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$1.2 trn investment required over 20 yrs for smart cities: IBM

Last Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 23:49

New Delhi: Investment of about USD 1.2 trillion is required over the next 20 years across areas like transportation, energy and public security to build cities of tomorrow, IBM India Managing Director Shanker Annaswamy said Thursday.

Speaking at the IBM Smarter Cities Forum, Annaswamy said it is estimated that USD 1.2 trillion capital investment is needed to meet projected demand in (Indian) cities to transform the cities going forward."

IBM has hosted similar events across cities like Berlin, Shanghai, New York City and Rio de Janeiro.

"By 2050, it is estimated that 70 percent of the global population would live in cities as people migrate to urban areas for better opportunities.

"This would mean that cities need to be planned in a way to effectively handle the situation. Technology can be used to support the system and transform cities," IBM Corporation Chairman of the Board Samuel J Palmisano said.

IBM is working with countries like Saudi Arabia, the US and Philippines on systems like water and waste management.

It is also working with Konkan Railways, Jet Airways and Wave City in India.

IBM, which has a significant presence in India, Thursday also unveiled a new social sentiment measurement capability (based on analytics technologies) to help cities gauge and understand public opinions on issues and services like public transportation.

It has also conducted a Social Sentiment Index to analyse traffic in India's three largest cities -- Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore -- and what citizens felt about it.

The analysis of data from publically available social media showed the worst traffic congestion is primarily caused by accidents and bad weather in the three cities together.

Social conversation in Mumbai about stress around traffic is about half as high as Bangalore and New Delhi, the analysis showed.

Delhites chattered about public transportation, weather and the stress of commuting, while Bangaloreans show more concern for their overall driving experience, construction and parking issues.

Mumbaikars talked about private transportation, accidents and pollution more often, the analysis showed.

"While this implies growing importance of cities as economic hubs, it brings forth a large number of challenges that can only be addressed if citizens and officials work together.

"Using social sentiment analysis, city officials can leverage a wealth of information from public opinion to make better decisions around investments," Annaswamy said.


First Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 23:49
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