By George Elliott, P. Eng.
In the city of Cambridge, Ontario, we’ve always taken pride in our long and proud tradition of delivering quality services to our citizens with the bottom line in mind. We know that with a growing city, our infrastructure needs are also growing. In these hard economic times, we wanted to address funding gaps through efficiencies and limit the impact on taxes. We looked for ways to give us more analytical ability to refine and enhance our systems and gain greater return on investment.
Given the aging physical infrastructure challenges that all Canadian municipalities are facing, we needed to better understand the competing priorities, and look to refine ways we address our infrastructure to avoid costly repairs.
By Jack Kardys
Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land. It is made up of 17 miles of beaches, the renowned Zoo Miami, golf courses, marinas, large athletic stadiums, campgrounds, pools and more.
As Miami-Dade County looks at new ways to re-vitalize the region, create jobs and spur business growth while benefiting residents, the parks system is at the epicenter. In addition to making sure we’re good stewards of the environment, we are committed to ensuring social equity with the right distribution of park facilities and programs throughout the community for people of all ages, sizes, shapes, and income levels.
Most of the parks in Miami-Dade County are anywhere from 50 to 75 years-old. Our beachfront parks were built in the 1930’s and 1940’s and the saltwater intrusion has been wreaking havoc on the system ever since. Our community pools were built in the 1960’s and the early 1970’s. The pipe corrosion from chlorine and the chemicals we use to keep those in balance tear up our pipes. It’s a challenge we face throughout the region. Continue Reading »
By Hon. Carlos A. Gimenez
In Miami-Dade County, what we’ve learned over the years is that municipal agencies work best when they work together. Operating as isolated silos, they are woefully inefficient. The consequences are not just economic, they are also social and cultural, affecting quality of life.
A major event that brings in thousands of visitors to one of our parks, for example, is not just a challenge for the Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department – it could cause traffic that the Department of Transportation must address, or draw crowds that Police must be prepared to manage. There’s no reason why city agencies shouldn’t share information and coordinate responses to major events accordingly.
While many local governments are grappling with service cuts, Miami-Dade County is in a unique position in that our economy has finally returned to growth mode. Still, there is tremendous competition for government resources, and in order to build for the future, we need to spend wisely now. Many of our challenges won’t be overcome by simply throwing money at them. Nor can private enterprise solve our problems alone. There needs to be a partnership between public and private enterprise. Continue Reading »
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis and the recovery from the worst American recession since the Great Depression, government leaders have learned that they need to do more, like make improvements to infrastructure, basic services and governmental programs, but with shrinking resources.
Municipal governments have the greatest direct impact on the lives of their constituents and no matter how tight the budget, citizens expect, and deserve, action. So mayors have to think innovatively to accomplish goals, deliver services more efficiently and effectively and stimulate economic development.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter has not pared back his ambitious agenda despite reduced funding. One major focus: access to a quality education, which he refers to as “the new civil rights fight.” Mayor Nutter supports a number of creative initiatives designed to provide Philadelphians with educational opportunities and job skills to prepare them for the 21st century workforce.
Philadelphia is one of more than 60 cities worldwide that have participated in IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge program. IBM sends teams of six executives to participating cities to help them develop solutions to difficult problems. Nutter and other mayors have provided insights in to what it takes to transform cities. The lessons they learned are captured in a white paper, How to Reinvent a City.
Stand on a busy big-city street corner at lunch time and you will witness a chaotic scene. Thousands of people are walking every which way, getting on and off buses, descending to subways, riding in cars, and walking in and out of buildings. Where did all these people come from? And where are they going? Until now, such questions were unanswerable–mysteries of the city. But no more.
Today, thanks to deep analytics, we can for the first time understand the complexities of cities in motion.
IBM Researchers have developed analytics software that provides accurate and meaningful information about massive numbers of peoples’ movements. These insights can be used by city managers to plan new transit routes, improve the efficiency of current transit systems, and coordinate the various transportation modes with a goal of making moving around in cities a lot more convenient and comfortable. The project, Insights in Motion, is a so-called First-of-a-Kind (FOAK) collaboration with transportation officials in Dubuque, Iowa, and Istanbul, Turkey.
A paper about Dubuque’s piece of the project, Dubuque Smart Travel, was presented Jan. 16 at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board.
By Brad Duguid
For as long as researchers have sought new discoveries and new solutions, collaboration has been the key to success. This is nothing new.
