Ottawa was one of only two Canadian cities and 33 municipalities worldwide selected from over 150 submissions in the IBM’s 2012 Smarter Cities Challenge, a 100-city competitive grant program IBM launched in 2011. As part of the initiative, the company sends a team of IBM experts to each winning city to study and make recommendations on projects of local importance. To date, teams have developed recommendations for more than 40 cities around the world, on projects related to transportation, urban planning, sustainability, health, finance, public safety and education challenges.
As one of the recognized cities, Ottawa welcomed a team of IBM experts today to begin a three-week, pro-bono consulting engagement on ways to encourage new development along the OLRT corridor. This project is being funded by an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant, valued at US$ 400,000 and will be led by a team from IBM’s global technology workforce, working closely with City leaders to deliver recommendations on the City’s LRT plan.
The City is planning to create compact neighbourhoods with mixes of business and residential development around the light-rail stations through the adoption of Transit-Oriented Development plans that will be presented to planning committee for approval later this fall. The first three stations of these plans will focus on revitalizing the areas around Cyrville, St. Laurent, and VIA Rail transit stations. The IBM team will gather and analyze information from a broad spectrum of stakeholders and data sources to provide the City with recommendations on the best ways to increase market interest for residential and business growth in these areas.