Hot on the heels of our earlier Coworking Roundup comes the news that Cisco has collaborated with the city of Amsterdam to launch its first Smart Work Center (SWC), in the nearby community of Almere, an area which incidentally, has an all-fibre broadband network.
The SWC has been conceived as an experiment in using computing technology to address climate change, reducing travel costs and carbon footprints by providing workers with the ability to work remotely away from the City. Cisco, driven by its commitments to the Clinton Global Initiative has also taken the opportunity to introduce some of its leading edge conferencing and collaboration technologies in the SWC.
Designed for individual workers or collaborative groups, the SWC not only offers meeting rooms and deskspace, but lounge areas, childcare, catering, some financial services and is apparently located close to public transport amenities. Currently, the residents include city employees themselves, but the hope is to broaden this group to include local businesses and freelancers.
Here’s a quick video excerpt from a piece on the launch of the SWC…
Amsterdam’s city administration is planning the launch of several more SWCs around the city, over the coming months – each with a different industrial partner – and is looking to experiment in collaborating with countries like India to understand whether this style of working can suit global collaboration.
The SWC is a departure from the coworking culture that we’ve been covering of late at WWD, but as we’ve speculated about the possibility of coworking spaces as a means to address commuting issues, a vehicle for civic regeneration and even childcare solutions, it’s gratifying to see public-private collaborations, such as the SWC, that address each of these areas in an attempt to experiment with new modes of working and living.