Two cities — one in the US, one in France — have begun using new cloud-based tools to manage their transportation, water and emergency services.
Minneapolis and Montpellier are using the tools from IBM to gain better, data-driven insights into their operations.
“In any city, an issue may reside in one department, but the answer lies in another,” said Otto Doll, chief information officer for the city of Minneapolis. “Analytics can enable a city to tell meaningful stories about what is going on in real time through data.”
Montpellier, the fastest-growing city in France, is also working with local universities to create a living laboratory for open innovation. Its goals are to encourage the development of new technology, urban innovations and new startups, as well as to explore new economic models.
The data-driven tools are part of IBM’s Smarter Cities initiative, which has also just launched a new digital platform showing citizen ideas on smart cities.
Among the top ideas are an Irish project that repurposed an empty city space into a community park, an effort that converted an abandoned Detroit factory into a fish farm and an innovative design for cardboard bicycles created in Israel.