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Commonwealth Of Massachusetts, City Of Boston, Boston University & IBM Partner To Build A 'Smarter Planet'

BOSTON, March 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced multiple Smarter Planet projects with the City of Boston, Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Boston University aimed at exploring new solutions to long-standing urban challenges. 

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These ambitious projects, discussed at an event hosted by the partners titled "Smarter Cities: A Roadmap for the Future," focus on using new technology to increase energy efficiency, enhance coordination of major events, reduce traffic congestion and improve the maintenance of the streetscape. Across all of these initiatives, the partners plan to collaborate on the implementation and evaluation of this work.

" Boston has always been a smart city," said Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "These partnerships and projects, however, are the newest step in our exploration to better address long-standing interests of our residents, such as improving traffic and greening our city."

These pilots leverage the latest IBM technology and will combine high volumes of data from sensors and databases with a layer of analytics software. This infrastructure will allow officials to better visualize and manage operations. The city and state projects include:

Building a Smarter Boston Across Municipal Operations Well run events – from a block party to the Boston marathon – bring life to the City streets. To improve the coordination and management of events, Boston's Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events will pilot an intelligent dashboard from IBM. This dashboard will help provide City officials, across all departments, with a common view of events across the City, which could allow everything from improved traffic management to better public safety support. The dashboard helps officials spot potential conflicts in the booking of events before they happen. Boston maintains over 60,000 street lights, keeping residential streets and main thoroughfares appropriately lit. At any given time, roughly three percent of these lights are out, with their bulbs needing to be replaced or wiring needing to be fixed. Leveraging the IBM Maximo solution, Boston's Public Works Department is piloting a new asset management platform to support street light operations. With its predictive analytics capabilities, this platform will help better coordinate the repair and routine maintenance of this important infrastructure. Based on the success of this pilot, the City of Boston may extend the asset management system to support additional operations in the City.

Supported by an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant in 2012, the City of Boston, Boston University and IBM drafted a detailed set of recommendations about unlocking and analyzing transportation data in Boston. Those recommendations can be found here. This work is expected to continue in 2013 with a series of data-oriented projects. To hear Bill Oates, CIO of the City of Boston discuss the importance of public private partnerships like the Smarter Cities Challenge visit:

IBM has been working with Boston University's Sustainable Neighborhood Laboratory on a smarter neighborhoods project. With this project, preliminary data collection and analysis about energy consumption in residential buildings has identified opportunities for improved efficiency with targeted investment in the energy infrastructure.  Other key community partners with the smarter neighborhood project include the City of Boston, the energy and utility company NSTAR, and community development organizations.  Future goals for this work include engaging building residents and youth to create awareness, gain new insight about energy usage and behavior and to understand potential incentives for energy conservation that can benefit the whole community. To learn more about this project:

Building a Smarter Commonwealth

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will work with IBM to improve the maintenance, energy consumption and space management across public sector buildings among the state's 72 million square feet of property.  Buildings account for almost 40 percent of the nation's energy consumption in the U.S. By creating smarter buildings, the Commonwealth will be better positioned to meet federal mandates for efficiency (1).

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