IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge: A 5-Year Evaluation


In 2010, IBM created their Smarter Cities Challenge to help 100 cities [112 by May 2014] to address some of the critical challenges facing cities. IBM does this by contributing the time and expertise of top experts from different business units and geographies, to work closely with city leaders and deliver recommendations on how to make the city smarter and more effective. We are truly impressed by what our IBM friends have embarked on, and have achieved over the past five years, from 2010-2014.

By 2050, cities will be home to more than two-thirds of the world’s population. They already wield more economic power and have access to more advanced technological capabilities than ever before. Simultaneously, cities are struggling with a wide range of challenges and threats to sustainability in their core support and governance systems, including transport, water, energy, communications, healthcare and social services. Meanwhile, trillions of digital devices, connected through the Internet, are producing a vast ocean of data. All this information – from the flow of markets to the pulse of societies – can be turned into knowledge because we now have the computational power and advanced analytics to make sense of it. With this knowledge, cities could reduce costs, cut waste, and improve efficiency, productivity and quality of life for their citizens. In the face of the mammoth challenges of economic crisis and increased demand for services, ample opportunities still exist for the development of innovative solutions.

Towards Smarter Cities
A Smarter City uses technology to transform its core systems and optimize finite resources. Since cities grapple on a daily basis with the interaction of water, transportation, energy, public safety and many other systems, IBM is committed to a vision of Smarter Cities as a vital component of building a Smarter Planet. At the highest levels of maturity, a Smarter City is a knowledge-based system that provides real-time insights to stakeholders and enables decision-makers to manage the city’s subsystems proactively. Effective information management is at the heart of this capability, and integration and analytics are the key enablers. Intelligence is being infused into the way the world works.

Technologically leading are IBM’s three I’s:
– Instrumented: We can measure, sense and see the condition of practically everything.
– Interconnected: People, systems and objects can communicate and interact with each other in entirely new ways.
– Intelligent: We can analyze and derive insight from large and diverse sources of information, to predict and respond better to change.

The 9 Smarter Cities Challenge focal areas are: Administration, Citizen engagement, Economic development, Education & workforce, Environment, Public safety, Social services, Transportation, Urban planning.

Our Smart Cities Challenge Evaluation, May 2014
Below, you find the 112 cities and urban regions IBM has helped and in part still is helping to meet their specific challenges. We listed them to foster further research by ourselves and others. The projects are arranged in alphabetical order per year from 2010-2014. All information was gathered form the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge website in May 2014, and brought together. City name, country, focal areas and a trimmed basic description of challenges and response provide an adequate overview. Highlighted (in red) are the specific technology (IT), information management (IM), and project related characteristics and solutions to obtain a clear view of complexities and dependencies regarding the focal areas that were addressed in each Smarter Cities Challenge.

While studying the data, we found that Administration, Citizen engagement, Economic development, Education and workforce actually is one single cluster, as is Transportation and Urban planning. Environment typically is somewhere in between: often the focus is on sustainability, carbon footprint, and healthcare. Public safety often has to do with countering criminal activities, but also with disaster management. Social services naturally is a broad category. Some projects lack a description, namely the 2014 ones, which expectedly in part will be covered in due course.

All in all, these 112 Smarter Cities Challenge project descriptions over a period of 5 years are an impressive documentation of the fundamental steps that urban environments could and should take with the help of digital technologies and proper organization. This way, many of today’s spectrum of challenges from, to and in urban environments worldwide can and must be effectively addressed.

Sarah Wartell, president of the Urban Institute, lists two main principles that aspiring Smarter Cities must adhere to. First, it’s easy to get too smart about solving problems. It’s very cool and sexy to have computational scientists and researchers figuring how much data they can gather, but you want to make sure you’re not overlooking much simpler solutions to problems. Second, partnerships with the private sector are often touted, but government agencies have to learn how to innovate and develop the capacity to sustain programs on their own after private entities have moved on.

= = = 2010 = = =

1. Austin, United States: Social services
Investigating ways to address lingering disparities between East and West Austin, and propose a framework for the city to better coordinate and prioritize its infrastructure investments. The team delivered recommendations about transforming the delivery of social services, adopting a multi-modal approach to transportation planning, sharing data across city agencies, improving city communications, and creating an integrated planning process supported by an enterprise architecture.

2. Baltimore, United States: Public safety, Transportation
Analyzing the disconnect between citizens, especially youth, and city services in the City of Baltimore and made short- and long-term recommendations to address it. Recommendations in public safety focused on making better use of information and technology, and improving community perceptions of public safety. Recommendations in youth services centered on improving integration and coordination across agencies.

3. Chengdu, China: Administration
The first team worked very closely with city leaders in a number of strategic areas including cross government transformation, program management, architecture and other key project areas.
The second team considered the city’s goal of achieving Garden City status, a 50-year approach that balances the development of a competitive business environment while sustaining the natural environment and quality of life of its citizens. The goal of this process is to integrate the needs of both urban and rural communities. The team focused on three areas: food safety, education and telecommunications. In its final report to the city, the team developed a plan for an innovative use of an integrated “cloud” delivery service.

4. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Administration, Social services
Two teams set out to help the city achieve its vision of becoming the “Pearl of Asia” by exploring how technology can advance several areas, including transportation, water, food safety and e-government. Each team provided a detailed report, with the second team building on the work of the first, outlining high level recommendations as well as a concrete set of seven collaborative technology pilots and a few transformational programs that can be undertaken immediately.

5. Katowice, Poland: Economic development
Two successive teams helped the City of Katowice refine its strategic goals and make the city more economically competitive. The first team identified the following five areas of opportunity:
•Marketing the value proposition of the Katowice and Upper Silesia regions
•Optimizing transportation services within the city/region to make them more effective for residents and businesses
•More fully aligning key government, industry, academic and finance sectors to drive economic development, innovation, job creation, and population gains
•Involving Citizens and businesses more fully in the planning Government processes
•Addressing quality of life issues as a way of retaining young talent.
The second team built on these focus areas, identifying three points of development:
•The City of Commerce and Culture: How can the city’s economic development and marketing strategy be strengthened to improve quality of life (economic and social) and attract increased investment?
•The Well Planned City: How can key public infrastructures — especially in the areas of transportation and public safety — be planned and developed to best support the needs of the city/region?
The City of Digital Innovation: How can communication and collaboration between key parties be improved to support the continued development of community, as well as the deeper partnerships needed for long term success?

6. Mecklenburg County, United States: Administration, Urban planning
Analyzing the feasibility of integrating the capital master planning in Mecklenburg County across multiple jurisdictions and issue areas, including parks, greenways, trails, recreation centers, libraries, schools, college campuses, residential and commercial developments, government facilities, transportation corridors, pedestrian and bicycle routes and watersheds.

7. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Administration
Offering advice on everything from the use of social media in Government to benchmarking best practices for Rio’s investment promotion agency. Pilot projects were proposed for the city’s maintenance department to popularize adoption of public spaces and to exploit social media to reach out to the average citizen. Olympics sustainability projects were prioritized with a view to the city’s long-term future. Rio de Janeiro’s fledgling Investment Promotion Agency received advice and consulting on a market segmentation to determine which sectors to pursue.

= = = 2011 = = =

8. Antofagasta, Chile: Environment
In Antofagasta, the team initially focused on water, but eventually broadened the scope to include citizen issues (including public safety, health and education), business (planning, foreign trade, labor and product market legislation), transport, water and sanitation, energy supply and waste disposal, and communications infrastructure. The primary focus on water covered access, usage and loss, waste water and recycling, water quality and the supply infrastructure in general. Further evaluation focused on energy supply, broader city systems, planning and performance management, and governance and collaboration.

9. Boulder, United States: Environment, Urban planning
The City of Boulder is a leader in environmentally responsible growth. In 2007 Xcel Energy, in partnership with the City, launched the SmartGridCity™ project in Boulder to enhance Xcel Energy’s distribution system and employ various smart grid technologies. The IBM team worked with the City to analyze the technical capabilities of SmartGridCity™ and make recommendations on expanding capabilities in line with the City of Boulder’s focus on energy and its Climate Action Plan. Key recommendations include launching pilot programs to increase local renewable sourcing, promote the adoption of solar plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and promote energy efficiency in large building stock and small and medium businesses.

10. Bucharest, Romania: Economic development, Administration
Recommendations for achieving the city’s vision of becoming a vibrant commercial hub for Eastern Europe, including recommendations for economic development, city government operations, infrastructure, and quality of life.

11. Cebu, Phillipines: Urban planning
The IBM team in Cebu focused recommendations on integrating the plans of local governments across Metro Cebu to address common challenges, including flooding, land use and traffic congestion. This city-region concept would help each unit of government address common problems faster and in a more economical way, improving quality of life and prospects for economic development.

12. Chiang Mai, Thailand: Social services
Smarter Healthcare was focused on making both Chiang Mai and the University Medical clinic a medical hub as well as improving hospital efficiencies. Smarter Food was focused on creating insight on agriculture data for farmers, helping with pricing, weather forecasting, crop supply and demand, and the branding of Chiang Mai produce.

13. Chicago, United States: Education & workforce
Collaborating closely with the Mayor’s office, Chicago Public School leaders, Chicago City Colleges, city departments, civic groups and the private sector. Through these consultations and analysis, the team will work with Chicago educators and City leaders to create a strategic, step-by-step operational plan to create an educational system that more effectively ties to Chicago’s economic future. Among those plans will be the incorporation of the concept of the grade 9-14 school. IBM’s work in Chicago will be informed by the company’s experience with similar, bold educational initiatives it has helped shape in other challenging cities and educational systems.

14. Delhi, India: Economic development
Working with the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation to assess plans for up to 24 new cities in northwest India. The team applied Smarter Cities thinking to develop a far-reaching plan to dramatically transform India’s urban landscape, generate jobs, and examine the issue of integration across cities.

15. Edmonton, Canada: Transportation 
To achieve being the global leader in urban traffic safety IBM was asked to investigate how to improve traffic and road safety in Edmonton through the analysis of traffic data. The team’s recommendations included improving openness in government agencies and data, creating an Analytics Center of Excellence to support road safety, simplifying internal traffic safety measurements, reaching out to citizens through social media, and collaborating with industry leaders and academia on a traffic safety research project.

