In March 2011, technology giant IBM named Edmonton as the first Canadian city, and one of just 24 worldwide, to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge award grant worth US$400,000 - validating that Edmonton is among the smartest cities in the world when it comes to the innovative use of information technology to benefit its citizens.

The Smarter Cities team, made up of six senior IBM executives, worked intensively with City leaders for three weeks in June 2011 to provide recommendations for an integrated and safer transportation network, a project suggested when Edmonton applied for the award.

Two hundred cities worldwide applied for the challenge and the other winning cities include: Chengdu, China; Delhi, India; Glasgow, UK; New Orleans, LA; Nice, France; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, among others.

What is the Smarter Cities Challenge?

Launched by IBM’s Corporate Citizenship division in 2010, the Smarter Cities Challenge is a competitive grant program in which a total of $50 million worth of technology and services will be given to 100 municipalities worldwide over the next three years to help them become more vibrant and livable places for their citizens.

The grants provide winning cities access to the time and expertise of top performing IBMers from different functions and locations who will work closely with city leaders to analyze and recommend ways to support successful growth, better delivery of municipal services, more citizen engagement, and improved efficiency through the creative use of information technology.

What is the theme of Edmonton’s Smarter Cities Challenge and how does it benefit the city?

Edmonton is already a leader in transportation and transit planning and is now poised to be a global leader in smarter urban traffic safety. The Smarter Cities project will help the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) implement its strategy for making the city’s streets safer in an innovative, research and data-based manner.

The team’s recommendations provide a data integration framework which can be adopted by other City departments - in that regard the OTS is a pilot, building the foundation for more effective use of all City data and services in the future.

Smarter Cities Challenge recommendations and next steps

Read about the recommendations outlined in the Smarter Cities final report and the steps the Information Technology Branch and the Office of Traffic Safety are taking to fulfil these recommendations