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IBM Names Smarter Cities Winners

Philadelphia, St. Louis, Syracuse, and Boulder among U.S. towns to split more than $50 million in tech products and services from Big Blue.

Paul McDougall

March 9, 2011

2 Min Read

Slideshow: IBM Empowers Smarter Cities

IBM on Wednesday named 24 recipients of its Smarter Cities grants under a program designed to help municipalities build intelligent infrastructures for managing traffic, monitoring environmental conditions, maintaining emergency networks, and other urban tasks.

Boulder, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, as well as Syracuse, New York, and Newark, NJ were the U.S. cities named among the recipients. Other cities around the world to receive the grants include Helsinki, Rio De Janeiro, Edmonton, and Glasgow.

The winners will divide up a total of $50 million in technology and IT services provided by IBM. To qualify, municipal employees had to submit essays to IBM explaining how their towns would make use of the funds.

"We selected these cities because of their commitment to the use of data to make better decisions, and for their desire to explore and act on smarter solutions to their most pressing concerns," said Stanley Litow, IBM's vice president for Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs.

"The cities we picked are eager to implement programs that tangibly improve the quality of life in their areas, and to create roadmaps for other cities to follow. The stakes have never been greater but we're excited at the prospect of helping cities tackle the most pressing challenges of our time," said Litow.

Among the winning entrants, officials in one city said they planned to use the grant money to create a system to deliver school coursework to mobile devices, while officials in another said they planned to use business analytics software to determine the most efficient land use.

IBM also set up a Web site, cityforward.org, to help cities manage their projects. It will allow city managers as well as the general public to monitor their cities' progress implementing Smarter Cities projects and compare their efforts with other municipalities.

Each city will receive on average about $400,000 from IBM.

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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