Glasgow is one of 24 cities selected by IT giant IBM to receive free advice on how they can become “even better place[s] in which to live” through IT and data analysis.
IBM is giving away a total of $50 million-worth of consultancy from its “top experts” under the Smart Cities Challenge grant scheme, with each of the 24 selected cities receiving around $400,000-worth.
“Teams of specially selected IBM experts will provide city leaders with analysis and recommendations to support successful growth, better delivery of municipal services, more citizen engagement, and improved efficiency,” the company said in a statement.
Other cities that will receive grants include Delhi, New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro and Chengdu in China. "We selected these cities because of their commitment to the use of data to make better decisions, and for their desire to explore and act on smarter solutions to the their most pressing concerns," said IBM’s head of corporate citizenship Stanley Litow.
IBM will “help recipients become comfortable” with its City Forward site, which allows visitors to view data collected from various cities around the world.
The company has been a vocal advocate of the Smart City concept, in which the collection and analysis of data is used to resolve the issues of city management and to improve public services.
But while improved data and analyis can certainly improve the efficiency of municipal operations, Smart City projects may also strengthen local authorities’ powers of surveillance, and the civil liberty concerns are seldom discussed in technology circles.