Baguio accelerating Smart City status

At a glance

  • Baguio is speeding up its transformation to a Smart City via a Cisco-powered command center that centralizes its digital operations.

Baguio is speeding up its transformation to a Smart City via a Cisco-powered command center that centralizes its digital operations, according to both Cisco and local government officials.

The center enables urban planners to immediately respond to emergencies, earthquakes and floods as well as manage social and health systems.

Baguio targets to be classified as a full-fledged Smart City by 2027, to the tune of P5 billion.

Otherwise, the city faces urban decay if issues, such as overcrowding and waste management, are left unaddressed in the next 25 years, according to an earlier National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)-commissioned study .

To combat this, Cisco built a Smart City Command Center as the core of Baguio’s operations, enabling real-time monitoring, analysis, decision-making, and rapid response to emergencies.

The aim is to sustain the city's economy, manage the environment, mobility/traffic, as well as public safety and security.

“To become a smart city, having a well-defined plan is crucial. Recognizing this, the city government initiated discussions with Cisco regarding a potential public-private partnership,” said Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

The Cisco-powered Smart City Command Center streamlines Baguio's services, optimizing traffic flow and enabling citizens to submit real-time help requests, such as ambulance or police assistance, vehicle accidents, and noise complaints.

The application also serves as a platform to manage utilities including payment of property tax.

It equips city planners and officials with a holistic view of the entire smart city ecosystem, from traffic patterns and available parking lots to environmental conditions and public safety measures.

In close partnership with government agencies, Cisco integrates information from existing databases on the locations of fault lines and sinkholes within the Smart City Command Center.

This helps city officials make faster, more informed decisions in case of natural disasters and emergencies.

Data from water level sensors are also collected periodically and synced with the command center database to monitor water levels in real-time and notify relevant departments of flood risks.

Cisco integrates data from the city’s CCTV cameras with advanced analytics leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) for intelligent traffic management as well as physical and perimeter security.

The platform can even sift through video feeds to identify people of interest in specific emergency scenarios.

Air quality monitors outfitted with sensors detect real-time data on weather conditions and pollutants including carbon dioxide, sulfur, ozone, and particulate matter.

These data are consolidated in the command center and shared with Baguio’s environmental and health agencies to forecast pollution patterns and provide measures to safeguard residents’ health.

Building a smart city takes careful planning and a strong partnership foundation, stressed Mayor Magalong.

"Cisco’s willingness to collaborate positions us closer to our goal of transforming into a smart city ” he noted.

"Cisco has always believed in leveraging the power of public-private partnership to build smart, inclusive, and sustainable communities," according to Zaza Soriano-Nicart, Cisco Philippines’ Managing Director.

"We hope to address Baguio’s most pressing challenges together through the Smart City Command Center,” she acquiesced.

The Baguio Smart City Command Center is part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program program in the Philippines, UGNAYAN 2030, a strategic partnership with governments to accelerate digitalization agendas.

To date, Cisco’s CDA ecosystem covers 48 countries worldwide.