City of Perth welcomes IBM Smarter Cities Challenge Team

Three-week grant project to focus on the integration of essential services and infrastructure

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Perth, Australia - 22 Jul 2014:

The City of Perth welcomed the team of international and local IBM experts as part of an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant (#smartercities) which was awarded to Perth in March 2014.  During the three week engagement the IBM team, in partnership with local stakeholders, will explore the use and integration of data to help the City improve essential utilities and infrastructure services to citizens now and in the future.

Perth was one of only 16 worldwide recipients of this year’s IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, and one of only two Australian cities to be awarded the grant in 2014.

As part of the pro bono engagement, valued at US$500,000, the five-member IBM team will meet in person with government, citizens, business and organisations.  Gathering perspectives from diverse key stakeholders will provide value insights on how to better integrate data about essential services to help reduce risk, improve service delivery, enhance infrastructure reliability and usability and reduce costs.  At the conclusion of the engagement, IBM will present a comprehensive set of recommendations. 

“We are very grateful for this outstanding community-based initiative by IBM and are really looking forward to working in partnership with them,” Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said. “The project is to help the City of Perth to develop a road map to guide the city’s knowledge infrastructure capability and to realise the vision for Perth as a ‘smart city’.

“The team will be examining how the City can best coordinate and use its existing data sources and link those to data held by other key state agencies.  By so doing, we seek to create platforms for real-time essential services knowledge infrastructure, such as in traffic and transport, water and energy.  

“The aim is to use this evidence-based knowledge to plan and prepare more effectively for potential service failures and emergency scenarios and for city growth. The knowledge infrastructure will be fundamental to the City’s ongoing operations to ensure limited disruption and to plan strategically for predicted expansion and new developments. 

“In this so-called ‘information age’ there is still a real need to communicate more effectively through compatible data systems.”

 “We look forward to working with the City of Perth to develop recommendations to assist the rapidly growing city,” said Liz Hampton, Corporate Affairs and Citizenship, IBM New Zealand. “We are proud to share with Perth the talent and expertise of our employees in a range of disciplines - all valuable in helping to build smarter cities and ultimately a smarter planet.”

Launched in 2011, the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a three-year, 100-city, US$50-million competitive grant program and is IBM's single-largest philanthropic initiative.

Details of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge can be accessed at  

Follow the conversation on Twitter at @citizenIBM #SmarterCities #Perth

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