be offered to students in Hamburg through the Cisco Networking Academy educational platform.

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