Arlington, VA

You may have seen the IBM ads on TV talking about “building a smarter planet.” Those ads reference the company’s Smarter Cities Challenge, which seeks to award 50 cities (or counties) in North America with $250,000 to $400,000 in free technology and consulting services to solve a key problem facing each locality.

The company is now hoping that Arlington applies to the program.

“There could be a number of ways for IBM to help in Arlington, from traffic problems to Metro efficiency and safety,” said IBM rep Max Luckey. “The IBM grant could help fund new infrastructure improvements, streamline administration costs, or even help with projects like the Rosslyn Gateway Park redevelopment.”

The solutions provided by IBM are data and technology-driven, but such solutions can be applied to most problems facing local governments, we’re told. Better citizen engagement and improved delivery of services are two other examples of ways in which the Challenge can help.

The deadline for applying to the program is Dec. 31.

If you ran the county government, what problem would you try to solve?

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