IBM has selected the City of Greater Geraldton in Western Australia to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant for 2012.
The grant will offer the City of Greater Geraldton access to IBM's technical experts to analyse and recommend strategies that it can adopt to improve living and working conditions.
A team of up to six experts will spend three weeks residing in Geraldton while assessing the local environment and its challenges and gather information from the Council, local businesses and citizens before offering the series of recommendations.
According to the City of Greater Geraldton mayor, Ian Carpenter, the grant enables Geraldton with an opportunity to put itself at the forefront of urban planning and development for the future.
“We’re seeing a convergence of factors which set the stage for rapid advances in the efficiency and scope of citizen services,” he said.
Geraldton’s proposal emphasised the city’s desire to capitalise on recent technology infrastructure investments within the region – including the NBN – and improved citizen services and data sharing between agencies.
The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge is a competitive grant platform in which IBM is presenting $50 million worth of technology and services to 100 municipalities worldwide through 2013.
Geraldton is one of 33 global cities to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge in 2012 and it is the second Australian city to receive the grant, with Townsville named a winner in 2011.
"Geraldton’s roadmap will act as a strong example to other cities both in Australia and internationally of how urban spaces can incorporate technology and data to deliver tangible benefits to their citizens,” IBM Australia manager of corporate citizenship and affairs, Miranda Scarff, said.