IBM Making 33 Cities around the Globe Smarter in 2012

by Jenn Cano on March 21, 2012

On March 15th, IBM announced 33 cities around the globe that were selected to receive their IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants during 2012.  The program was tested and developed by IBM Citizenship with 7 pilot cities back in 2010.  It was then launched in 2011 as a three-year, 100-city $50 million program.  The Smarter Cities Challenge is IBM’s largest philanthropic initiative yet. 

Following are the cities that earned IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants in 2012:

Accra, Ghana

Ahmedabad, India

Atlanta, Georgia

Birmingham, UK

Boston, Massachusetts

Cheongju, Korea

Chonburi, Thailand

Curitiba, Brazil

Da Nang, Vietnam

Dortmund, Germany

Durham, North Carolina

Toluca, Mexico

Geraldton, Australia

Houston, Texas

Ishinomaki, Japan

Jacksonville, Florida

Rosario, Argentina

Louisville, Kentucky

Malaga, Spain

Medellin, Colombia

New Taipei City, Taiwan

Nanjing, China

Nairobi, Kenya

Omaha, Nebraska

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Siracusa, Italy

Pune, India

Rabat, Morocco

Jurong Lake District,      Singapore

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

Tshwane, South Africa

Eindhoven, Netherlands




IMB’s goal for the grant program is to improve urban life in the selected cities.  As a major multinational corporation, IBM is big on public and private partnerships that will advance the environment and the geopolitical landscape throughout the world.

IBM does this by contributing the time and expertise of their top experts from different business units and geographies.  They put them on the ground for three weeks to work closely with city leaders and deliver recommendations on how to make the city smarter and more effective.  IBM stated that they have learned a tremendous amount about the challenges facing today's cities and how IBM, through the expertise of its employees, can add value as city leaders look for solutions.

Cities around the globe once again competed vigorously to benefit from IBM's human talent and technology, for year-two of the Smarter Cities Challenge. The winning cities proposed intriguing projects and areas of focus for IBM experts. These initiatives include ideas for Economic and Workforce Development , Transportation, Sustainability, Health , Education, and Urban Planning.   Ideas that range from integrating bus, rail, bicycle, car and pedestrian modes of transportation to using inhaler and air quality data to identify and reduce asthma outbreaks. 

IBM stated that the common denominator between all the cities that were chosen was their willingness to exchange ideas and data freely between citizens, elected officials, non-profits, businesses, and city agencies.  This allows for the cities to make more informed and collaborative decisions.

Already the cities that were chosen in 2011 have seen significant results from IBM’s work.   With the announcement of the 2012 grant recipients, 2011 recipient, Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel, reflected on his cities experience stating, “We welcomed the Smarter Cities team to Edmonton for three intense weeks in June 2011. The IBM team immersed themselves in our culture which gave them the best opportunity to understand our city, the environment, and the people. I think this insight was a critical piece in the success of the partnership between IBM and City leaders to provide recommendations for our project: an integrated and safer transportation network through the smarter utilization of transportation data.” 

He went on to say, “The experience has been absolutely phenomenal for our staff. It was exciting, challenging, and rewarding for everyone involved. It enabled us, as a City, to have greater confidence in the decisions we make each day. And I think that our citizens have seen the difference as well.

For instance, our work with IBM has helped us implement a better communication plan during the winter months which has previously been a challenge. Now we are reaching out through our website and social media, making sure Edmontonians know what to expect in real time. This has reduced frustration, increased safety, and generally made our city more accessible.”

At XSi we are proud to see these types of initiatives being taken by the companies we have worked so closely with for nearly 20 years now.  XSi has helped government, educational, and commercial entities around the globe meet all their IBM solution needs.  To find out more about how we can help you with your IBM needs go to our IBM products or IBM maintenance pages. 

Topics: IBM Maintenance & Support, IBM maintenance, IBM, IBM solutions, IBM products, IBM hardware, IBM Smarter Cities Challenge

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