In case you missed it, IBM announced its Smarter Cities Challenge grant recipients last week. The three-year program pledges up to $50 million in technology and services to up to 100 cities worldwide. This inaugural year awards 24 cities in 5 continents access to IBM's top experts to analyze and recommend ways they can become even better place in which to live, work and play. Cities and projects that received grants included Milwaukee's urban farms, Chengdu's Wireless City Initiative, Baltimore's youth services program and Helsinki's public data visualization systems.
"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 the 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. The stakes have never been greater but we're excited at the prospect of helping cities tackle the most pressing challenges of our time."
One of the most exciting projects to come out of the challenge is City Forward, a free, open-platform website that enables users—city planners, academics, researchers, you, me—to access IBM's technologies and services to, "identify patterns, trends and correlations in [city] data that may reveal new insights and point to new areas of interest for further investigation."
Check out the jump for the full list of 2011 Grant Recipients!
Chiang Mai, Thailand
New Orleans, LA
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
St. Louis, MO
Tshwane-Pretoria, South Africa