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IBM Awards Smarter Cities Challenge Grants to Canadian Cities

Posted on March 16, 2012

This week, IBM selected 33 cities worldwide to receive IBM Smarter Cities Challenge  grants during 2012.

Launched in 2011, this three-year, 100-city, US$50 million program funds in-person sessions with IBM staff who study and then make detailed recommendations addressing locally important urban issues.

The winning cities proposed projects and areas of focus that IBM experts found “intriguing.”  They included initiatives for:

  • Economic and Workforce Development  – attracting a diverse variety of jobs and industries
  • Transportation – integrating bus, rail, bicycle, car and pedestrian modes of transportation
  • Sustainability  – measuring vehicle miles traveled more precisely to help lower pollution levels
  • Health – using inhaler and air quality data to identify and reduce asthma outbreaks
  • Education – applying data analytics to identify the most effective investments for improving an entire school system
  • Urban Planning – revitalizing and redeveloping older neighborhoods

Two Canadian cities (Ottawa and Surrey, British Columbia) earned IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants in 2012. Last year, the City of Edmonton became the first Canadian recipient.

“The cities that have been selected are all different, but they have one clear similarity: the strong personal commitment by the city’s leadership to put in place the changes needed to help the city make smarter decisions,” said Stanley S. Litow, IBM’s VP of corporate citizenship & corporate affairs and president of IBM’s Foundation, in a release. “These cities demonstrated a desire to set an example for other municipalities, an eagerness to collaborate with multiple stakeholders, and a strong commitment to consider implementing recommendations the city felt would be the most feasible and beneficial to their residents.”


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