IBM names 24 cities for grants to improve public services

IBM named 24 cities to receive grants for its Smarter Cities Challenge to improve public services. Among those in the U.S.: Boulder, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Newark, Philadelphia, Providence, St. Louis and Syracuse.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

IBM on Wednesday selected 24 cities to receive grants for its Smarter Cities Challenge, for which municipalities compete for a piece of a $50 million package dedicated to analysis and recommendations for improving public services.

The cities that were chosen for the grant, worth approx. $400,000, made the best case for improving residents' quality of life with it, IBM says.

Those were (U.S. cities in bold type):

  • Antofagasta, Chile
  • Boulder, Colo.
  • Bucharest, Romania
  • Chengdu, China
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Delhi, India
  • Edmonton, Canada
  • Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • Glasgow, U.K.
  • Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Milwaukee, Wis.
  • New Orleans, La.
  • Newark, N.J.
  • Nice, France
  • Philadelphia, Penn.
  • Providence, R.I.
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Sapporo, Japan
  • St. Louis, Mo.
  • Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Townsville, Australia
  • Tshwane-Pretoria, South Africa

Specifically, each city described areas of focus that needed outside help, from delivering school coursework to mobile devices to using data to determine the best use of land for a planned community.

Areas for improvement included healthcare, education, public safety, social services, transportation, communications, sustainability, budget management, energy and utilities.

Naturally, IBM's interest is to help cities reap the benefits of data, with the hope that happy officials (and residents, via a handy website called City Forward) will sign on for more services later.

In awarding grants to so many cities, the company also stands to benefit from aggregated data to help cities compare themselves to others.

Photo: Explore St. Louis

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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