THUNDER BAY – Letting the technology do the heavy lifting is helping cities build toward the future. Thunder Bay has implemented some of the tech changes, including NextBus for Transit, and adding other components include wireless Internet across the city through Tbaytel. Additionally, with Shaw GoWifi, there is a greater connection opportunity for business and digital commerce in our city.
In Toronto, the entire Waterfront Project in that city has moved into the digital age. “Waterfront Toronto is creating an Intelligent Community that uses technology to enhance quality of life and economic opportunity,” said John Campbell, CEO Waterfront Toronto. “Together with partners like IBM and Element Blue, we are delivering future-ready infrastructure that will allow people and businesses to thrive and deliver a competitive advantage for the City of Toronto on the global stage.”
Adding digital solutions to the mix helps communities and businesses in making choices based on analytical information. Those moves help generate greater insight for effective decision making. “Cities around the globe are confronted with growing populations, aging infrastructure, reduced budgets, and the challenge of doing more with less. The newest IBM Intelligent Operations software portfolio, based on open cloud computing standards, helps transform city operations to become more efficient. Designed in collaboration with city leaders, the software also applies predictive analytics to help cities budget for capital improvements and improve the efficiency of water utilities,” according to a media statement issued by IBM today.
IBM has unveiled new capabilities in its Smarter Cities software, delivering cloud-based analytics to help cities gain powerful insights into how to better serve their citizens.
Delivered in the IBM SmartCloud, an open cloud platform that enables the secure exchange of information, the expanded IBM Smarter Cities Intelligent Operations software also helps reduce capital and technology installation costs. This allows cities to adopt a pay-as-you-go approach to transforming city services at the city’s own pace, more efficiently using valuable taxpayer dollars. With cloud solutions, cities get started immediately, without specialized hardware or procurement delays, making it possible to begin with small projects and scale across departments using one integrated software system available as a service.
Waterfront Toronto, one of the largest waterfront revitalization projects in the world, is using the IBM Intelligent Operations Center delivered as a service on the IBM SmartCloud to integrate multiple data sources and create real-time visualizations that will deliver insights and create opportunities for social collaboration.
Working with IBM Business Partner Element Blue, Waterfront Toronto has launched thenewblueedge.ca, a powerful community portal and platform, which includes IBM Connections social collaboration tools that residents can use to easily connect with neighbors, businesses and service providers in the surrounding area. The portal provides easy ways to view city-wide data on mobile or desktop devices, allowing residents to keep a finger on the pulse of events, news and activity across the growing community.
New Capabilities to Make Cities Smarter:
IBM Smarter Cities Intelligent Operations software includes these new capabilities:
- City permitting and event management helps correlate activities throughout the city to understand permit patterns, predict problems and provide city services
- Infrastructure planning creates budget forecasts and unified plans for important capital improvements
- Water efficiency analytics enhances performance of city water systems, improving the longevity of infrastructure while saving energy and reducing water loss
Cambridge, Ontario Expects to Save $100,000 Annually with Infrastructure Planning
With the ability to visualize infrastructure and analyze maintenance costs – including how long major assets such as roads or pipes will last – cities can save time and money in the planning process and millions in construction and maintenance costs. Even modest-sized cities can own more than $1 billion in assets and spend millions each year maintaining them.
Cambridge, Ontario has more than 250,000 infrastructure assets with a total value of $1.6 billion, including more than 300 miles of roads and more than 1,200 miles of underground water mains, sewage and storm pipes. The city is using IBM’s new infrastructure planning software to examine millions of disparate pieces of information to perform what-if analyses to help make better decisions. Algorithms process the data and predict which assets will fail and when, helping city staff look across all departments and decide, for example, whether a sewer pipe should be re-lined or replaced entirely, or if a roadway should be resurfaced at the same time. It also incorporates a financial planning tool to help more effectively use funding for each project. Through better project coordination, less time spent on capital forecasting, and improved asset management, the City of Cambridge is expected to save at least $100,000per year.
“When developing new infrastructure, it should be from the ground up – underground sewer pipes to surface streets and storm drains. We should only have to dig up a street once to fix all of its underlying systems,” said Mike Hausser, director of asset management and support services, City of Cambridge. “Using IBM’s Intelligent Operations software, Cambridge is able to coordinate efforts in servicing, maintaining and updating our infrastructure, which can lower costs for our city departments and improve the quality of services to citizens.”
New Water Efficiency Analytics to Help Cities Conserve
New water efficiency analytic capabilities are now part of IBM Intelligent Water software, enabling cities to predict pipe failure and optimize pressure in their distribution networks reducing burst and leaky pipes, conserving water, saving money, preventing service disruptions and improving quality of service. Managing water supplies is a growing challenge for cities as they work to provide for growing populations. Worldwide, up to 50 percent of water is lost due to leaky pipes costing cities some $14 billion every year. In addition, other water management issues such as efficiency, quality and flooding pose significant threats to a city’s sustainability.
Permit and Event Management Efficiency
Advances in IBM’s Intelligent City Planning and Operations software make it easier for city leaders to respond and predict to needs across departments to ensure the proper services are available to support events of any size. Agencies and departments can manage and share information ranging from coordinating parking, traffic patrol to sanitation workers for special events to building permits for new development projects that bring economic vitality to the city.
New versions of IBM Intelligent City Planning and Operations, IBM Intelligent Water and IBM Intelligent Operations Center software are currently available from IBM and IBM Business Partners as Software-as-a-Service or on-premise. IBM is helping cities around the world use the vast amount of information already available to deliver more efficient citizen services