14 June 2010

TheSmarterCity ~ IBM on Systems of Systems

I'm pretty impressed with IBM's TheSmarterCity initiative (and Smarter Planet ideas more generally). Centered around interwoven themes of Transportation, Public Safety, Energy & Utilities, Healthcare, Education, and Development, the company is spotlighting challenges, sharing lessons from and between cities, and, of course, positioning their own product and service offerings. This makes a lot of sense since not only is half of humanity urbanized today, but several billion more people will be by 2050. This means the creation of the equivalent of several Manhattan's per month, every month, for the next 40 years. And dealing with the interconnected web of consequences. Just some ideas spotlighted:
  • Smart toll systems to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions;
  • Shifting public safety systems from responding to events to anticipating and preventing them;
  • Managing energy usage down to the level of individual networked appliances;
  • Telemedicine for affordable care and health services;
  • Cooperative purchasing for systematic efficiency and cost-savings;
  • Boosting attractiveness to new businesses and citizenry;
This is all quite relevant and interesting given our own interest at MIT in Living Labs and new ventures for deploying urban innovations.

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