What’s new is the pivotal role today’s technology plays in connecting people to foster collaboration on a global scale. As a society, we benefit when the world’s brightest minds come together to work on pioneering projects.
That’s exactly what Ontario’s landmark partnership with IBM hopes to accomplish. IBM, seven of the province’s leading universities, the Province of Ontario and the Canadian federal government came together to launch the IBM Canada Research and Development Centre.
By Dr. Michael Rappa
There are various studies looking at the current shortfall of talented analytics experts in today’s data-hungry workforce. But here in the Tarheel State, we’ve focused our attention towards the future – akin to a living, breathing predictive model – to create a dynamic program that trains brilliant minds to handle data, and leading to the ultimate outcome: job offers to 90 percent of our graduating students.
By now many of us have heard about how quickly data is growing (from 1,200 exabytes in 2010 to 35,000 exabytes by 2020, as predicted by IDC). The promise for a better understanding of data is one of the reasons a $200 million Big Data research and development initiative was announced by the Obama Administration last spring.
To further explore the various ways our government can benefit from data, I recently participated in a Big Data Commission led by the TechAmerica Foundation, along with my academic peers and leaders from the technology industry and government. Our findings are detailed in a report, entitled Demystifying Big Data: A Practical Guide to Transforming the Business of Government, that outlines how big data can be utilized to better serve the country and citizens.
Continue Reading »
By Robert Griffin
This week I had the privilege of leading a team of IBMers to engage one of the most important communities we serve as a company — law enforcement.
In San Diego, thousands of police chiefs and public safety leaders from across the globe convened here to attend the 119th Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference and Law Enforcement Education and Technology Exposition — an event I’ve attended for the last several years while representing private sector ventures, which are now part of IBM.
And in this relatively short period of time, I’ve witnessed the public sector, in partnership with business make great strides to solve Big Data challenges, especially as it relates to information sharing across jurisdictions.
This is part one of a series about Smarter Public Safety. Read part two here.
by Christopher Padilla, Vice President of Government Programs for IBM
If you live in or around Washington, D.C., you have seen first hand how better public safety can help to improve local economies. Once known as the “Murder Capital” of the U.S., the homicide rate has dropped to a 50-year low in our capital city. This kind of dramatic turnaround has helped the city become a focal point for economic growth. I’d urge you to read Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier’s latest post to the Smarter Planet blog to learn more about what D.C., is doing to curb crime and foster economic growth.
Today, IBM’s Institute of Business Value released a paper on how a smarter approach to managing public safety can jumpstart economic development. This paper outlines how cities can curb crime and foster economic growth.
Every day, local governments are challenged with ensuring they create a safe environment to not only protect the safety of their citizens, but also promote economic growth.
Here are just a few examples of how crime can have an impact on the Gross Domestic Product of certain countries:
- The annual cost of youth involvement in organized crime in the United States is approximately $465 billion or 3% of GDP
- In the United Kingdom, the annual cost of crime per household is £3,000
- The direct of crime in Brazil is 3-5% of its GDP
- Total crime costs in after including other medical, institutional, private security, economic costs and transfers in South Africa is 7.8% of its GDP
Editor’s Note: This Friday (August 24), be sure to join us for an interactive Smarter Friday conversation about Smarter Cities Challenge on Facebook throughout the business day (New York time). Please Tweet to #SmarterCities.
Nearly four years into the Smarter Planet journey, IBMers have undertaken more than 2,000 engagements with governments and businesses aimed helping them use cutting-edge technologies to make their systems for getting things done work better. These encounters are all over the map, geographically and figuratively. But important lessons are being learned. And, in particular, one interesting pattern is emerging. For organizations of all types, good outcomes depend on addressing the yin and yang of building a smarter planet: a combination of improvisation and preparedness–or long term planning.
Improvisation: In the realm of smarter planet problems and solutions, there’s so much variability that no single blueprint will fit every overtly similar situation. Organizations have to be flexible and creative to get stuff done. They can’t let the need for a master plan or budget-tightening pressures paralyze them.
Preparedness: While creative fixes can help city leaders manage their systems for the short-term, the longer-term vitality of cities, countries and organizations depends on leaders adopting a mission and a strategy for achieving it. But even that’s not enough. They have to anticipate the challenges to come–everything from next year’s big storm to the impacts of climate change to the next big financial shock–and build resilient systems capable of withstanding them.