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Rio Becomes the World's First 'Smart City'

What's the Latest Development?

Rio de Janeiro has become tomorrow's city, today. Using a central control station which collects and computes data from all over the city, Rio's government, along with technology developed at IBM, wants to stop disasters before they occur and make the metropolis a better place to live. That means creating a classification system for problems and a step-by-step process for how to deal with them. IBM's system can also determine where car accidents tend to occur, predict flooding and coordinate emergency response activities. 

What's the Big Idea?

By 2050, it is estimated that 75 percent of the world's population will live in cities. In order to make them safer and more pleasant places, technologists are betting on data collection powered by computer algorithms. For information companies, the stakes are high: "The market to supply cities with 'smart' systems is expected to reach $57 billion by 2014, according to IDC Government Insights, a market research firm." As the world, and its cities, increase in complexity, the more necessary easy methods to coordinate the chaos become. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


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