16. Glasgow, United Kingdom: Environment, Social services
Despite economic growth and urban renewal, Glasgow has been faced with rising rates of fuel poverty in the last decade. IBM was asked to analyze how to reduce fuel poverty in Glasgow and bring affordable warmth to its citizens. The IBM team’s recommendations focused on improving energy literacy in the city through methods such as the appointing of an affordable warmth champion, messaging and branding using social networking tools, and the use of predictive analytics for targeting City resources.

17. Guadalajara, Mexico: Administration
Developing strategies for delivering better and more efficient services to businesses and citizens. Their recommendations included integrating several disparate city services, processes, and departments; using process mapping and social networking to better connect with citizens and businesses; and developing an integrated IT platform and an e-government system.

18. Helsinki, Finland: Citizen engagement
Developing strategies for creating visualizations that can enable citizens make use of and benefit from open data, and define the components necessary to grow a sustainable, repeatable platform, process and ecosystem to leverage the principles of open data, turning data into information, information into action, and action into change. Key recommendations included expanding support for the open data community, managing and measuring the balance between engagement models, designing feedback mechanisms to support the evolution of the open data ecosystem; creating a social visualization web site, platform and API; continuing to evolve the role of Helsinki Region Infoshare; and seeking opportunities to use open data to drive internal change.

19. Jakarta, Indonesia: Transportation
Providing achievable recommendations to improve Jakarta’s traffic congestion problem within a realistic time frame, given the current economic climate.

20. Johannesburg, South Africa: Public safety
Developing a five-year public safety strategy in line with the city’s 2040 vision of a smart city. During the three-week project, the team conducted an intensive review of existing initiatives and operations — key resource challenges, such as funding, expertise, and inconsistent business community support were identified, along with execution challenges and structural challenges. Five key safety elements were identified together with details of how crime prevention and investigation, asset management and infrastructure safety, crisis and emergency response, community education and engagement, and governance and integrated intelligence would integrate into a single roadmap for comprehensive community safety.

21. Milwaukee, United States: Environment, Economic development
Analyzing how Milwaukee’s emerging aquaponics industry could have a positive impact on the City’s food supply, industry, health, and growth. The team’s recommendations included the establishment of an Urban Agriculture and Aquaponics Council and Aquaponics Innovation Center, the development of a business strategy for aquaponics, and the development of city programs and policies that support urban agriculture and aquaponics.

22. New Orleans, United States: Administration
Examining opportunities for data warehousing and performance management system that may improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of service delivery, and promotes accountability and transparency. The IBM team will be working with several resources that are already being developed by the city including a 3-1-1 system and the newly created City Office of Performance and Accountability.

23. Newark, United States: Administration
Finding transformational opportunities in cost savings and revenue generation, as well as overall citizen and business experience with government. The team produced a transformational framework for actionable improvement in both immediate and mid- to long-term time frames. The transformational framework included strategies for paperwork reduction, inter-departmental efficiency improvements, and citizen self-service opportunities.

24. Nice, France: Transportation
In 2010, a vision of sustainable, environmentally-friendly economic development for the city of Nice was developed. The plan calls for the integration of different modes of transport, both public and private, through an “Eco-Valley multi-modal hub” system with the ultimate objective of limiting the environmental impact of individual travel throughout the city. IBM was challenged to draw on its knowledge of systems, behavior and technology to advise the city on the development of this transportation cluster.

25. Philadelphia, United States: Education & workforce
The team in Philadelphia was asked to help determine how the city’s adult education and workforce training initiatives could be better aligned to create efficiencies, transparency and accountability, and strengthen connections connections between the city’s workforce training system and its economic development, education and anti-poverty strategies.

26. Providence, United States: Urban planning
A once-in-a-generation opportunity occured to reclaim 19.5 acres of land from the rerouting of Interstate 195, a freeway whose path through the Jewelry District isolated the area from the wave of revitalization that swept downtown Providence. The development of a new Knowledge District on this land requires the coordination of city agencies, state officials, developers and non-profit organizations. IBM was asked to create actionable recommendations for better, data-driven land use management, with systems that will promote the robust development of the city within and beyond the Knowledge District. The team identified four focus areas: organization, processes, technology, and performance, with recommendations that facilitate greater efficiency, greater alignment, better collaboration, more transparency and clear measurements. A better land use management system will enable the City to foster economic development by delivering more predictable review and approval times.

27. Sapporo, Japan: Environment
Supporting the City’s initiative to reduce its environmental impact and contributions to global warming. The IBM team will aim to assist Sapporo with its goal to become the most environmentally friendly city in the world by providing recommendations in areas such as industrial growth and environmental plan promotion.

28. Sendai, Japan: Citizen engagement
Sendai was severely affected by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. IBM is working to assist with efforts to re-zone areas of Sendai affected by the disaster. During this effort, the team will provide input on how to build a process for citizen engagement during the planning, process, and help the City identify areas where it will be safe to rebuild housing and commercial buildings.

