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Press Release -- August 27th, 2012
Source: Cisco Systems

Barcelona, GDF SUEZ and Cisco announce the launch of the City Protocol

City Protocol aims to define a global, cooperative framework among cities, industries and institutions with the goal to address urban challenges in a systemic way in areas such as sustainability, self-sufficiency, quality of life, competitiveness and citizen participation

Barcelona, August 28, 2012 — More than 30 cities plus organizations and universities took part in an international meeting organized by Barcelona’s City Council, GDF SUEZ and Cisco to launch and agree on the criteria for the creation of the City Protocol, the first certification system for smart cities, which may be put into practice by any city in the world.

The event, which took place in Barcelona under the title of Building Better Cities Together, focused on simplifying the methodology behind creating an urban innovation model based on standards definition, platform integration and technology and solutions development. All this will help ensure the efficient use of resources as well as the economical, social and environmental sustainability of smart cities.

The City Protocol will be presented during the SmartCity Expo that will take place in Barcelona from the 13 to 15 of November.

The initiative is a part of the agreement signed by Cisco and Barcelona’s City Council last March. This agreement envisages several strategic projects such as the Cisco® Smart+Connected Communities™ platform, which has as one of its main aims to help Barcelona become a reference model for sustainable urban development.


  • There is a growing need for a radical change in urban planning, to accelerate city transformation, and the City Protocol will set out the framework to achieve it.
  • City Protocol is a new open, global, and progressive working framework for cities worldwide to assess and improve performance in environmental sustainability, economic competitiveness, quality of life and city services, by innovating and demonstrating new leadership models, new ways or engaging society and by taking advantage of new information and communication technologies (ICT).
  • City Protocol will involve reports, standards, certification systems, services definition, best practices and recommendations to turn cities into more innovative and sustainable environments. This will be possible due to the use of technologies in different fields including information, communication, energy, mobility, construction and waste management. Governments, councils, planners and developers looking to transform urban centers into smart cities may put the protocol into practice.
  • Well known as an innovative and smart city, Barcelona has been the driving force behind the project, being an example of a real model for intelligent solutions.

An environment opened to participation

  • In the same way as the Internet Protocol shaped the original development of the Internet, the City Protocol will be discussed and developed internationally, setting up an evolutive protocol based on the agreement of a global community. It will deliver benefits within and between cities, by addresing urban development in an integrated systemic way.
  • A non-profit organization called the City Protocol Society will be created with the aim of ensuring this open participation. It follows the Internet Society’s model and will be represented by universities, research centers, companies and citizens of different cities.  Its objectives are defining, developing and promoting the City Protocol.
  • Cities will benefit from its participation by achieving real improvements; companies will better understand the structure and management of cities in order to collaborate with them; and education institutions, research centers and also non-profit organizations will be able to more precisely study urban problems and propose solutions.

Statements of support:

  • Barcelona Mayor Xavier Trias: “As a reference in sustainable urban development, Barcelona wants to share its ideal of a smart city with the whole world. This will generate a new economy based on sustainability, job creation and social integration to guarantee a better quality of life for XXIst Century citizens.”
  • Stéphane Quere, responsible  for Urban Development at GDF SUEZ Corporate Commercial & Marketing Department: “It is logical for GDF SUEZ to support and actively participate to the City Protocol. This kind of initiatives is essential to develop better cities and we participated in the Smart City Protocol Workshop  to accompany the city officials in order to transform their objectives into reality, no matter how complex and unique the situation is.”
  • Jordi Botifoll, senior vice president for LATAM: “In 2050, 70% of the world population will live in cities, which already consume 60% of power resources and generate 80% of the global economical growth. Despite their different locations and cultures, most cities share the same challenges in terms of sustainable growth and, ultimately in assuring quality of life for their inhabitants. The City Protocol is essential to optimize cities’ performance in terms of efficiency, sustainability and intelligence as if it was an ecosystem managed by a standards-based, integrated IT platform.”
  • Vicente Guallart, architect in chief of Barcelona’s City Council: “Every initiative related to smart city concepts agree about the problems that need to be solved and even the solutions themselves; nevertheless there’s a lack of methodology to apply these solutions. City Protocol can solve this situation through a common innovation framework wich is able to state the rules for planification, regulation, management and financing of smart cities.”
  • Nicola Villa, Urban Innovation World Director for Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group: “City Protocol will help to integrate information flow in the cities by using the Internet as a platform, and creating a universal methodology to weigh up cities’ performance. It also will define strategies, projects and policies to manage the urban environment in a short, medium and long-term.”

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