City to Receive Findings from Richmond Smarter Cities Challenge

~IBM executives wrap up community engagement project~

 In November of 2012, it was announced that IBM selected the city of Richmond as one of 32 cities from around the world to receive an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge grant  The prestigious award, valued at $400,000 in human capital, aligns top global talent from IBM as a resource to the City to study a key issue as identified by the city’s leadership. The City of Richmond requested that IBM focus on the creation of an economic development tool that will improve the city through the strengthening of our neighborhoods; an instrument that focuses on the community level to support the attraction and retention of neighborhood businesses.

Over the last several weeks, a team of six top IBM experts have been based in Richmond and have been at work studying this issue. “We are always interested in ways to effectively improve our neighborhoods and communities,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “We have been pleased to work collaboratively with IBM and the city’s diverse community resources toward the development of actionable recommendations that can support economic development strategies at a neighborhood level.”

Through this Smarter Cities Challenge; residents, city leaders, economic development professionals, businesses, and colleges and universities collaborated with IBM’s consultants to create actionable recommendations and a plan to address the city’s challenges. A key challenge facing Richmond, as with most cities around the world, is the ability to track over time the impact of public investment, provided through grants, programs and capital projects, and to attract private investment.

On Thursday, June 20, IBM will deliver a presentation of their findings and recommendations for the Richmond Smarter Cities Challenge. This will be a preview of the recommendations of the final report, which will follow the closing of the engagement in August. The preview will be held at 2 p.m., at the Hilton Garden Inn, 501 East Broad Street.