A growing number of cities around the world have visions of using technology to bring their economies, schools, transportation systems and environment into the...

A growing number of cities around the world have visions of using technology to bring their economies, schools, transportation systems and environment into the 21st century.

Among those, 33 are the latest recipients of grants offered through IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge.

Launched in 2011, the IBM Challenge aims to invest $50 million over three years to help 100 cities address some of the biggest issues facing urban areas today.

Durham, North Carolina, for example, is looking for ways to address the disparities its youths face in education and economic opportunity. Working with IBM, the city plans to develop “data-driven strategies” to help organizations serving youths identify gaps in services and better coordinate their efforts to help young people.

Glasgow, Scotland, on the other hand, focused its efforts on helping senior citizens keep their homes heated. A 2011 grant enabled the city to subsidize the heating bills of needy seniors with proceeds from clean-energy projects.

Other cities receiving 2012 grants include Accra, Ghana; Da Nang, Vietnam; Medellin, Colombia; Nanjing, China; Pune, India; Rabat, Morocco; Tshwane, South Africa; and Toluca, Mexico.

All the cities participating in the Smarter Cities Challenge will get special help in using the City Forward site created by IBM with public policy experts. The site is designed to offer easy ways of exploring urban trends and statistics to enable better decision making.

Greenbang

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