29. St. Louis, United States: Public safety
Despite an overall downward trend in crime rates, St. Louis has been labeled the “most dangerous city in America” in recent years. IBM was asked to provide a set of actionable recommendations to improve public safety outcomes through better information management. The team provided a roadmap that includes coordination of business process and flows of data throughout the public safety system, and identified opportunities for accountability and cost-savings through performance management, analytics asset management, operational streamlining and policy changes.

30. Syracuse, United States: Urban planning
Like many cities along the U.S. Rust Belt, Syracuse has seen an outmigration of jobs and people from the city center to the suburbs. The resulting rise in vacant properties, exacerbated by the foreclosure crisis, has negative impacts across all segments of society and imposes direct costs on the city in code, fire, maintenance and other costs. IBM was asked to help the city understand, analyze, predict and therefore prevent increases in vacant residential properties. The team developed a property vacancy prediction model that combines two concepts; the first, a system of systems method, connects stakeholders and data from neighborhood, planning and development, common services, and support services entities. The second element, a predictive situational analysis system, uses a variety of tools including a data clearinghouse, prediction methodologies, cost estimations, decision analysis, event correlation, and a dashboard to facilitate decision-making. The team provided a roadmap to implement this model, which aims to move Syracuse towards data-driven, holistic, and proactive interventions that prevent and reverse neighborhood decline.

31. Townsville, Australia: Environment
Thet city has been undergoing large growth in recent years, and is highly invested in keeping their operations economically sound and environmentally sustainable. The team was asked to examine ways to build upon existing programs for sustainability through behavior change, smart grid & partnerships with energy providers.

= = = 2012 = = =

32. Accra, Ghana: Administration
(no desciption)

33. Ahmedabad, India: Social services, Transportation
(no desciption)

34. Atlanta, United States: Economic development, Public safety
A hub for the financial and real estate industries, Atlanta boomed in the post-WWII era but was particularly hard hit when the housing and mortgage crises ensued. IBM helped in identifying where Atlanta could best harness its energies to revitalize the economy. The team worked with the city to propose a innovative citywide strategic plan that includes a robust vision and management system to effectively align activities and investments in a complex multi-jurisdictional stakeholder environment, and technology adoption to support ongoing planning and assessment.

35. Birmingham, United Kingdom: Administration
In January 2012, the Re-inventing Birmingham initiative was launched – designed to link together a range of innovative efforts into a strategy for improving outcomes in the city. IBM’s advice was seeked on creating an evidence based tool to support future investment decisions, tracking relationships between council efforts, inputs and outcomes to deliver the highest value for residents.

36. Boston, United States: Transportation, Administration
Establishing a framework that would provide policymakers, administrators, researchers and citizens with information related to historic, current and future transportation trends and options, to reduce traffic congestion and generate new ways to monitor levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Policies were already crafted, such as the Complete Streets initiative and Climate Action Plan, to relieve traffic congestion, promote public transportation and reduce CO2 emissions. Transportation is responsible for about one quarter of Boston’s greenhouse gas emissions, and this initiative supports the city’s goal to reduce these emissions 25 percent by 2020.

37. Cheongju, Korea: Transportation
In striving to become a ‘green capital’ of Korea, already many eco-friendly policies, particular were pursued with regard to transportation. However, to achieve further progress in sustainability, the city looks to IBM to advise the city on encouraging and improving more sustainable forms of transit, such as public transit, cycling or walking, as a way to reduce traffic congestion and promote sustainability more broadly.

38. Chonburi, Thailand: Economic development, Health, Education
(no description)

39. Curitiba, Brazil: Citizen engagement
(no description)

40. Dà Nãng, Vietnam: Environment
(no description)

41. Dortmund, Germany: Education & workforce
For much of its history, Dortmund was dominated by the steel and coal industry, fostering a collective identity and investment that is still part of the city’s fabric today. However, as the economy transitioned to technology, services and logistics as dominant industries, there has been significant turnover and uncertainty in the labor market. Education holds the key to both economic development and stable employment levels, and IBM was asked to assist with a roadmap for a ‘Dortmund Talent Initiative‘ to attract new businesses to the region and train workers for jobs in a 21st century economy.

42. Durham, United States: Education & workforce
Addressing the disparity of educational achievement and economic opportunity for its youth. Through the Smarter Cities Challenge, IBM is partnering with the City to develop data-driven strategies to identify service gaps and enhance coordination amongst service organizations to ensure all youth have an opportunity to succeed and become positively contributing members of the community.

43. Eindhoven, Netherlands: Public safety
Public safety is one of the top priorities for the city of Eindhoven, which has ranked for several years as one of the least safe cities in the Netherlands. IBM’s support and recommendations were asked on how to better use data and technology to prevent and address organized crime, theft, and a growing black market economy. The team is developing a plan to help city leadership better engage with stakeholders within and outside the city and leverage the high-tech resources that exist in Eindhoven, including Brainport, a collaborative partnership of businesses, scientists and government dedicated to promoting technology and business development in the city.

