IBM Delivers New Tools to Empower Smarter Cities

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-05-27 Print this article Print
IBM Smarter Cities big data

Built with cities, the three new Smarter Cities Management Centers for transportation, water and emergency management bring together IBM’s portfolio of Intelligent Operations software, IBM Global Business Services expertise and IBM’s analytics capabilities. The solutions are available via the cloud or on-premise through a combination of hardware, software, services and preconfigured analytics models for best practices in city management. Cities can begin getting insight from their data in a little more than a week, IBM said.

The new Transportation Management Center provides citywide traffic visibility to help alleviate congestion, improve traffic management, optimize road capacity, rapidly respond to incidents and enhance the travel experience by delivering travel advisories to citizens. The solution has been proven to help some cities reduce congestion by 25 percent, IBM said. The new Water Management Center enables cities to use analytics and decision support to improve flood protection, water quality and integrated water-resource management. It also helps forecast future demands on the water supply and helps city leaders coordinate responses to flood or drought. The solution has been proven to help some cities reduce leaks by 20 percent, IBM said.

Meanwhile, the new Emergency Management Center provides geospatial intelligence and analytics to help harness information and data streaming from multiple sources to provide a central point of command for emergency management. It can provide emergency managers with critical information from first responders, scenario planning to streamline and integrate response to emergencies, and advanced communications for first responders and emergency personnel. Some cities using this solution have reduced response times by 25 percent, IBM said.

“Cities need a foundation for modernizing their systems and the basis of their technology should be flexible, open and easy to use,” said Michael Dixon, general manager of IBM Smarter Cities, in a statement. “City leaders and citizens will all benefit from this integrated approach, predictive analytics and resulting outcomes that will allow cities to begin to transform in ways that just a decade ago were unimaginable.”

With the new preconfigured Smarter Cities offerings and services, IBM is combining analytics, mobile and social to provide predictive insight and help cities deliver better results by making sense of the massive amounts of big data generated every day.

In addition to the new capabilities for water, transportation and emergency management, IBM also announced a new digital platform for citizen engagement, People for Smarter Cities, to provide citizens, academia and others to share ideas and engage in public discussions on how to make cities smarter. To mark the launch of People for Smarter Cities, IBM collaborated with Zooppa, a crowdsourcing community with more than 200,000 members—including filmmakers, influential bloggers, and environmental communities--to invite citizens from around the world to submit their ideas through video on ways to improve life in their cities. The winning Smarter Cities videos can be viewed here.


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