India needs sustainable cities
Every minute during the next 20 years, 30 Indians will leave rural India for urban areas. At this rate, India will need some 500 new cities in the next two decades. If there were ever a time to focus on developing solutions for sustainable cities, that time is now.
As population centers grow, they are placing greater demands on the city infrastructures that deliver vital services such as transportation, healthcare, education and public safety. Adding to the strain are ever-changing public demands for better education, greener programs, accessible government, affordable housing and more options for senior citizens.
Replacing the actual city infrastructures is often unrealistic in terms of cost and time. However, with recent advances in technology, we can infuse our existing infrastructures with new intelligence. By this, we mean digitising and connecting our systems, so they can sense, analyse and integrate data, and respond intelligently to the needs of their jurisdictions. In short, we can revitalise them so they can become smarter and more efficient. In the process, cities can grow and sustain quality of life for their inhabitants.
Our planet is getting smarter by the city: Dubuque, Bordeaux, Taipei and more
Cities are getting smarter about education, safety, water and transportation.
Making cities more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent isn't only about overcoming the challenges cities face. It is about recognising that many of the challenges we face in making a smarter planet are centered on creating sustainable cities.
Cities symbolise and centralise so many aspects of what will make for a smarter planet: smarter education, smarter healthcare, smarter water and energy use, smarter public safety, smarter transportation, and smarter government ... to name but a few.
A new report from the IBM Institute for Business Value, "A Vision of Smarter Cities," makes the case that cities must use new technologies to transform their systems to optimise the use of finite resources. As sustainability for cities and the planet becomes ever more important, the question isn't whether cities will do this; the question is: Which ones are doing it first? And who will do it best?
Smart ideas worldwide
More people live in the world's cities now than live outside them. No wonder cities are getting smarter.
Some cities start by transforming their transportation systems. Stockholm (2:31 min), Dublin (US), Singapore (US) and Brisbane (US) are working with IBM to develop smart systems ranging from predictive tools to smart cards to congestion charging in order to reduce traffic and pollution.
Smarter policing and emergency response
New York (2:01 min), Syracuse (181 KB, PDF), Santa Barbara (US) and St. Louis (US) are using data analytics, wireless and video surveillance capabilities to strengthen crime fighting and the coordination of emergency response units.
Welcome to TheSmarterCity
Not a vision of tomorrow, but a vision of today. A collection of smart ideas from all over the world, all in one place.
Smarter power and water management
IBM is working with local government agencies, farmers and ranchers in the Paraguay-Paraná River basin, where São Paulo (link resides outside of ibm.com) is located, to understand the factors that can help to safeguard the quality and availability of the water system.
Malta is building a smart grid that links the power and water systems, and will detect leakages, allow for variable pricing and provide more control to consumers. Ultimately, it will enable this island country to replace fossil fuels with sustainable energy sources.
In New Mexico, Albuquerque (PDF, 142KB), is using a business intelligence solution to automate data sharing among its 7,000 employees in more than 20 departments, so every employee gets a single version of the truth. It has realised cost savings of almost 2,000%.
Three local UK councils have adopted a new IBM business model that could change the way local government is managed. Through Southwest One (PDF, 200KB), IBM will manage the IT infrastructure, procurement, customer service and workforce development functions, allowing agencies to focus on delivering critical services to citizens. The model can expand to include up to 30 public sector agencies.