In London I met with John Baekelmans, the CTO for the Smart Connected Communities initiative and JP Vasseur (who is a Cisco Fellow).

The conversation was primarily focussed on the potential of Christchurch to become a living lab, and how this might work in practice. Both John and JP were enthusiastic about the idea, but cautioned that in order for it to eventuate they’d need to see serious commitment both in governance and finances.

We discussed a model for how the IT infrastructure might work, and the capability of the Cisco Field Area Network Routers (FAN). The company also has associated APIs that work with the FAN hardware.  It was encouraging to hear them emphasise both the need for an ecosystem (as opposed to a one-vendor closed system) and the need for the data to be open.

Without these two foundations there is little point in the Sensing City, as it would simply be a revenue generator for a commercial organisation, rather than a platform for innovation.