Gold Coast joins IBM Smarter Cities Challenge fraternity

By GovTechReview Staff
Tuesday, 23 July, 2013

Queensland’s Gold Coast City Council will become the third Australian city to receive long-term strategic planning consultancy from IBM after the council was named as a recipient of an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant.

The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge program (video here) is a $US50m program that has been run globally over the past three years to identify forward-looking cities that would benefit from IBM’s planning and consulting expertise.

Six IBM experts will now spend three weeks at Gold Coast City Council to review its planning and infrastructure strategy, and to make recommendations as to the best technologies and practices to embrace to improve overall efficiency.

Receiving the grant is timely for the Gold Coast, which will host the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and will have time to implement some of the findings from its work with IBM before that event.

“The Gold Coast has a crucial role to play, not only as one of Australia’s major tourist destinations but as a fast-growing centre for international trade and entrepreneurship,” mayor Tom Tate said in a statement.

“More than ever before, we have a responsibility to ensure the highest safeguards for the community’s welfare through the smarter use of technology within our response agencies and public infrastructure.”

The grant was awarded on the basis of Gold Coast Council’s strong leadership and demonstrable track record in forward-thinking initiatives,” said Miranda Scarff, manager, corporate citizenship and affairs with IBM Australia in a statement.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Gold Coast to develop recommendations to assist one of Australia’s most iconic tourism hotspots.”

Gold Coast’s appointment to the program follows that of Townsville in 2011 and Geraldton, WA in 2012. Deliverables include a smart water-metering pilot in Townsville that was recognised in recent smart infrastructure industry awards. – David Braue

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