Cisco is putting its vision of smart cities into action with a high-tech project launched together with the state of Colorado.

The Colorado Connected Communities Initiative (CCCI) has several pilot programs in the heathcare, education and energy sectors. One of the programs includes care-at-a-distance technology platform that allows Colorado's rural residents to interact remotely with their doctors over Cisco's HealthPresence platform.

"There's really a strong appetite for crossing boundaries because of the fiscal crisis," says Mike Locatis, Colorado's chief technology officer. "Colorado has been positioned as a leader in silo busting, and to layer this on really is an opportunity to deliver services more efficiently."

Cisco hopes that its work with Colorado, the first state to take part in its Smart+Connected Communities project, can be parlayed into other smart city initiatives across the United States.

"We are engaging with states, communities and cities to drive smart, connected community technology," says Elisabeth Zornes, who heads Cisco's Smart+Connected Communities project in North America. "We want to prove out the impact this can have in terms of sustainability, economic impact and quality of life."

The CCCI project also includes energy management technology that manages electricity consumption in buildings on the state, local and private levels. Colorado will also leverage Cisco technology for a distance learning program at the Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

"Cisco envisions a future where successful communities and cities will run on networked information, and where information technology will help the world better manage its energy and environmental challenges," said Cisco Services vice president and chief globalization officer Wim Elfrink in a statement. "Everything connected to the network in these Smart+Connected Communities can be greener, more intelligent and more secure."