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Baton Rouge wins IBM's "Smarter Cities Challenge"

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Baton Rouge has been selected as one of 16 cities to be awarded the "Smarter Cities Challenge" by IBM yesterday (Mar. 25) according to a local news report.

The competition was worldwide and proposals had to include a critical issue the city was currently facing. The Baton Rouge proposal listed transportation as the issue, a problem the city has been facing since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Only four cities in the United States was selected in the competition. The cities chosen will each be awarded a $500,000 grant to study the transportation issues and ways to solve the problem. The studies will be carried out by IBM employees and offer an unbiased opinion on the traffic and transportation problems in Baton Rouge.

Mayor, Kip Holden had this to say about Baton Rouge being awarded one of the grants by IBM, “I believe that IBM and the IBM team will give us our first in-depth and impartial look at the best solutions for our outdated transportation systems. These will be solutions based on the best practices throughout the world.”

At the end of the study, IBM will offer a comprehensive recommendation for Baton Rouge's traffic and transportation issues and will also give the city a plan to implement the plan.

Included in the study will be concerns with connecting roads, bicycle paths, rails and sidewalks.

Adam Knapp, the President of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, said that the study will mainly focus on ways to relieve traffic congestion in the city.

Other cities chosen in the 2014 IBM Smarter City Challenge are Abuja, Nigeria; Ballarat, Australia; Birmingham, Ala.; Brussels; Dallas; Dublin; Durban, South Africa; Jinan, China; Mombasa County, Kenya; Niigata, Japan; Perth, Australia; Suffolk County, N.Y.; Tainan, Taiwan; Vilnius, Lithuania; and Zapopan, Mexico.

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