Edmonton Aces Smarter Cities Challenge
Edmonton is among the smartest cities in the world. This, according to IBM. The technology giant chose Edmonton as one of 24 cities worldwide to receive a Smarter Cities Challenge grant (up to US$400,000). The criteria: innovative use of information technology to benefit citizens.
The real value of the prize isn’t the $400,000—IBM will dole out a total of $50 million worth of technology and services to 100 municipalities worldwide over the next three years through its grant program. Winners get free advice from IBM consultants who will recommend ways to use information technology to support growth, better delivery of municipal services, more citizen engagement, and improved efficiencies.
The only catch: winning cities have to be prepared to match IBM’s investment with their own commitment of time and resources. According to IBM, proposals articulating pressing urban concerns that could be addressed by implementing “smarter” technologies and processes rose to the top of the list. Access to publicly available data that could leverage the capabilities of City Forward was also a factor in the selection process.
Two hundred cities around the world applied for the Smarter Cities Challenge. Winners include: Chengdu, China; Delhi, India; Glasgow, UK; New Orleans, LA; Nice, France; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Among the North American winners are Newark, New Jersey; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Boulder, Colorado.
“These cities are eager to implement programs that tangibly improve the quality of life in their areas, and to create roadmaps for other cities to follow,” said Stanley S. Litow, IBM VP of corporate citizenship and corporate affairs, and president of IBM’s Foundation.