13/09/2013

Smarter Cities Challenge For A Team Of Experts

A team of experts, funded by a grant from the major technology services company IBM, are due to arrive in Belfast next week to start a three-week project to determine how the city can become an even better place in which to live, work, visit and invest.

Belfast is the first city on the island of Ireland and only the third ever in the UK to receive the prestigious consultancy grant, worth an estimated $400,000.

The project is part of the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant programme, a worldwide initiative to provide a total of $50m worth of services and technical assistance to the most progressive 100 cities around the world through 2013.

The IBM experts will study segregated and deprived areas of Belfast to identify ways of reducing health and social inequalities. Their aim is to help Belfast City Council and a range of agencies to collectively plan future services and investments to benefit local communities.

IBM's Smarter Cities Challenge grant, the company's single-largest philanthropic effort, provides the expertise of top IBM employees to cities and counties. Issues addressed include health, transportation, economic development, education, finance, sustainability, public safety, and e-government. A number of cities have improved citizens' quality of life because of IBM's recommendations.

(CD/JP)

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