Some of IBM’s most talented experts will soon be helping the City of Dallas create a comprehensive database to address public safety, blight and urban decline. Dallas is one of 16 cities worldwide to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge Grant, which contributes the expertise of IBM professionals to help cities address top strategic challenges. The City’s Communication and Information Services department submitted the grant application and is spearheading the initiative.

“The Smarter Cities Challenge grant is a great opportunity for our city to strategically address important issues facing our neighborhoods,” City Manager A.C. Gonzalez said. “I’m confident that this project will improve our residents’ lives and have a positive effect on economic growth.” 

The Smarter Cities Challenge sends teams of IBM experts to address issues ranging from clean water, healthy food and revenue generation, to job development, efficient transportation and public safety. Teams invest months studying a local issue, then spend three weeks gathering and analyzing all relevant data, while meeting with members of the government and citizen, business and nonprofit communities. At the conclusion, comprehensive recommendations for solving the problem are presented, followed by a more detailed written plan for implementation.

Originally conceived in 2011 as a three-year grant program, positive feedback and effective results encouraged IBM to extend the initiative. In its first three years, the Smarter Cities Challenge deployed 600 experts on six-person teams who provided strategic and practical advice to 100 municipalities. These three-week engagements, each valued at $500,000, have helped cities address key challenges in a variety of spheres.

“Our congratulations to the City of Dallas for securing an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant for 2014,” IBM Vice President of Global Citizenship Jennifer Crozier said. “Dallas can look forward to tapping a treasure trove of skills and knowledge from some of IBM's best and brightest. We hope to be a useful resource here and a catalyst for progress."

Follow all of IBM's citizenship initiatives by visiting the CitizenIBM blog and on Twitter, at @citizenIBM. For more information about IBM citizenship visit the site.