IBM: Smarter Cities for a Better World
The need to use new approaches to address civic challenges has never been greater. In 2008, according to the United Nations, more than half the world’s population began living in cities for the first time. These population centers are more economically powerful, politically influential, and technologically advanced than at any time in history. But they also struggle with budgetary and operational challenges.
In response to the struggles that these highly populated regions of the world are facing, IBM knew that they had the capability to make a change for the better. The Smarter Cities Challenge allows cities across the world to have the opportunity to put forth proposals describing the area in which their city is needing the most assistance. These proposals cover a wide range of issues such as economic and workforce development, transportation, sustainability, health, education, and urban planning. The selected candidates receive the amazing reward of a world-class consultation from IBM experts. As stated on the IBM website:
IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge is an outgrowth of IBM’s Corporate Service Corps grants program, in which IBM deploys teams of top employees to areas in the developing world to work on projects that intersect business, technology, and society. Since the launch of Corporate Service Corps in 2008, nearly 1,400 IBM employees based in 50 countries have been dispatched on more than 140 team assignments in 24 countries.
On March 15, 2012, IBM announced the next batch of cities that will receive this urban altering assistance. The list includes two Canadian cities, our nation’s capital Ottawa and Surrey in British Columbia. Last year, Edmonton was the premier and only city selected to receive award. Having had a long history with hazardous road safety, Edmonton has made significant strides and changes in their organization of traffic data due to the information they received from IBM experts.
The Smarter Cities Challenge is just another demonstration of why IBM has been the world “leader in corporate social responsibility and citizenship for more than 100 years.” Our world is expanding and changing faster than it ever has been before. IBM recognizes this and, thanks to their expertise, they are helping to create smarter cities for a better world.
To see the impact that IBM has had on the city of Edmonton, check out the videos below: