Leaders Around the World Move to Citizen-Based Services

By Michael Dixon, General Manager, IBM Smarter Cities

Cities have never been more attractive, with people all over the world migrating to them from near and far. However, with them comes a range of significant challenges that city leaders must tackle. A new report from Frost and Sullivan looks at smart cities as a mega trend set to drive urban development for the next decade. It predicts that 26 global cities will be considered smart cities in 2025, more than 50 percent of which will be in Europe and North America.

More than ever, forward-thinking city leaders are embracing the opportunities that technology can create. The application of Big Data and analytics, for example, can lead to better management and new partnerships that ultimately benefit citizens. And according to Frost and Sullivan, partnerships are a critical way for cities to address the rising challenges.

One example of a successful technology partnership is the Digital Delta project in the Netherlands. This is a breakthrough program designed to harness insights from Big Data to help transform the management of the entire Dutch water system and protect the population – 20 percent of which is below sea level – from flooding and other natural disasters. The partnership is between Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch Ministry for Water; Delfland, the local water authority; the Deltares Science Institute; and the University of Delft. 

Other News:  IBM is working with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) will create the world's largest and most comprehensive clinical dataset on cancer patients by building cancer registries in developing nations.  The initiative will begin in two to three countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, continue throughout the region and extend to Southeast Asia and Latin America.  

The World Health Organization estimates that about 70% of all cancer deaths occur in developing nations. Cancer registries provide governments with incidence and mortality data so that effective policies for cancer control can be developed, implemented and evaluated. They also provide clinicians with information about patient outcomes to help identify tailored treatment options.