44. Geraldton, Australia: Citizen engagement, Environment
During their assignment with the City of Greater Geraldton, the IBM team will focus on two main challenges: efforts to create a carbon neutral region through the use of smart grid technology and renewable energy, as well as the opportunity to leverage the National Broadband Network to transform the relationships between citizens, industry and the government, and support economic development.

45. Houston, United States: Social services
In 2011, the Department of Neighborhoods was established as a “one-stop” for residents seeking assistance with neighborhood issues. The City of Houston seeked assistance from IBM as it investigates opportunities to connect school-aged students to services that strengthen families and schools, including provision of some public services online; making relevant data on programs, services and resources more readily available; and strengthening collaboration with the Houston Independent School District and other partners.

46. Ishinomaki, Japan: Economic development
As one of the cities that suffered most from the 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Japan, the team delivered recommendations designed to encourage economic growth in the city.

47. Jacksonville, United States: Economic development
Downtown revitalization are a top priority, leading efforts to create a new downtown development authority & attract employers to locate in downtown. Building on these early successes, IBM was asked to develop a cohesive revitalization strategy by improving transportation, public safety, and cultural attractions.

48. Louisville, United States: Social services
Launching an initiative in partnership with government agencies, medical institutions and non-profit organizations to collect and analyze data surrounding asthma across the Louisville region. Data sources include a new application connected to inhalers, traffic and air monitoring networks, environmental profiles, property valuation and other publicly available data. The team aims to create a data-driven strategy for identifying and reducing asthma risk in the city, with an unprecedented level of granularity and sophistication.

49. Malaga, Spain: Economic development
Faced with an unemployment rate of over 30% – well above the national average, despite excellent transportation infrastructure, strong university presence, and designation as a science and technology focus region – ideas were requested for promoting economic development and improving the business environment for entrepreneurs and businesses to come to the city.

50. Medellin, Colombia: Transportation
(no description)

51. Nairobi, Kenya: Transportation
(no description)

52. Nanjing, China: Citizen engagement
(no description)

53. Omaha, United States: Economic development
In recent decades, development has predominantly occurred through suburban expansion, leaving parts of the urban core without vital investments in infrastructure. IBM was asked for help in using data and analytics to reshape policy and resource allocation to promote infill development and investment in the city’s core, to facilitate economic development and provide new job opportunities for residents.

54. Ottawa, Canada: Economic development
Building on existing initiatives including the 3-1-1 customer service experience and Light Rail Transit network, the city requested assistance in determining how best to stimulate the redevelopment of under-utilized properties, encourage market research to encourage new residents to live and work in these areas, and guide public investments to accommodate the needs of current demographics and anticipated growth in population in the nation’s capital. The developed a targeted marketing and communications strategy to support the city’s plan to transform communities through transit-oriented development (TOD). Key recommendations included a marketing segmentation and messaging strategy with key constituents, and streamlined communications to engage stakeholders and accelerate the end-to-end development process.

55. Pittsburgh, United States: Transportation
Building on the city’s MOVEPGH transportation planning process, the team examined ways to optimize current transportation systems and encourage multimodal journeys for commuters. The team recommended establishing a distributed traffic management center, empowering travelers with information and services about their commutes, promoting alternative modes of transit, coordinating governance and analysis of key transportation metrics, and expanding the ParkPGH program.

56. Pune, India: Social services, Transportation
Recommendations for improving healthcare and transportation, and recommended a shared services approach to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

57. Rabat, Morocco: Transportation
(no description)

58. Rosario, Argentina: Citizen engagement
(no description)

59. Singapore, Jurong Lake District: Transportation, Environment
Developing a new central business district, residential community and transit hub in the Jurong Lake District. The Urban Redevelopment Agency sought IBM’s assistance in incorporating smart practices, with a special focus on sustainability and multi-modal transportation.

60. Siracusa, Italy: Transportation, Economic development
With the aim of balancing the needs of its natural resource and refining industry with the demands of historic and cultural tourism, the team developed a holistic transportation plan that will support the development of multiple industries throughout the city.

61. Surrey, Canada: Social services
As the fastest growing city in British Columbia, Mayor Dianne Watts and the City of Surrey have requested advice on how to incorporate data-driven strategies for targeting investments in early childhood education and health, with an aim to prevent the need for future expenditures in remediation and policing.

62. Toluca, Mexico: Citizen engagement, Public safety
(no description)

63. Tshwane, South Africa: Citizen engagement
(no description)

= = = 2013 = = =

64. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Social services
In the second half of the 20th century, Belfast, like many other industrial cities, suffered from a declining industrial core and the flight of wealthier residents, which was exacerbated by sectarian conflict. ‘Peace walls’ or interfaces were erected throughout the city to prevent further violence, but these seams have led to persistent poverty and inequality in skills and opportunity in the borders between neighborhoods. IBM was asked for assistance in coordinating interventions and effectively allocating funds to address deprivation and inequality, including £20m of annual funding dedicated to social services that the city will control in April 2015, which was previously allocated at the central government level. The team’s recommendations provided Belfast with a roadmap to identify data sources and define data standards, establish a common framework for evaluating the impact of interventions, and build a model for directing funds to the most effective programs.

