IBM names 16 cities for Smarter Cities Challenge for 2014 project

IBM today named 16 cities and counties around the world which will get funds as part of its Smarter Cities Challenge for 2014 project.

These cities will be getting funds from IBM to address issues ranging from clean water, healthy food, and revenue generation, to job development, efficient transportation, and public safety.

These 16 cities include Abuja, Nigeria; Ballarat, Australia; Baton Rouge, United States; Birmingham, United States; Brussels, Belgium; Dallas, United States; Dublin, Ireland; Durban, South Africa; Jinan, China; Mombasa County, Kenya; Niigata, Japan; Perth, Australia; Suffolk County, United States; Tainan, Taiwan; Vilnius, Lithuania; and Zapopan, Mexico

IBM booth

IBM kicked off Smarter Cities Challenge in 2011 as a three-year grant program, but positive feedback and significant results have encouraged IBM to extend the initiative. In its first three years, IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge deployed 600 experts on six-person teams that provided strategic and practical advice to 100 municipalities. These highly prized three-week engagements, each currently valued at $500,000, have helped local government address key challenges.

Many previous grant recipients have implemented IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge recommendations and tangibly improved the lives of their citizens.

Da Nang, Vietnam and the Delhi-Mumbai, India Industrial Corridor are improving the coordination of municipal agencies as they manage complex projects.

Date, Japan now provides better information to consumers about the safety of its agriculture — key for a city perceived as near the site of a nuclear power plant disaster.

Eindhoven, Netherlands has reduced crime with strategies that include citizens’ use of social media. Meanwhile, St. Louis, USA provides better information about criminals to judges prior to sentencing.

Edmonton, Canada has improved road safety by analyzing accident data and improving education programs. Meanwhile, Boston, USA is using data to manage traffic more efficiently and reduce pollution.

Jacksonville, USA has hired an economic development officer and passed legislation that streamlines city council processes for economic development.

Ottawa, Canada is developing the neighborhoods near its light rail system by giving incentives to developers and streamlining the permit process. Meanwhile, Providence, USA has streamlined and shortened the process for reviewing and approving construction plans and permits by putting more processes online and by creating a nimble agency. This will improve economic development and inspire the streamlining of other city services.

Syracuse, USA created one of New York State’s first land banks, enabling the city to reclaim  and work with the private sector to transform vacant properties.  This is revitalizing its neighborhoods and restoring its tax base.

Townsville, Australia is reducing its water and energy costs.  Its efforts have earned it that country’s prestigious National Smart Infrastructure Award.  Meanwhile, Tshwane, South Africa conducted a successful crowdsourcing project to pinpoint and reduce water leaks.

picture source: flickr

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