The Smarter Cities Challenge is a competitive grant program aimed at enabling up to 100 cities around the world to become more vibrant and livable places for their citizens, and the grants are awarded primarily in the form of the time and expertise of IBM staffers to work with the city leaders to deliver recommendations on the selected issue.
The winning cities, which span all continents, are:
- Americas: Antofagasta, Chile; Boulder, Colorado; Edmonton, Canada; Guadalajara, Mexico; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New Orleans, Louisiana; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; St. Louis, Missouri; Syracuse, New York.
- Africa: Tshwane-Pretoria, South Africa
- Asia: Chengdu, China; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Delhi, India; Jakarta, Indonesia; Sapporo, Japan
- Europe: Bucharest, Romania; Eindhoven, Netherlands; Glasgow, United Kingdom; Helsinki, Finland; Nice, France
- Oceania: Townsville, Australia.
"We selected these cities because of their commitment to the use of data to make better decisions, and for their desire to explore and act on smarter solutions to their most pressing concerns," said Stanley S. Litow, IBM vice president of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, and president of IBM's Foundation. "The cities we picked are eager to implement programs that tangibly improve the quality of life in their areas, and to create roadmaps for other cities to follow."
Full details of what the cities plan to do with the grants have yet to be made available, but Boulder, which is Xcel Energy's first SmartGridCity, has indicated that it plans to devote at least a part to smart grid-enabled energy management.
In the Smarter Cities Challenge IBM is awarding a total of $50 million in grants to 100 cities worldwide during the next three years.
In other news IBM has been selected by Progress Energy as the lead systems integrator for the utility's smart grid program, and TEPCO from Japan, and KEPCO from Korea have joined the Global Intelligent Utility Network Coalition, a group of utility companies designed to further the adoption of smarter grids around the world.