65. Buffalo, United States: Education & workforce
The economy is full of promise, featuring regional colleges and universities, emerging biomedical research and high tech manufacturing industries – but its citizens also face challenges due to high dropout rates in schools, low youth employment and a fractured network of service providers and business. The mayor asked IBM to help improve employment opportunities for young people by developing a strategy to coordinate youth skill-building and employment activities, improve data-sharing and forge closer partnerships with businesses, public schools and community organizations.

66. Burlington, United States: Environment
Burlington Electric Department was awarded a US Department of Energy grant to install advanced metering, part of a statewide eVermont grant consortium, with lessons learned in Burlington to be applied across the state. In April 2013, a new meter system was fully deployed, and a new, aggressive Climate Action Plan will have been adopted. It was time for the city to set policies around rates, electric vehicle use and solar power generation on the upgraded grid. IBM was asked to look at ways to use this new infrastructure to reduce costs, improve the citizen experience and set the standard for successful implementation of smart grid systems.

67. Cape Town, South Africa: Administration
A wide range of municipal assets is deployed to generate income and deliver services to its 3.7 million citizens. These include traditional infrastructure assets, such as water and transport, and social assets, such as community centers and libraries. A social asset is a person, physical structure, place, business, service or other accessible resource used by local residents for their personal, social, economic or cultural benefit. Historically, the distribution and utilization of social assets in Cape Town has been informed by events rather than been the product of holistic and integrated planning. During a three-week period in October 2013, a team of six IBM experts worked in Cape Town to deliver recommendations around key issues. The team was asked to address the following question: How can the City of Cape Town effectively use and manage its social assets to optimize service delivery?

68. Chennai, India: Administration
(no description)

69. Christchurch, New Zealand: Economic development
The city suffered a series of earthquakes which caused massive damage in and around the city, resulting in a decrease in population and the movement of businesses out of the restricted “red zone.” In the next 10 years, an estimated $40 billion from private and public sources will be invested in rebuilding and renewing Christchurch. IBM was asked to work with city leaders, investors, students and innovators to provide recommendations on how to rebuild in a smarter and more effective way. The team delivered recommendations that built on the city’s assets in quality of life, access to the outdoors, high levels of education and high GDP growth.

70. Copenhagen, Denmark: Environment
There is an ambitious target to become carbon neutral by 2025, with an integrated value chain that links sustainability with the quality of life in the city and economic growth. IBM was asked for help in achieving these ambitious goals, with particular emphasis on using data analytics to reduce energy consumption and make efficiency improvements to buildings.

71. Date, Japan: Economic Development
The aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disasters pose a significant challenge to the city and its agricultural industry. Radioactive contamination of the rice, fruit and vegetables grown in the city just after the disasters compounded existing problems from an aging workforce. Two years later, in spite of largely successful decontamination efforts, persistent fears about food safety continue to threaten the livelihood of many residents. IBM was asked to rethink the future of its agricultural industry, planning for sustainability and growth, and, importantly, seeding the revitalization of the city as a whole.

72. Faro, Portugal: Economic development, Environment
Over the past 40 years the region has been very successful with its sandy beaches attracting tourists from throughout the EU and the world. Fisheries have also been a significant driver of economic development, but has slowed down over the past few years, threatening the way of life in the area. The city and region want to reignite the marine environment as a major driver for the region’s economic growth and sustainability, including possibly developing a marine observation and data network , based on expertise at the University, to bring data as a key component supporting their vision. The IBM team is building off these plans and the region’s assets to create an economic road map for Faro’s marine economy using smarter planet strategies and a focus on sustainable economic growth.

73. Foshan, China: Economic development
(no description)

74. Fresno, United States: Economic development
This Californian city has struggled with economic development and has a higher unemployment rate than the national average. This is due to increasing urban sprawl encroaching on agricultural land, high dropout rates, low college attendance, fragmented water governance, and poor air quality, which contributes to high rates of asthma. IBM helped it take a data-driven approach to its economic development, which includes ways of analyzing disparate, yet interconnected, factors. The team’s work focused on downtown redevelopment and applying technology to improve agricultural productivity.

75. Gold Coast, Australia: Administration, Public safety
As host to national and international events and many visitors to the acclaimed natural attractions, Gold Coast attracts more than 11 million overnight and day-trip tourists each year. Many of the visitors often arrive to Gold Coast during the cyclone, summer-storm and bushfire seasons and typically have limited awareness of how to prepare for a disaster. The cultural and linguistic diversity of visitors only further complicates matters. IBM’s help was requested to further enhance the Gold Coast disaster management lifecycle by improving communications and audience specific communications, interoperability of disaster management systems, and extending the use of instrumentation and analytics to accelerate disaster response.

76. Gurgaon, India: Administration
(no description)

77. Jeju, South Korea: Economic development
Faced with a rapidly changing global economy, the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province recognizes the need for cohesive, forward-looking economic development. Provincial leaders asked IBM to deliver an outside-in perspective on the province’s challenges and opportunities to fuel long-term prosperity. The IBM team’s recommendations focused on enhancing the impact of tourism and expansion of Jeju’s economic base.

