By Cody Worsham
Baton Rouge is set to get smarter – and faster.
IBM, who has already broken ground on a services center in the city set for completion in 2015, announced Baton Rouge as one of 16 global cities – four in the U.S. – to receive its annual Smarter Cities Challenge Grant on Tuesday.
As a result, the city will receive $500,000 in consultations from IBM to improve “develop data about our regional transportation demands, new growth models and an independent look at potential solutions,” said Mayor Kip Holden. “This will help us use our resources most efficiently, working with some of the best minds in the world.”
Later this year, teams of IBM’s most talented experts will visit Louisiana’s capital for a thorough analysis of the transportation system, spending three weeks on the ground gathering and analyzing data, while also meeting with local city and state officials. When the study is complete, the company will present comprehensive recommendations for meeting the city’s transportation needs, later providing a complete, detailed written analysis for implementation.
“What a great win for Baton Rouge and the region,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “BRAC was pleased to partner with Mayor-President Holden and his staff to assist in writing the IBM application. Transportation is a major factor in economic development, and the mayor and his team are to be credited with building a regional consensus for this grant.”