IBM has unveiled the first set of its recommendations for the City of Greater Geraldton as part of the Smarter Cities Challenge.
IBM, which announced Geraldton as one of 33 recipients of the Smarter Cities Challenge grant in March, deployed six experts within the city on August 14 as part of a three-week assessment period.
“We have set ourselves a significant goal to be a carbon-neutral region by 2029 and we have work to do since the mining industry is our main economic driver in the region,” City of Greater Geraldton mayor, Ian Carpenter, said. “The increasing availability of broadband across the community gives us the opportunity to become a more sustainable, entrepreneurial hot spot with a global presence.”
As such, the six IBM experts recommended the following:
- Building of a free public Wi-Fi network to cover Geraldton CBD, coupled to a program to stimulate the creation of new digital services that support, promote and extend local businesses.
- Creation of community hubs to engage citizens, focusing on city services, energy efficiency, new business ventures, and building digital culture and skills among Geraldton’s youth.
- Development of smart energy solutions to leverage new energy technologies. This includes the proposition of a ‘Virtual Power Plant,’ which is a network of distributed, clean energy generators to improve power capacity and help manage consumer energy costs.
- Using technology to innovate to help provide engaging and customised education to local students and digital concepts to further promote the Geraldton tourist experience.