78. Khon Kaen, Thailand: Economic development
The province and city of Khon Kaen’s population, urbanization, political climate, willingness to change and enforce rules, and planned Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (AEC) all help it to be the center of development in Thailand’s northeastern region. The team worked to deliver recommendations for the city around two areas smarter traffic and smarter analytics. The team focused on Smarter Traffic looked at automating traffic management, developing a Traffic Smart Dashboard, and integrating the public Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system into Khon Kaen provincial public transportation. The Smarter Analytics portion focused on what it would take to advance the Khon Kaen University (KKU) analytics capability in order to form a “center of excellence” within the region.

79. Knoxville, United States: Environment
With an aging housing stock, many residents are left with energy bills that they are unable to pay. In the short run, charitable organizations have donated over $3 million to cover emergency energy bills in 2011, but the long-term solution is in improving weatherization of residences and energy efficiency tactics. The city asked IBM to develop a roadmap to improve coordination between utilities and the city, based on better data and effective governance. The strategy is also expected to help affect greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy use. The city drew on the support of utilities, non-profits and businesses to initiate the project as well as its past experience subsidizing weatherization improvements in residences.

80. Kyoto, Japan: Transportation
In recognition of the city’s tremendous cultural heritage and historical importance, IBM was asked to help realize his vision for Kyoto to become a walkable city. With a population of 1.5 million and roads unchanged for centuries, traffic is a significant problem in many areas, so the city aims to optimize multiple forms of transportation infrastructure to decrease congestion and improve health outcomes.

81. Lagos, Nigeria: Transportation
Lagos is the country’s largest city and one of the world’s fastest growing. 20% of Lagos’ 3,600sq km geographical area is mostly waterways; however, 90% of commuter travel in the state is road based. City authorities predict a 350% growth in the number of vehicles in the state over the next 25 years, with the population doubling to 40 million by 2030. The potential of both rail and water transport remains largely untapped as they carry less than one percent of overall traffic in the state. Working with the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, the agency responsible for developing and implementing the state’s transportation blueprint, and the Lagos State Ministries of Transportation, Works & Infrastructure, Science & Technology, the team of experts proposed technology-driven strategies to make travel easier. The recommendations included better coordination between agencies responsible for traffic management, police, fire and medical care. Informing the decisions of these departments would be data gathered and analyzed from a variety of sources such as cell phones, call centers, cameras, and global positioning systems devices. More accurate and up-to-date information can help transport management agencies better manage the city’s traffic flow. It will also enable them to wirelessly provide travelers with information such as road and traffic conditions, as well as bus, boat and toll schedules, to help them plan their trips more effectively.

82. Lodz, Poland: Social services
(no description)

83. Makati City, Philippines: Transportation
(no description)

84. Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia: Administration 
Known primarily for the proximity of its beaches to Kuala Lumpur, the state wants and needs to create its own distinct identity to meet the aggressive economic development targets. IBM’s assistance was requested in helping achieve the goal to become a “developed state” by 2020. The team’s work focused on assessing the current plan, balancing the GDP-centric goals with the needs of citizens, identifying gaps and hurdles, and providing recommendations to help the State become a place its citizens want to live, learn, work and raise families.

85. New Taipei City, Taiwan: Public safety
The largest city in Taiwan seeked IBM’s assistance in enhancing the productivity of police officers and ensuring public safety through innovative use of technology.

86. Pingtung County, Taiwan: Environment
One-third of Pingtung County sits below sea level and opens up either to the sea or to the Linbian river, requiring uninterrupted energy sources to pump water out of low-lying areas. The devastating impact of Typhoon Morakot in 2009, which destroyed many low-lying areas, led the county to dramatically rethink its strategies for economic development and energy management, and it has established sustainable land use policies while making significant investments in solar photovoltaic farms, fuel cell technology, and biogas initiatives. Magistrate Tsao asked IBM to help Pingtung County take the next step in reducing its dependence on traditional energy sources by promoting the use of distributed renewable energy. The IBM team delivered an integrated plan for a microgrid demonstration site that would integrate renewable energy technologies, and provided recommendations around establishing a governance model and citizen education strategy.

87. Porto Alegre, Brazil: Administration, Citizen engagement
For over 20 years, the city has been a global leader in its deployment of participatory budgeting, whereby citizens are able to designate the addition of services and works to the city’s budget. IBM was asked to help drive and maintain momentum in Porto Alegre’s ongoing journey to becoming a cognitive democracy, focusing on enhancing participative budgeting to both extend its reach into the broader population and better inform the decision-making process around investment in local projects. For this project, IBM invited Citi to add its financial expertise; the team of six IBM and two Citi executives worked closely together to deliver a set of recommendations to the City of Porto Alegre.

88. Quebec City, Canada: Citizen engagement
In an effort to enhance municipal services the city is moving towards digital solutions. Officials worry that the roughly one in five residents who do not use digital technology or access the Internet may not have equal access to services. Because this non-user population includes many of the city’s most vulnerable residents, the digital divide could negatively impact their mental and physical health, safety and resilience, access to employment, lodging and social inclusion. IBM was asked for help in developing a strategy to reach the city’s goal to reduce the overall digital non-use rate from the current 19% to 16% by 2016, with a maximum of 20% in three particularly disadvantaged boroughs: Cité-Limoilou, des Rivière and Charlesbourg.

