(PITTSBURGH) March 15, 2012 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced that IBM has selected Pittsburgh as one of 33 worldwide recipients of their IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant. The grant will provide Pittsburgh City Planners with IBM analysts who will live in Pittsburgh for at least three weeks and provide “intelligent technology” services worth the equivalent of $400,000.
“I am thrilled that Pittsburgh has been chosen and I want to congratulate our City Planning Department on all of their hard work that ultimately resulted in us landing this competitive grant,” Ravenstahl said. “In order to reach our City’s full economic potential, we must improve our transportation networks. And that doesn’t mean building larger highways, it means connecting more people with multi-modal transportation options like premium transit, rapid bus lines, and creating more bikeable, pedestrian-friendly streets.”
IBM analysts will aid the City in developing its first 25-year comprehensive transportation plan called MovePGH. The plan, which is currently undergoing a public-input process, will provide a blueprint on how to best synchronize and improve Pittsburgh’s transportation options in order to become an even better place to live and work. CMU’s Traffic 21 Initiative will also work with IBM on the blueprint. More than 150 cities applied for the grant.
When complete by the end of 2012, MovePGH will prioritize City transportation-related capital projects and recommend ways to spur more transit-oriented development to revitalize neighborhoods. The plan solicits input from all six transportation agencies that operate within the City, so that everyone is working from the same blueprint and able to leverage the most grant funding.
The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a competitive grant program in which IBM is awarding $50 million worth of technology and services to 100 municipalities worldwide through 2013.
"The cities that have been selected are all different, but they had 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 vice president of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, and President of IBM's International Foundation. "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."
IBM's consultants and technology specialists will help municipalities analyze and prioritize their needs, review strengths and weaknesses, and learn from the successful strategies used by other cities worldwide. After studying the role that intelligent technology might play in uniting and advancing different aspects of city life, IBM then outlines a range of concrete strategies designed to help make cities healthier, safer, smarter, more prosperous, and attractive to current and prospective residents and businesses.
A consistent theme in these projects is the collecting, sharing, analyzing and acting on data generated by urban interactions and transactions. Such information can include everything from school test scores, smartphone adoption, crime statistics, foot and vehicle traffic, to tax revenue and library usage. Correlations are then made that link seemingly unrelated aspects of urban life to develop innovative and cost effective strategies to address persistent challenges.
About IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge:
IBM's Smarter Cities Challenge is an outgrowth of IBM's Corporate Service Corps grants program, in which IBM deploys teams of top employees to areas in the developing world to work on projects that intersect business, technology and society. Since the launch of Corporate Service Corps in 2008, nearly 1,400 IBM employees based in 50 countries have been dispatched on more than 140 team assignments in 24 countries.
The Smarter Cities Challenge is sponsored by IBM's Corporate Citizenship program and IBM’s International Foundation. IBM has been a leader in corporate social responsibility and citizenship for 100 years. To learn more about IBM's corporate citizenship initiatives, please visit: www.citizenibm.com
To find out more about IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grants, please visit http://smartercitieschallenge.org/ and http://www.youtube.com/user/citizenIBM