The city will integrate data and processes of government agencies in a single center of operations
The municipality of Rio de Janeiro and IBM signed an agreement for the construction of a Center for public information management in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The Rio Operations Center, which will be located in Cidade Nova, will integrate and interconnect the public information of the municipality to improve safety and responsiveness of the city on various types of incidents such as flooding and landslides. The agreement also includes plans to develop a pioneering system called “High Resolution Weather Prediction” – PMAR – that predicts heavy rain with 48 hours notice.
The mission of Rio Operations Center, which opens on December 31, will be to consolidate information from various systems of the municipality to enable real time visualization, monitoring and analysis. The system was initially designed for flood forecasting and related emergencies, but may extend to any act occurring in the city, from incidents in the Reveillon in Copacabana beach, to the fans out of a soccer game at Maracana or a traffic accident. The Centre will allow city leaders to make decisions in emergency situations, based on real time information.
The initiative is part of IBM´s global strategy that aims to develop technologies that help cities function more intelligently. Similar projects have been implemented in New York and in Gauteng (South Africa), but this is the first center in the world to integrate all the stages of crisis management: from forecasting, mitigation and preparedness, immediate response to events and the feedback of the system with new information that can be used in future incidents. Other partners involved in the construction and operation of the Center include Cisco, Cyrela, Facilities, Malwee, Oi and Samsung. The idea is that the center evolves continually and integrates more and more agencies and information sources in the city. “We are creating a great technology platform that soon will compile all incidents and events occurring in the city,” said Pedro Almeida, Director of Smart Cities of IBM Brazil.
The PMAR will begin operations in the first half of 2011 and will be key element for Rio Operations Center. The system is based on a unified mathematical model for the city of Rio de Janeiro, which includes the collection of data from the watershed, topographic relief, the town´s historic rains and information from satellites and radars, which will be able to predict the incidence of rain and possible flooding. Both the system and the mathematical model must be calibrated to significantly increase the success rate in relation to the forecast of rain in the city. After detecting the occurrence of rain, potential flooding and modeled system at a later stage, will also be able to assess their impact on vehicle traffic in the city. This is the first project of the ninth global research laboratory of IBM, which recently opened in Brazil.
On 9th and 10th November, Global President of IBM, Samuel J. Palmisano and the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, gathered with leaders and experts from around the world in the city to celebrate the Fourth Regional Forum Smart Cities. With special focus on Latin America and the growing markets of the world, IBM will continue the conversation begun in Berlin, New York and Shanghai to discuss how cities can deal with serious situations currently being experienced urban and improve quality of life for its citizens.