By Alfred Vanderpuije
This week at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, leaders will come together to discuss Africa’s future. One of the three focus themes is the importance of ‘Strategic Infrastructure’ as a foundation for the continent’s growth. As Mayor of Accra and Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, I would say that there are few areas as crucial for infrastructure investment as cities.
Buoyed by an emerging oil and gas industry and a rapidly growing consumer class, Ghana’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the world. Investors are flocking to the country’s capital Accra to take advantage of new business opportunities and become part of this success story. Mastercard recently identified Accra as one of Africa’s top cities in terms of economic growth potential over the next few years. Local and foreign firms are also driving a number of urban development opportunities such as Ghana Cyber City, King City and Appolonia City which aim to set up modern, high-tech hubs within and around Accra. Continue Reading »
By Juerg von Kaenel
Only with sustained investment in innovation can countries improve the most fundamental quality-of-life indicators for their citizens. For complex and vital disciplines like disaster management, this requires comprehensive collaboration across community, government, industry and academia and on a global scale. By focusing on common social goals – such as reducing and mitigating the impact of natural and man-made disasters – best practices and collective technical knowledge can be used to help improve community resilience and potentially save lives.
The newly-announced teaming of IBM, the University of Melbourne, and the National ICT Australia (NICTA) research centre, to develop and implement the Australia Disaster Management Platform (ADMP) will enable collaboration between innovators in the critical fields of disaster planning, response and recovery. The ADMP promises to remove some of the major historical obstacles to innovation in this increasingly critical field. Continue Reading »
By Angel Petisco
Most organizations would be surprised if they understood the vastness of the data they’re sitting on at any given point. But the magic happens when that data, through proper analysis and mining, is converted into useful information.
That’s what we’re doing in Miami-Dade County. Using IBM Big Data analytics we’re able to provide a greater level of service to our residents by bringing together information from more than 35 different municipal government departments and agencies. Sharing information in this way will help us solve traffic congestion challenges, improve law enforcement by helping to solve crimes faster, and reduce water waste improving the county’s stewardship of natural resources. Ultimately, such improvements to our operations will allow us to save significant costs and identify new ways to spur economic growth and job creation. Continue Reading »
By Mike Reade
(This post originally appeared in Homeland Security Today.)
Police chiefs and police officers from all over the world recently descended on San Diego for the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference. During the meeting, in displays reminiscent of the character “Q” from all the wonderful James Bond movies, considerable attention was focused on the whiz bang gadgetry and equipment. But hidden among all the gadgets were realistic discussions about how police continue to grapple with the ongoing demand to do more with existing resources to keep our cities and towns safe.
The hidden gem in this discussion: Big Data.
By Avi Marco
At insurethebox, a telematics-based car insurance company in the U.K., we focus on all aspects of data – integrating internal and external sources. Big Data is at the core of our business mission which is to focus on encouraging safe driving and helping to reduce the cost of car insurance, especially for young drivers.
By placing a telematics device slightly bigger than a mobile phone under the dashboard and connecting it to a GPS and other sensors, we are able to capture data from these devices and analyze key aspects of driving, including how, where, when and for what duration the car is being driven – and at what speed.
- By Mary Keeling
- Water is one of our most essential resources – yet much of the water we use every day is “hidden” as an indirect, yet critical, component of something else – food, health, energy, transportation and more. And of all the water on Earth, only 1 percent of it is useable by ecosystems and humans. In other words, a little bit of water needs to go a long way.
As the world’s population increases from today’s 7 billion to an estimated 8 billion in 2025, the demand for water will rise to satisfy increased demand for food, particularly as meat consumption in global diets increase. Every time you consume a kilo of beef you many not realize that it takes 15,500 liters of water to produce it. For comparison, it takes 1,300 liters of water to produce a kilo of wheat.
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 two of a series about Smarter Public Safety. Read part one here.
Just over 20 years ago, Washington, D.C., was known as the “Murder Capital” of the United States. I was a fairly new officer when we were given this title and believe me, it was not something I was proud of and I committed myself to ensuring I did what I could to change that. Fast forward to a year ago and I can’t tell you how proud I was to announce that our homicide rate has dropped to a 50-year low.
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
By Chief Frank Milstead, Mesa Police Department
Combating crime in a city like Mesa, Ariz., is never easy, but my officers here have done an amazing job of reducing crime to historic lows that haven’t been seen in 50 years. We have been able to dramatically reduce crime by 25 percent since 1991.
We’ve had a number of recent successes in reducing crime, but one incident in particular sticks in my head. Mesa PD is host of the East Valley Gang and Criminal Information Fusion Center. The center is a combined effort between seven local law enforcement agencies to share information and we have already seen the value of sharing information. Earlier this year, a detective in the East Valley Gang and Criminal Information Fusion Center was monitoring the patrol radio and heard a partial license plate and a vehicle description referencing a hit and run collision broadcasted over the air. We were able to identify that four possible vehicles fit this description in near real time. This information, along with other identifying characteristics of the owner of the car allowed the detective to identify the suspect, pass the information to officers on the scene. The officers in the field were able to quickly locate the suspect.
While we may not always enjoy such historic low crime numbers, I am proud of the crime fighting efforts our officers have exerted in getting us here. We will continue these efforts with vigor and continue to evaluate our processes so our citizens and visitors may continue to enjoy a safe living and working environment. Part of this evaluation process will include a look towards technology assisted policing. We are now embracing a Smarter Policing approach that allows us to coordinate traditional police work with more strategic use of our resources like analytics technology to gain a more holistic view of our city. Smarter Policing brings together the art and science of law enforcement that augments the experience and knowledge of our officers with the information they need to make appropriate decisions.
Smarter Policing couldn’t come at a more important time for our city. Check that, it couldn’t come at a more important time for our region because crime knows no borders. Criminals don’t care where a city’s borders begin and end. They only care about not getting caught. This has created huge challenges for me and my colleagues in neighboring cities. We were confined to our borders and really didn’t have insight into what happened a couple miles away because it wasn’t in our jurisdiction. But that is changing along with the technology to keep pace with a faster-paced, more complex world.
Using the IBM COPLINK technology we are now able to share information with neighboring cities like Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe and almost 50 other cities throughout the state of Arizona…essentially tearing down those invisible barriers.
Continue Reading »