89. Reno, United States: Economic development
Crafting a data-driven strategy for economic development as the City looks to diversify its economy. By applying advanced analytics and using open data, the city aims to improve coordination between policymakers, citizens, higher education institutions, businesses and investors.

90. Richmond, United States: Economic development
The city has serious structural challenges in providing equal opportunity to all of its residents, which stem from historical patterns of segregation and income inequality across various neighborhoods. IBM was asked for assistance on how to use technology and process to coordinate an economic development strategy in partnership with local universities, state government and federal agencies. In particular, the city aims to simplify the process for starting and expanding businesses in the city, through workforce development programming, zoning, permitting and infrastructure. The team built on an in-depth study recently conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University on the economic potential of the Broad Street corridor, which could hold lessons for neighborhoods throughout the city.

91. Stavanger, Norway: Social services
The city is facing an aging population. It has had the foresight to understand the challenge and begin an active aging strategy to address it. However, it will only begin to see the biggest impact of this demographic shift over the next five years, creating a valuable three- to five-year window of opportunity to be proactive. The city has already made significant efforts through the 2012 launch of its “Leve HELE LIVET” (Lifelong Living) program, which includes a pilot project (Everyday Rehabilitation) based on the successful model introduced in Fredericia, Denmark. The challenge presented to the Stavanger Smarter Cities Challenge team was to develop a roadmap to advance a strategy focused on increasing the empowerment and capacity of elderly citizens to maintain good health and functional capabilities, thereby fostering independence.

92. Trujillo, Peru: Transportation, Public Safety
Strengthening the municipality’s technical and strategic service capacities with regard to citizen safety and security. Lacking strong policies at the national level, the municipality seeks to tackle the problems of petty and organized crime at the local level through proactive tracking and deterrence. Its goal is to develop effective anti-crime strategies in partnership with the National Police, public agencies at the district and provincial level, and civil society that build on the investments the city has already made in local security staff, stations and equipment. The team analyzed the existing public safety situation, systems and processes in order to provide recommendations on how the local government can improve citizen safety and security.

93. Tucson, United States: Environment
As a growing city in the Sonoran desert, Tucson is already vigilant about its water footprint – existing initiatives include re-use of non-potable water, protection of key aquifers and reduced consumer use. With the installation of advanced metering systems, the City wants to continue its role as a thought leader in water conservation globally, and want to demonstrate the benefits of advanced metering for reduced labor cost, better leak detection and planning. The team helped the city leverage data-driven management to improve customer service; upgrade systems to capture failures, leaks and water usage; and reduce the cost of energy.

94. Valparaiso, Chile: Transportation
The Gran Valparaíso metropolitan area faces challenges in traffic and transportation management due to the expansion of households into outlying areas and, in particular, the flows of traffic into two of its five towns, Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, which remain the primary trade and employment centers in the region. Traffic is also increased by the regular flow of tourists to the resorts of Viña del Mar and the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Valparaiso. The city, in conjunction with the regional government and the Chilean Ministry of Transportation, requested IBM’s help in creating a plan to improve mobility in the Gran Valparaíso metropolitan area, including consideration of baseline status, transportation data, information requirements, transportation planning, priorities, IT, instrumentation and analytics.

95. Vitoria, Brazil: Administration
(no description)

96. Waterloo, Canada: Social services, Public safety
The city neighborhood of Northdale was initially developed in the mid-20th century as a suburban community. With the development and continued growth of the adjacent post-secondary institutions, there has been significant pressure on the neighborhood to accommodate students. The influx of a transient population and a large number of absentee landlords have raised concerns around the sense of community and public safety in the area. The team helped in developing a strategy & action plan to support the realization of the Northdale Plan, which lays out a vision for the land use and community development of the neighborhood, by repositioning the image of the neighborhood and attracting new investments.

= = = 2014 = = =

97. Abuja, Nigeria: Administration
(no description)

98. Ballarat, Australia: Environment
(no description)

99. Baton Rouge, United States: Transportation
(no description)

100. Birmingham, United States: Economic Development, Social Services
(no description)

101. Brussels Capital Region: Transportation
(no description)

102. Dallas, United States: Public Safety
(no description)

103. Dublin, Ireland: Environment
(no description)

104. Durban, South Africa: Economic Development
(no description)

105. Jinan, China: Environment, Economic Development
(no description)

106. Mombasa County, Kenya: Administration
(no description)

107. Niigata, Japan: Transportation          
(no description)

108. Perth, Australia: Environment
(no description)

109. Suffolk County, United States: Environment
(no description)

110. Tainan, Taiwan: Transportation
(no description)

111. Vilnius, Lithuania: Transportation
(no description)

112. Zapopan, Mexico: Economic Development
(no description)

= = =

Sogeti Labs


SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.

Related Posts

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Jaap Bloem May 1, 2014 Reply

    Please also check this one: Five Big Ideas to Make Cities Better > by Ariel Schwartz.